When Your Baby Comes Home
If possible, try to restrict visitors. While part of the joy of parenthood is showing off your new baby, even a 15-minute visit can be very tiring for a new mom. Sure, close relatives and friends can visit, but they should make their visits short. Make sure all guests leave their own children at home and that they always wash their hands before picking up your baby.
Keep your home, car and family smoke-free. If you do smoke, before you pick up your baby, rinse your mouth, wash your hands and change your shirt after smoking. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, or test existing ones.
Nurture your baby by holding, cuddling, rocking, talking and singing. Spend time playing with and talking to your baby when she is awake. It is never too early to read to your baby.
Every baby must be secured in a federally approved car seat, facing backwards in the back seat. The manufacturer’s directions for safe installation must be followed before the baby is allowed into the car. This includes the ride home from the hospital.
Never allow your child to ride unrestrained or on the lap of an adult. As your child gets older, it is a good idea that she sees her parents always using safety belts.
Learn More: Car Seat Types, Recommendations, and Installation (HealthyChildren.org)
Tips for New Parents
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep will be at a premium during the first month, so plan on resting when your baby does. Since a new baby is a lot of work, being tired will make mom’s job even harder. There are many more new chores to be done so parents must establish an entire set of new priorities. Cuddling and holding your baby should rank ahead of a clean kitchen floor. Getting to know the newborn is more important than doing laundry or cooking, so let some of the housework go.
- Arrange for a helper. Everyone needs extra help during those first few weeks with a new baby. Despite all the books and comedian’s jokes, we still believe the best person to help is a grandmother, either a mother or mother-in-law! Grandmothers come with a great resume: they have the experience, are well versed in shopping, cooking and cleaning, and will welcome the chance to ‘mother’ both the newborn and the new mother.
- Ensure time for dad. If mom is breastfeeding, or has taken the responsibility for feedings, be sure that dad is getting nurturing time with your baby. Bottle feedings, diaper changes, preparing for bedtime, and reading are all important ways dad can share in the important newborn period.
- Postpartum checkup. Remember to schedule a check-up for the new mom.
Updated February 2016
Caring For Your Newborn