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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.