I was excited, scared, anxious, relieved and overwhelmed when we were allowed to bring our baby home. Our tiny little premature hero had spent two long weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit, she had been pumped with caffeine with antibiotics and had wires covering her body and had been watched every day for 24 hours be professionals.
I wanted her home, I wanted to be alone with her, I wanted to be her mother without supervision, but I was also daunted by the task. I had no experience with any babies, let alone a tiny 4.9lb premature newborn and neither did my husband.
|Abbey in the incubator in SCBU|
The drive home was slowest, bumpiest journey ever. How had I not noticed all the bumps, all the dangerous obstacles on the road, before now? My hubby felt a little overwhelmed having to safely deliver us home and keep an eye on baby in the mirror. I probably should have sat in the back with her, as I was almost permanently looking behind me. But this was our first journey home and I wanted to share it with my husband up front.
When we arrived home and had safely brought Abbey inside to the sitting room, where a cosy fire was burning, she woke up for a good look around. It was all a little surreal - what do we do now?
Cup of tea, change her nappy, does she need more sleep, maybe I should try and feed her or should we just sit here and enjoy the moment? The lack of routine, the quiet chaos buzzed in my head.
But who needed sleep - I had my baby and we were home, we were a family and it was the most amazing feeling.
Here are my tips for bringing home baby, I will do a post on newborn essentials soon.
Bringing home baby
Yes babies need lots of stuff, but lets simplify the first few days at home - you will NEED a car seat, baby blankets, baby clothes, burp cloths, nappies, milk (boobs or bottles & steriliser) and a crib. Thats it for now.
Get some family or friends to cook or leave in some food for you, you do not have the energy to even think about cooking for at least the first week. If you are a very organised person, freeze some meals in advance of your due date.
Everyone wants to meet your new baby and they also want to congratulate the new parents and hear the war stories. This is exciting and fun, but my advise would be to limit visitors for the first few days. You need to get to know your baby, s/he needs to get to know you in this strange outside world. There is plenty of time to meet everyone - keep it limited to immediate family and friends for the first week.
Winter or Summer, you baby needs to be in a neutral room temperature. S/he does not need the heating to be revved up, neither does baby need air conditioning. I do not like much heat at all, so to try and gauge the real temperature I wore just a vest and light trousers around the house, if I felt cold I put the heating up, if I felt very warm I turned it down.You baby needs to get used to their own environment.
|Cards from well wishers|
Some people start their newborn into a routine as soon as they get home, I don’t recommend that just yet, but do try to decide on a few things to help the transition. Turn down lights at night and speak softly, decide where the baby will take naps during the day and try to keep it constant. Change nappies in the same place, feed your baby in the same place - these are simple but effective in helping your baby to settle into your new home.
You probably got a lot of information leaving the hospital, sort it out into what is important or what is just reading material. Have important phone numbers on hand, as well as your thermometer, put the info on check ups and vaccinations into a safe and accessible place - put reminders in your phone.
Get ComfyYou are home, in your own surroundings, make sure you are comfy. Get into your pyjamas! Try and sleep when the baby sleeps, if you cant sleep at least rest. If your partner or family can tidy up or clean the house, it will go a long way to helping you relax. Snuggle up with your baby, take in every little movement, smell and moment, enjoy this time.
Spread the love
The birth of your baby, bringing your tiny one home, getting settled in can all be very emotional, hectic and sometimes panicked. Your focus is on your baby and making sure they have everything they need, if things don't go as planned, you will get upset, angry and even irrational - This is normal!
If you have a partner or even a loved one helping you out, try to remember to use the words please and thank you and when you have a quiet moment tell them 'I love you.' They are anxious too, they want everything to be perfect also embrace those around you, don't push them away.
Also check out:
Surviving the Special Car Unit
Premature and Tiny: Abbey Rose