Returning Home From the Hospital

When you last left your house, you were a heavily pregnant woman, possibly in the throes of labour. Now you are about to walk into your house as a new mother, and introduce your newborn baby to his or her first home. The significance of this moment would be enough to have you in tears even without the post-partum hormonal sob fest, but what practical things should you have ready for your first days as a new parent?

  1. Food, glorious food – you don’t want to arrive home from the hospital to discover that the cupboards are bare. Make sure your freezer is stocked up with precooked meals in advance, so all you need to do is reheat and eat. If you plan on having visitors during the first week, ask them to bring a small selection of fresh fruit with them. It’s important to eat healthily and look after yourself so that you are able to look after your baby.
  2. Battle stations at the ready – well, changing stations anyway. You will arrive home from the hospital in a whirlwind of nappy changes, feeds and cuddles, so you won’t have time to hunt for nappy cream or diapers. Have your changing station set up before your due date, so that everything is where it should be for your first dirty nappy. In fact, consider having a couple of different ones – especially if your living quarters are two stories.
  3. Going off grid – unplug the house phone, turn your mobile phone to silent, let the email inbox pile up, and ignore the door. These first few days are the ideal bonding time for your new family. Of course, you should invite any guests you want round, but make sure that your private moments are uninterrupted. There is nothing worse than finally soothing your baby to sleep, only to have your hard work undone by a deafeningly loud phone ringing in the next room.
  4. Just in case – chances are, between childbirth and breastfeeding, you’re going to feel a little sore. You may not need them, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Have some breastfeeding safe over-the-counter painkillers in the house, as well as some heat and ice packs. If you’re planning to breastfeed, you may want to keep some soothing nipple cream in the house too, because your nipples may feel quite tender for the first couple of days. Even a bag of frozen peas might make a handy ice pack if you’re suffering from engorgement.
  5. Some baggies – you won’t be straight back into your skinny jeans, but you probably won’t need maternity wear anymore, either. Make sure you have lots of clean, comfy pyjamas to wear. Don’t forget, you’ll also want some clothes to wear for when visitors pop round, unless you don’t mind them seeing you in your pajamas.

The first few days as a new parent are exhausting, difficult and truly amazing all at the same time. Make sure you have the above items in the house, and if you discover any other useful must haves, be sure to share the advice in the comments below.

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

9 Date Night Ideas

Once your baby arrives, you and your partner go from being a couple to being a family instead. It’s a subtle shift, but your changing relationship can suffer when your focus remains solely on the baby. Middle of the night diaper changes and feedings aren’t exactly the makings of a steamy romance.

So how do you integrate your old couples-only existence into your new life with a baby? A first start can be regular date nights! You don’t even need to leave your baby – you can reconnect with your partner without the stress of wondering how your baby is doing with the sitter. These baby-friendly ideas can get you started:

  • Take a drive: Get in the car with no destination in mind and just drive. Choose out-of-the way roads and country scenery, if you can. Turn on some music, but keep it quiet enough for conversation. Bonus: the car will often lull baby to sleep.
  • Plan a picnic: Throw a blanket down in the grass (or even on the living room floor if the weather isn’t great). Cook dinner together or shop for premade picnic foods, and enjoy an out-of-the-ordinary dinner together.
  • Consider a staycation: Who says you need to go somewhere to relax? Unplug the phone and television, put away your mobile devices and computers. Forget about the housekeeping. Plan a weekend of doing nothing together at home. Eat easy meals, nap, read, take long showers, talk, laugh. You’ll still need to care for baby, but you can let the outside world disappear for a couple of days
  • Go to the movies: It’s easy to go to the movie theater when you’ve got a newborn. Any time your baby stirs, feed him (especially simple if you’re breastfeeding). Wear your baby in a sling or wrap – he may sleep the whole time. Even better? Find a drive-in movie theater. If baby fusses, it won’t bother anyone. And you may be able to get away with wearing your pajamas!
  • Walk or hike: If you’re missing the outdoors, hike, walk or ride bikes together. You can take baby along on any of these excursions with the right equipment. The exercise, fresh air and sunshine will do all of you some good.
  • Meet for a power lunch: If you’re tired by 7pm and can’t imagine going out to eat, consider meeting for lunch instead. There’s no reason romance should be confined to the evening and nighttime hours.
  • Have a wine and cheese party at sunset: Enjoy appetizers al fresco and watch the sun go down. Hold hands or snuggle under a blanket if it’s chilly out.
  • Dress up for dinner: Get ready as you would if you were going to a fancy restaurant. Plan a gourmet meal, and cook together. Or order out so you don’t have to do any work.
  • Light a fire: Whether it’s a fireplace in your living room, a fire pit in your garden, or simply some candles with the lights turned off, spend time together whispering and enjoying the soft, romantic lighting. Who knows what other speaks it might ignite?

The key – no matter what you choose to do on your date – is to NOT to spend the whole evening talking about the baby or any babycare topics. Find conversation starters if you’re having trouble not discussing your cute little bundle’s milestones.

Most of all, remember that you’re in this together. Supporting each other in your changing parenting roles will make your family happier as it grows.

Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.