Surprises in the First Weeks Home with Baby

Everyone tells you that you'll go without sleep a great deal in the first weeks when you bring your baby home. Everyone tells you that you'll want to make sure the baby pees and poops a lot. However, there are many things that people don't tell you - and that people tend not to discuss. These items are just as important, if not more important, to know about when bringing your baby home.

Completely Overwhelmed

While it's very exciting to get home after spending a few days in the hospital, few women are prepared for the feelings they may experience when they arrive home with the new baby. The hospital serves as a cocoon of sorts. The only things that matter while you are at the hospital are you and the baby. When you enter your home again, there are many more distractions and responsibilities. There may be laundry piled up, emails waiting to be answered, phones ringing, dirty dishes, older children needing attention and other items. It is your responsibility to ignore it all. Hopefully, you have someone in the house to help you. Whether you do or not, you may be surprised by how overwhelming it is to be hit with so much activity after spending a few relatively quiet days in the hospital. Make sure to delegate responsibility for household tasks for awhile and try to keep your focus on your recovery and on the baby's development.

Reduce the stress by organizing your home before baby’s arrival. Here are some valuable tips to make sure you are ready.

Five Tips For Preparing The Home For A Newborn

When you're about to have a new baby, there are about a million things to keep track of - doctor appointments, staying healthy, staying comfortable, and, of course, preparing your home and life for the arrival of the baby. It is this last step, however, that often receives the least attention, simply because the demands of pregnancy on a family make it difficult to spend too much time on advanced preparation. Still, it's necessary to make sure that your home environment has the basic essentials that your baby will need in his or her first days and weeks at home. So here are five basic ways to prepare for your newborn.

1. Buy A Crib Probably the single most basic essential item for a newborn, the crib must be in place before you bring your baby home. You'll want to be sure that you have a stable, clean, and comfortable crib, and that requires a bit of time during the selection process. Additionally, you'll certainly want to start with the crib set up in your own room, as you should never be too far from a newborn. Cribs can be bought at a number of types of stores, from baby boutiques to department stores, meaning you should have plenty to choose from.

2. Buy Baby Clothes   At some point, most couples get excited about finding cute clothes for their babies. Once you meet your baby you can focus on style and cuteness, but the bottom line is, babies look adorable in just about anything - just make sure he or she has something to wear for those first few weeks!

3. Baby-Proof The Home  Baby-proofing may be your biggest job in advance of bringing a newborn home, but it is also the most important. Baby-proofing your home could involve everything from padding sharp corners on walls and tables, to putting protective plus in electronic outlets, etc. Babies can be injured by very basic objects and features within your home, and it will be your responsibility to eliminate as many dangers as possible.

4. Have Feeding Essentials On Hand   If you're planning on formula feeding, you'll need to have formula and bottles on hand, and if you're breastfeeding you'll still need pumping essentials and bottles for storing milk for scheduled feeding.

5. Set Up Baby Monitors   Finally, you'll need to set up baby monitors in your home. For the first few days you'll likely not leave your baby's side, but the simple fact is that parents will have to leave newborns alone, even if just for a couple of minutes here or there. For the sake of your sanity, you'll want to have monitors set up to make sure that you can at least hear your baby at all times, and be prepared to take care of him or her whenever necessary.


Having a new baby is very exciting and you may be greeted by many visitors. While they all mean well, and they are excited to see you and the baby, you may find yourself resenting them. They might show up while you are trying to nap, or they may want to hold the baby when you don't want anyone but you with him. Share these feelings with your partner and have him be the gate keeper. You may also put a sign up on your door that says you're sleeping if you don't want people knocking. You are allowed to rest anyway that you want to in the weeks following the birth. If that means that you don't want people coming over at first, then this is your right.


Few people discuss this uncomfortable and often inevitable after effect from the birth. Especially if you've had an episiotomy, your bottom is going to be quite sore after giving birth. Having a bowel movem

ent is quite scary for any woman who has experienced this much pressure. Often, women will find themselves quite constipated and scared to experience their first bowel movement after the birth. It is very important, in the days after the birth, to eat food that is high in fiber and to use Metamucil or another product that can help to loosen your stool. This is certainly one of the most under-discussed post-birth topics, but it is one that will be very important for you. Speak to your gynecologist or family doctor to get the help that you need.

Sore Nipples

Good for you if you are going to try to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest things that you can do for your new baby. What many people don't tell you, however, is how painful this experience can be in the beginning. For about ten days to two weeks, breastfeeding may be very, very painful. Once you work through this period, you won't experience this type of pain again and should, hopefully, find great pleasure in feeding your baby. In order to get through this initial stage, purchase lanolin or another product that you will put on your nipples before and after each feeding. Try to relax before you feed the baby by putting on soothing music, taking deep breaths, or visualizing how breastfeeding will be once you make it through this time period. If you have difficulties with the baby latching on, use your resources. Call a lactation specialist to come and do a home visit. Don't be shy to seek out help. It will be worth it in the end!

Bringing a baby home is a beautiful, exciting experience. Don't let these few set backs scare you. It is, however, important to be aware of some of the pitfalls and difficulties that you may encounter to create as smooth a transition as possible. Enjoy this wonderful time as your baby grows and develops!

Get advice from other women about support systems for pregnancy and bringing home new babies in our pregnancy forum.

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