The last time you left the house there was only you, your partner and a huge belly. Now you are about to go back, and it’s the three of you: a newborn who will probably sleep peacefully in his pram and two adults who are very happy but a little twisted … and full of questions!
Returning home after childbirth suddenly throws you into a new dimension: your new life as a mother. A life from which you still don’t know what to expect, no matter how informed you are. From the first few hours with your baby, you have noticed how different the practice can be from the theory… or at least more intense, more chaotic: more human!
In fact, in the first days with your newborn baby, not only you will have to implement everything you have read about the books or what has been suggested to you, but also emotions will be at stake: strong, new, overwhelming and sometimes difficult to manage.
How can you best prepare for returning home after childbirth? Can you play in advance to make the transition to this new phase easier? What should you expect from the first few weeks of your new life?
With this article we will try to clear up some doubts!
Return home after childbirth: what to prepare in advance
One of the best things to do is to prepare your home before giving birth, so that when you come back with your baby you won’t have to worry about anything.
So take advantage of the last weeks of pregnancy to make spaces not only welcoming but also functional for everything that will happen next.
Start from a basic principle: both for you and for the baby, it is good that there are different places at home and dedicated to various activities – one for breastfeeding, one for changing and washing, one for bedtime, one for playing (although this will be more useful later).
In each of these spaces, it is good to prepare everything you need: think that after childbirth you will have to take care of your child, fighting against fatigue… better making life easier by not having to run around the house looking for what you need.
In this article your will find ideas for “corners” to prepare in advance, and which will be ready to be used once you return home after childbirth.
Choose an armchair, a sofa, a rocking chair: whatever you find comfortable, because you will have to spend several hours on them in the first months after childbirth! Place the breastfeeding pillow nearby, which will make your life much easier, as well as milk absorbing cups, wipes, bibs, towels and silver nipple shields to be placed immediately after breastfeeding to prevent the appearance of breast fissures.
Make sure you also have some clean and ready-to-use nursing bra at home: it will come in very handy for you not having to do contortion maneuvers every time you have to breastfeed.
Changing table corner
The best thing is that the changing table is in the bathroom, so that you can easily switch between the sink or the tray and the surface where you can place the baby to change him.
Also in this case, every useful object must be easy to reach: diapers, neutral detergent, cream for irritations, nourishing almond oil, towels, wipes, the necessary for the navel dressing and obviously bodysuits and clothes.
Sleep time corner
You have probably prepared a beautiful bedroom, but in the first days (and months) at home with the newborn baby it might be more comfortable to have him sleeping in your room. Whether it’s a cot, a cradle to attach to your bed or a pram, in any case make the place where the little one sleeps cozy.
Prepare clean white cotton sheets and blankets in advance, make the environment suitable for sleep using neutral colors and blackout curtains: all this will help improving the quality of the newborn’s sleep…and also of your rest!
The first days at home with your newborn
Despite what you can prepare before, when it is time to go home after the birth, you will still find yourself in a whirlwind of emotions and events that may seem unmanageable.
Face them one at a time, always putting you and your child at the center, and you will see that you will come out as a winner.
You would like to spend all the first few days at home with your newborn baby resting and taking care of him. Well: it is your sacred right to do it!
If too many relatives, friends, neighbors and acquaintances show up at your door to get to know the baby and you don’t feel like seeing them, say it clearly. They can come back at another time, don’t worry about offending them.
If you have to deal with daily chores, remember not to overdo it: nobody will die from some specks of dust or from a not really shiny floor.
Just do what you can, at your own pace, and use your baby’s quiet moments to take a nap you too instead of cleaning. Your home is fine as it is – and if you really can’t see it in a mess, you can ask your partner or parents for help.
Prepare siblings… or your four-legged friends!
If the baby is not your firstborn or if there is already another “hairy baby” in the family, it is good to prepare them to the new arrival so that there are no negative reactions when you return home after the birth.
You may be surprised, but the precautions to be followed to tell your first child about the birth of a new baby brother or to prepare the first meeting of your newborn baby and your dog for are very similar! Obviously it is a job to start during pregnancy, but that can make returning home after childbirth much easier.
The last thing we want to tell you, and probably the most important, is that a baby is fine when his mom is fine. Never lose sight of your well-being and your needs, even in the first days at home with your little one.
If you feel you need to rest, do it. If you need help, ask your partner and the people closest to you. Take a deep breath and smile: the most beautiful adventure of your life is starting!