If you are a new mom or about to become one, you might not fully understand what to expect during the first postpartum months. That’s alright. You’ll be surprised how many mommy tasks come naturally. Then again, there may be a few things you’ll wish that someone had told you before your baby was born.
Before you go home from the hospital
Unless your baby is delivered by a doula at home, you’ll probably spend at least a night or two in the hospital or birthing center. Take this time to get to know your baby and develop a sweet routine.
Delay visitors as well as you can. Friends and family members will want to meet your new baby as soon as they can, but that might not be the best plan if you wish to bond with your baby one-on-one. Newborns are generally alert little creatures, so spend plenty of time together immediately after birth and the in following days. Look your little one in the eyes and speak to them in soothing tones. She or he will recognize your voice after spending nine months in utero, says Fit Pregnancy magazine.
Establish breastfeeding right away. Let the nurses know that you wish to nurse and to avoid giving the baby any bottles. Nursing doesn’t come naturally to all new moms, so don’t hesitate to talk with the hospital lactation expert and other newly nursing moms before you leave the hospital. If your town boasts a chapter of the La Leche League, give them a call if you have any questions or concerns about breastfeeding or if you just want a bit of moral support.
On the way home
The month before you have your baby, obtain and learn how to properly use an infant car seat. It doesn’t matter if you drive a Volkswagen, a Cadillac or a Dodge Durango. Transport your baby in a safe seat every time you take them anywhere.
Don’t overdress your little one for the ride home. Too many clothes may impede the proper fastening of their car seat harness. If you take your baby home on a chilly day, securely buckle them into their seat, and then tuck a snuggly blanket around them.
At home with your new baby
Don’t worry about bathing your baby every day. Until the dried umbilical cord remnant has detached on its own, you really ought not to bathe a baby, anyway, according to Parents magazine. Simply use gentle baby wipes to keep diaper areas clean. Once the cord stump is healed, once- or twice-a-week sink baths are fine. Be sure to moisturize baby after every bath.
Ask the hospital for a rooming-in option so your baby is in a bassinet in your room most of the time. If you’re unsure how to diaper a baby, this is the perfect time to learn. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Your baby believes you are an expert already.
Daisy Webb enjoys writing articles in her spare time when she’s not breaking up fights, cooking, cleaning or doing the other 101 jobs she has as a Mom and Wife!