Leaving the hospital with your new baby is one of the most exciting and daunting times of a mother’s life. The first 10 days with a newborn will feel like forever and like a whirlwind all at the same time. You’ll be tired, frustrated, and amazed at the beautiful baby you just brought home.
To get ready for your baby’s arrival, you may want to register for what you need and take birthing classes. While helpful, these things may not fully prepare you for bringing your newborn home for the first time. Since you’re likely busier than ever, check out our quick tips for preparing for the big day.
What Can I Do to Prepare My Home for a New Baby?
You’ve set the nursery up, you’ve washed the baby’s clothes, and you've securely fastened the car seat. That’s a great start, but here are a few other things to make your life easier when you first get home:
- Prepare and store some favorite meals in the freezer.
- Take care of housework and laundry. When you get home from the hospital, that will be the last thing you’ll want to do.
- Prepare your home for guests if you have any family or friends coming to help.
- Clean your refrigerator. Disinfecting and organizing your fridge will be a tremendous help, especially if you’re storing breast milk.
- Organize your cupboards. When you're holding a baby, you want to be able to easily and safely reach into the cupboard and grab what you need.
- Pull together clothes that you’ll feel comfortable in after delivering your baby. People often focus solely on getting the baby’s clothes ready, but getting your own clothes organized is also important.
What Clothes Do I Need When I Get Home from the Hospital?
After having a baby, you’ll want to wear super soft clothes that make you feel great – clothes you can take a quick catnap in while your baby is sleeping and clothes that are easy to nurse or pump in. Cute pajamas and leggings are lifesavers. Stretchy tops are a wardrobe necessity. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure your shirts have easy access for nursing so your hungry baby doesn’t have to wait too long. Another tip: Have more shirts than you think you will need; babies are messy. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, comfortable bras are an absolute must – your breasts may be sore and leaking, so it’s a good idea to have a few extra bras on hand and ready to go.
How Do I Get Sleep During the First 10 Days with a Newborn?
We all know how sleep-deprived a new parent can be. Sleep deprivation can cause you to lose focus and become more forgetful, and it can weaken your immune system. Here are some tips on how to get a bit more sleep:
- Sleep when your baby sleeps. Yes, we’ve all heard this one – but that’s because it’s true! You may be tempted to do laundry, dishes, or work, but those things are never as important as your need for sleep.
- Ask for help. Most friends and family would love to babysit for a couple of hours so you can catch some ZZZs.
- If you have a partner, trade off evenings and split up baby-related chores. If you’re pumping, perhaps your partner can be in charge of bottle-feeding your baby and cleaning the used bottles.
Enjoy being a new mama. You’ve got this!
The first 10 days are exhausting, but it’s also an excellent time for you and your baby to bond. Remember, you aren’t alone and don’t have to do everything yourself; don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends and family are often more than happy to help a new mom, and having someone help with laundry or grocery shopping can lift a significant weight off your shoulders. And don’t forget to be patient with yourself. Adjusting to your new life takes time. You’re going to have tough days, and that’s okay. Take a step back and just breathe. You’ve got this!