You Brought Baby Home, Now What?
The other day a girlfriend asked, “So what do I do once I’m actually home from the hospital with the baby?” GREAT question! I am by no means a pro but I have done the whole birthing and bringing a baby home 3x now. I’ve learned something new each time and would love to share any tidbits with new or expecting mamas.
I’m sure you’re anxiously counting down and waiting for D-DAY. The anticipation is so fun and probably filled with anxiety. Hopefully it’s good anxiety. Because after all, this thing women get to do, you know- carry a baby and birth precious life is a GIFT. Anytime I would have a complaint my OB would remind me that millions of women would crawl through glass in order to have this gift. So in the midst of the morning sickness, the raging horomones (is that just me?!), round ligament pain and whatever else pregnancy brings on, just remember what a precious gift you have been given.
So you made it through labor and delivery. And now your stay at the ‘hospital hotel’ is ending. Some mama’s are so ready to get home. Dads are inevitably ready to get home. Who can blame them, that couch/bed thingy looks miserable. But some parents quickly realize that they are leaving with a tiny human and are now fully responsible for him/her. Oh crap… reality check! Some of the questions running through both mom and dad’s head may go something like: When are we supposed to know if it’s a hungry cry or sleepy cry? What if I don’t swaddle correctly? What’s SIDS? Oh, we have to go to baby’s first doctors visit in just 2 days? What about mama and her recovery? Rest easy new mamas. You’ve got this. Here are some tidbits that helped me through the ‘what do we do with this baby now that we are home’ phase!
Husbands this one is for you- (mama’s if you’re reading this just hit share and let your hubby have a peek!) Make sure your wife comes home to a haven. Fresh sheets on the bed, some candles going, all things baby may need (think- lanolin, water, diapers, wipes, burp cloth, etc) already within arms reach of the couch or bed or wherever mama wants to be. Trust me- she will truly appreciate you going out of the way to make her homecoming a peaceful one. Open the blinds if she likes natural light or close them if she likes to be snuggled away. She may not realize it but she will be under enough stress with figuring out what to do with yall’s sweet new bundle of joy. Serve her so she can focus on baby. Hubby brag here- M has always gone above and beyond to make our homecoming so sweet and memorable with the kids. Geeze, I love that guy 😍
Let’s talk family… its bittersweet, we get it! Everyone wants to ooh and aww over baby. Who wouldn’t?! There is something so magical about newborns. I have a couple of blunt thoughts on this though. First, I always try to put myself in my mom’s or mother in law’s position. Why? Because one day, Lord willing, I will get the honor of being in their shoes. Try to think of their excitement and wonder as they watch you and your spouse walk into the parenthood journey together. Let them cook or clean for you, let them serve you in their own unique way (if that is their heart’s desire). Side note- I am typically a crying mess the first 2 weeks and my step mom and mom are champs at handling it. Seriously- huge shout out to them both! Secondly, our sweet intentioned parents have had their 18 years of child rearing. It’s your turn! Rarely have I met someone who truly has an overbearing mom or mother in law. Or dad/father in law. It typically comes down to the lens they are being viewed through. Just remember- anything done in love is a good thing. As long as your mom/mother in law or whoevers intentions are driven from love (even if it doesn’t necessarily speak love to you) it is most likely a pure and good thing! It’s hard to give grace to family. Not sure why it’s this way but they see us at our best and our worst and still love us. Let’s continue the trend!
3) BIRTH STORY
If you like to keep notes, start right away. Jot down baby’s birth story asap, I promise you’ll forget those little details as the days go by. (Little side note- with each of my kids, I have sobbed through writing their birth story! Labor and delivery is so precious and memorable!) Something my stepmom did for my first delivery and Michael did for the other two was to take notes during the process. So if my water broke at 8am, someone wrote it down. They wrote down every time something would progress. I so appreciated this! Also, trace those little hands/feet or make prints of them. I did that with my first, and totally dropped the ball on my other kiddos but it is still so sweet to open my bible and see just how little Nixon’s hands/feet were.
4) REST & BOND
I’m sure everyone is telling you this. But there’s a reason! Just soak it in. Life will never be the same. Don’t feel obligated to let guests come over. Trust me, they will eventually meet baby. Until then, utilize social media, we all love those baby pics anyways! Just hold that precious little one and rest. Sit and stare at that baby All. Day. Long. No one will expect any more from you. Don’t miss a single second with that sweet miracle. Connect and bond because I promise, when baby #2, 3 etc. comes it just isn’t the same. Right now there is no other kiddo asking you for snuggles, snacks or to wipe their bottom because they are potty training. Convinced yet that you should sit and bond all day? 😊
5) DON’T FORGET
You only get 18 years at home with this little soul. That’s 18 Christmases, 18 summers, 18 Easters, etc. That’s not very many… And remember, every time they sleep- they will wake up a little bit older. Anyone else get so sad thinking of that!? But then again, I guess that’s our job. To raise our kids towards independence from us and complete dependence on Christ. It is a short, short season. This parenthood thing will be what you make of it. That is pretty much how it is with everything in life. You will probably be exhausted, hormonal, and maybe in pain- depending on how your recovery goes. And when your milk comes in, WHOA. Go ahead and prewarn the hubs that there is a strict look but no touch rule! 😂 But on the flip side, I have not met a single mom who wouldn’t go through it all again for their child. So focus on the positive, the memories you’re making and the legacy you are leaving for your child. Perspective is powerful. So mama, don’t forget these days.
Now your home with baby, real life is kicking in (and so are those hormones!) and all you need to remember is that you’ve got this. God has equipped you for this very moment. He is entrusting one of HIS children into your arms. Pray without ceasing and speak words of truth over your baby.
Other mama’s out there- what are some of your tips for what to do once you’re home with baby?