So here we are. It’s time for you to leave the hospital and take your sweet little baby home! For me, this was the exact time that it actually hit me “this little human is totally reliant on me and Jack”. It was so exciting but at the same time, terrifying. As it was October when Freddie was born, it was cold outside. When getting him ready to leave and take him outside for the first time, I didn’t know whether I had dressed him enough, was he too cold? Was he too hot? What if we can’t get the car seat in the car properly? What if he cries in the car?… Of course your going to question all of these things. Just stay calm and trust your instinct. When its cold, always have baby in 1 extra layer than the amount you have on. Everything else will works itself out, there’s always a solution.
When you get home, you will be tired, but your body wont want to sleep. You will be solely focused on making sure baby is OK. I was constantly checking that he was breathing. I didn’t sleep till the next night after getting home. Remember, if anything is worrying you that much, your midwife would of given you a contact number to call if you have any questions!.
If you are breastfeeding, like I am. Your milk probably wouldn’t have come in yet. You will still be producing colostrum which is the yellow liquid (you probably leaked it quite a lot during pregnancy). This is fine for baby as their stomachs are so tiny it’s just enough to fill them up. The one thing that does happen which I do wish I was told is.. With breastfeeding, the first night your home, your baby could be rather unsettled/crying a lot. This is not a bad thing! The clever thing is, this crying helps to stimulate your breasts to produce the milk for baby! How amazing is that? ( Obviously do not assume that this is the only reason, if you feel somethings not right then call your midwife) I remember Freddie non stop crying and all I could think was “Wow, really?.” Then once my milk actually came in, he was a totally different baby! He was just super hungry. Of course it’s all a shock to the system. I was overtired and emotional. Your allowed to be a little overwhelmed for a while, its totally normal! I probably called the midwife twice when I got home to ask questions as I was worried about little things. Don’t hesitate to call as many times as you want, that’s what they’re there to do!
Baby will be feeding on demand from the boob. (Cluster Feeding). You cannot over feed a breastfed baby and if he/she is hungry then give them a feed. Your baby shouldn’t go longer than 6 hours of no feeding (NHS). I fed Freddie with no t-shirt/bra on. This gives skin to skin contact and really helps with bonding and baby will love your warm skin and smell. Its the best kind of cuddle! Making sure you wind baby after every feed. Freddie had quite severe mucus for a few days after he was born. He was gagging and spitting up a hell of a lot, so I was pretty much continuously winding him/ patting his back.
If you are bottle feeding, there’s no waiting around for your milk to come in. Its all set and go for you! One good idea for you is if you and your partner are extremely tired you could take it in shifts to have a nap and the other looks after/feeds the little pickle. One thing you cannot do with breastfeeding is take turns in waking up to feed unfortunately! (Unless baby takes a bottle) it is advised via NHS not to introduce bottle to a breastfed baby until they are 4 weeks old as can cause confusion with bottle/breast.
You will come up with so many questions to ask your midwife the next day when she comes to visit. I had a little notebook and wrote any questions down so I didn’t forget. It also keeps your mind clear of overthinking. Last thing you need when you’ve got a new baby to look after is a mind full of worry and stress of trying to remember other things.
Try to stay relaxed as much as possible. Don’t worry about unpacking your hospital bags. Don’t worry about tidying anything. Jack and I were rather anxious when we got home that first night, which I’m assuming is so common for new parents. We both understood how each other were feeling and you’ve both just got to learn together and support each other. Hey ho, Patience is key, through all of parenthood, not just the first night! Before you know it, you’ve completed your first day/night of parenthood! What an achievement!
Make the most of your bubba being so tiny, it fly’s by!
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