The day has finally arrived – it’s time to bring your newborn home. Nothing beats the warm feeling of being able to see your baby for the first time right in the comforts of your own home. Although the moment is sure to be exciting, it also comes with several challenges, especially when you are a first-time parent. Learning how to bring your newborn baby home from the hospital can help ease your woes. Most parents are lucky enough to have family and friends as part of their support group that they can turn to for help. However, despite the abundance of help, it’s still best to anticipate possible challenges you may face during your newborn’s routine in the first week.
Common Challenges During a Baby’s First Week at Home
Challenges are unavoidable when caring for a newborn. Whether you are new to parenting or you are a veteran in childcare, you will still face these common hitches. It’s thus best to identify them to allow you to better prepare for the inevitable.
1. Fussy Baby
It’s normal for babies to cry as it’s how they communicate. It’s how they tell you if they’re hungry, sleepy, not feeling well, or need a diaper change. At times, babies become fussy and it can be tricky to find the best way to soothe them. In other cases, newborns crying intensely for more than 3 hours a day may have colic. Colic is an instance when healthy babies frequently cry for no clear reason. It usually occurs at night and can significantly cause stress for parents.
2. Sleep Deprivation
Another hurdle parents need to overcome is sleep deprivation. Feeding the baby in intervals is one of the main reasons parents cannot get proper sleep. Infants need nursing every 1 to 3 hours if they are breastfed while formula-fed babies drink milk every 2 to 3 hours. Parents need to keep up with their feeding intervals to ensure that newborn babies are fed the moment they show signs of hunger.
3. Lack of Self Care
Caring for a newborn can sometimes take a toll on your body especially when all your focus and attention are on the baby. Most parents are so busy nurturing their infants that they forget to care for themselves. Feeling burnout and restlessness are thus common amongst newborn parents.
Newborn Baby Care Tips
1. Burp Your Baby After Feeding
Burping your newborn is essential to an infant’s feeding routine. During the first week, your newborn needs constant feeding and will require burping after each feed. Instances when your baby swallows too quickly and air bubbles get trapped in the stomach can lead to discomfort. Burping your baby helps remove the gassy feeling, relieves the pain and discomfort, and prevents spit-ups.
2. Keep Your Baby’s Diapers Dry
Wet diapers can help indicate if your baby is getting enough milk. Your newborn may urinate as frequently as 1 to 3 hours. For the first two days, newborns have 1 to 2 bowel movements. However, it increases to an average of 2 soiled diapers from Day 3 to 7. It’s essential to keep the baby’s diaper dry to avoid diaper rash and other health-related issues. Changing a newborn’s diaper can also give them quality sleep as they don’t feel any discomfort.
3. Sleep while Baby is Sleeping
Take naps together with your newborn. Make the most out of the time when your baby is asleep to catch some much-needed sleep. Doing so gives you the energy you need to attend to the baby’s constant needs.
4. Ask for Help
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help from friends and family also allows you to take a breather, especially when you’re already tired. Having someone else look after the baby for just a few hours enables you to recharge to get through another day.
Newborn Baby Essentials
1. Feeding and Diapering
Feeding bottles, bottle cleaners and sterilizers, diapers, and baby wipes are some newborn essentials you need to prepare even before your baby arrives. It would help if you had bottles in 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes as well as spare ones in case you plan on cleaning and sanitising them in intervals. Stocking up diapers and baby wipes that can last for a month enables you to minimise the need to go out and buy baby supplies when your schedule gets hectic. Also, since babies’ immune systems are still weak and they are prone to catching infections, be sure to have 2 to 3 boxes of newborn diapers, unscented baby wipes, and a tube of diaper rash cream that are enough to last a month. It would be best if you also had a diaper bag in case you need to bring all the newborn essentials for your trips to the doctor or family days out.
2. Bath and Grooming
Have a baby bathtub ready to make bath time easy. Find a body wash and shampoo formulated for newborn babies to ensure they don’t have any strong ingredients that may be harmful to the baby’s skin. Also, have a hypoallergenic washcloth at hand for cleaning and hooded towels to keep your baby dry and warm after each bath.
3. Preparing the Nursery
Here comes the tricky part – preparing the baby's nursery. Nursery essentials include a list of things from baby cots and mattresses to the wardrobe and baby monitors. To decide on the immediate necessities, decide if the baby will be sleeping with you or in a separate room. However, it is common for most parents to practice co-sleeping with their newborn baby during their first week to ensure they are within arm’s reach. In such cases, having a baby cot and bed mattress near your bed can make all the difference, as your baby can be near you even during the nighttime. However, as your baby gets older, they need to learn when to sleep alone in the nursery, which is why preparing the room ahead of time is just as important.
When designing a nursery, several things need to be taken into consideration. For example, choosing the right wardrobe for your baby's nursery involves careful planning as you need to maximise space and consider several factors. The Manis-h Kids Wardrobe Zeus is a perfect choice if you're looking for a functional wardrobe with a lot of storage space.
You also need a baby cot with a bed mattress that can become a co-sleeper bed if you plan on having the baby sleep near you. The Palette Box Sweet Dreams 7-in-1 Convertible Baby Cot is a versatile convertible baby crib. It's the best choice for parents who are co-sleeping with their baby, as you can effortlessly drop down the cot's gate and place it beside your bed.
You also need baby crib bed sheets like the MOOB Baby Waterproof Mattress Protector to protect your baby’s mattress from bedwetting. Babies are prone to bedwetting, so having a waterproof mattress protector can prevent them from staining the mattress and ensure that it lasts until your child’s toddler years.
Once you’ve got all the furniture and other baby essentials settled, you can spruce up the nursery with cute decorative elements like wall decals. You can DIY your newborn photography at home and have them printed and framed at any photography studio in Singapore. Hang them on any blank walls of the nursery to create a more personalised and welcoming baby nursery.