Preparing to Bring Your Newborn Home: 4 Essential Steps

There’s nothing as exciting for parents — or potentially as stressful — as bringing their newborn home. To help you prepare for the big day, board-certified pediatrician Dr. Ugonma Okparaocha of Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center in Bel Air, Maryland, offers her best pro tips.

Here’s what she tells new parents to help ease the transition.

1. Set up a support network

New babies sleep 16-18 hours a day, so you have plenty of time to rest yourself, right? Absolutely not! 

Your baby may sleep a lot, but they don’t do it in large chunks. You’re going to be busy feeding, cleaning, changing diapers, and recovering from the delivery, whether vaginal or a C-section.

Set up a network of friends and family members who can run to the store for you, vacuum the house, cook a meal, or do laundry, especially for the first couple of weeks as you get to know your baby’s routine. 

Even if you have your partner to lean on, it’s a good idea to have someone available for emotional support, who you can talk to when you feel overwhelmed and need to calm down, and who won’t judge you.

2. Get a car seat

The first thing you do when you leave the hospital or birthing center is drive your newborn home, which makes a proper child safety seat (car seat) a top-priority item.

There are two types of car seats: infant-only seats, which you need to replace when your baby weighs 22-35 pounds, and convertible seats, which can hold infants and older children.

Both types are rear-facing only and go in a vehicle's back seat.

There are many manufacturers and types of infant and convertible seats, so start your research well before the delivery date to ensure the trip home (and every trip that follows) is safe.

3. Stock up on essential baby items

Stock up on diapers (your baby may go through 10 a day), wipes, clothing appropriate to the weather, and formula if you’re not breastfeeding. Burp cloths, a crib, and baby blankets are also crucial for the early days.

4. Add Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center to your phone contacts

You and your child see a lot of Dr. Okparaocha in the first few months for wellness checks and needed vaccinations. Take the time before delivery to schedule your initial appointment and ask the doctor about what you can expect.

Newborns’ immune systems aren’t yet developed, so your child may get sick. Call Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center if you notice:

Dr. Okparaocha can advise if you need to bring your baby in for a sick visit.

Bringing a newborn home is a joy, and the more prepared you are ahead of the delivery, the easier it is for you and your baby during the first few weeks. If you have questions, call or click to request an appointment at Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center today.

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