Bringing baby home
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Taking your newborn home from the hospital
Ask any of our mums and they’ll tell you: the first 24 hours at home with your newborn can be so wonderfully liberating, and at the same time, quite scary! You’ll probably feel a delirious mix of happiness and exhaustion, and you’ll be super busy. Even while your little one’s asleep, you’ll be tempted to check in a million times!
That’s why we’ve created this coming home with baby checklist, so you know how to prepare.
Leaving hospital with baby
If all is going well, you’ll be bringing your baby home before you know it! Before you leave hospital, remember to speak to a midwife about your home visit and confirm your address – a midwife or nurse will pop into your house to make sure you and baby are settling in well.
The car seat
If you’re taking baby home in your own car, you’ll also need to make sure you have the proper rearward-facing baby car seat in place. It needs to meet either Australian or New Zealand standards and be fitted correctly by law (which can be very confusing!). So if you don’t feel confident installing the baby capsule yourself, there are child seat fitters out there to do it for you. Visit Raising Children Network Australia or Raising Children in New Zealand for all the information you need for your baby’s first car trip home.
Our biggest tip? Don’t be scared to say no! If your visitors have colds, or their kids have sniffles, it’s definitely ok to tell them you’d rather them stay away. They’ll be feeling better before you know it and over to visit soon, so it’s better to be safe. Newborns are so fragile and, where possible, shouldn’t be exposed to colds from other guests.
Maternal and Child Health Nurse
During the first two weeks after coming home with baby, the Maternal and Child Health Nurse will visit you at home to see how you’re going and organise upcoming visits at a baby centre near you.
Mummy and daddy colds
If either you or your partner gets a cold, make sure you both follow a good, thorough hand washing routine before and after every hold. Try to eat well and stay hydrated so that you can provide the best nourishment possible too. And of course, try not to let it worry you too much.
Rest when baby rests
As soon as those little eyes close and there’s silence, rest! Even if you can’t sleep, just lay on the couch for a few moments of bliss ... the house doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, try to do as little housework as possible.
Most importantly, ask for help!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – you’re not being a bother! Try speaking to your Maternal and Child Health Nurse or midwife about services in your area. You might also like to join a mother’s group for support – or register here at Karimums! Get dad to help out with things like baths and nappies to give you a break too. And if you need any help with breast feeding, read our breast feeding tips or call our Careline midwives for more personalised advice. We’re here to help!
A place to share the joins and questions of parenthood with other mums, and our Careline of experts.
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