Tips on Preparing to Bring Your Newborn Home
Most people read or talk about nesting – the urge to prepare your home for baby’s upcoming arrival – but we want to take this one-step further. Below are suggestions from our experts (and new parents) for preparing your house for a successful first week at home with your newborn:
Essentials CaddyWhether you use a plastic caddy, the pink/grey bin from the hospital, or you pull out all the stops and buy a three-tiered rolling cart, one thing most new parents said they did was create a caddy of new parent + baby essentials. With this caddy everything you need is at your fingertips, so you don’t have to make so many trips to the nursery or other rooms in the house. This was especially handy for our post-Cesarean section parents.
- Water Bottle
- Breast pads
- Nipple Cream/Lanolin
- Perineal pain soothers such as numbing spray / witch hazel pads
- Pain medications
- Baby and medication tracking tools or notebook
- Snacks (you may be surprised by how much hunger will strike during a nighttime feeding!)
- Simple foldable changing pad
- Extra Outfit
- Pacifiers (if using)
- Burp rags
- Nose suction tool
- Nail Clippers
Parent’s BedroomMany people choose to have their infant sleep in their bedroom for the first months. Try setting this up ahead of time so you can get used to a bassinet or sleeper in your path. Consider your lighting. Is the only way to light your room for a diaper change a huge overhead light? Many parents suggested a small dim light that allows for diaper changes and to assist when you are frantically searching the bed for a missing pacifier or breast pad.
Tracking ToolsMany parents feel comforted when they have a way of tracking their baby’s feedings, diaper changes, and sleep. There are many phone apps out there to try out. If you are trying to decrease your screen time, there is also a “pocket nanny” that is a battery powered timer that tracks baby care tasks. If you want to go tech-free there are also templates online or a good old notebook works fine too.
For parents experiencing pain after delivery, it can be nice to track when medications are given or can be given again. Some people use alarms on their phone, timers, apps or paper and pen.
Preparing for VisitorsFor many new parents having guests during a pandemic and flu season can be stressful. We understand it is a personal choice whether or not to let visitors meet your new babe during this time. Some parents have opted for masked visitors only. Even in the pre-COVID world many people requested visitors to wash their hands before holding baby. It can be helpful to have a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby to serve as a visual reminder for visitors to wash their hands.
Other things you might not have considered:
- Snow removal while at the hospital or in those first few days back home.
- Pet sitting
- Giving someone a key just in case you need someone to run over and lend a hand.
- Finally, if you take my advice, and buy a few of these items, make sure someone is around to grab those packages from your stoop while you're at the hospital!