Bringing baby home from the hospital, especially when it’s your first-born, is a WEIRD experience.
I can’t speak on behalf of all new Moms, but when my time came 2 weeks ahead of my due date, I thought I was somewhat prepared. I SO wasn’t. Neither was my husband. I had read plenty of books on delivering the baby, but the thought didn’t really cross my mind to read up on what to expect AFTER he was born when we were bringing baby home for the first time. I was too busy monitoring the size of my baby compared to the various fruit and vegetable analogies that I could find online.
Furthermore, I’d like to preface this post by saying that not all mothers experience every one of these things but I decided to note down everything that happened during the initial few days after we brought baby home from the hospital. If it helps to reassure one expectant Mom out there, then my work here is done. :-)
#1 First Car Ride
My son had spent 9 months inside me, followed by more than a few hours in my arms, post delivery. The thought of strapping him into a car seat so that we could bring baby home was TERRIFYING. "Is he still breathing?" I would think to myself every 30 seconds."Will the humongous car straps and clothes smother him??" Will we make it back home with the baby in one piece?. The entire drive home, I stared at his chest, ensuring it was rising and falling.
Holding my baby skin-to-skin for the first time after bringing baby home from the hospital was initially weird. This little soul that had lived inside of me felt a little strange once he was on the outside. Everything gets so much more real when you are back home and the pregnancy is over.
#3 The Overall Body Check
Hospital was all about the labor and delivery and wrapping my head around my new son. Once I got home though, I did a full body examination of him! I sniffed him, stared at every single part of him and double-checked that everything was where it was supposed to be!
I guess it's normal to be curious and give yourself peace of mind that your baby is 100% perfect. :-)
#4 Newborn Babies Sleep A LOT
My baby slept. And slept. And slept some more after bringing him home from the hospital. Being a first-time Mom, I had no idea what was a normal amount of sleep and what wasn't. Surely I should be waking him up to feed him?
I guess we forget that labor & delivery is just as tiring for them as it is for us. Or perhaps this is our children's first trick that they pull. They sleep constantly for the first few days and in the back of your mind, you're thinking "phew! I got an easy one." HA - wait til the 4-month mark.
#5 Scared To Sleep
Not only was I scared to go to sleep in case I didn't hear my son crying for me in the middle of the night, but I was also scared of him sleeping during the night. It wasn't an uncommon event to see me watching my baby crib incessantly to ensure that he was still breathing.
#6 Waiting For Milk
Once I got over the bizarre orangey yellow color of colostrum, I then panicked for days wondering if my milk would ever come in properly. Eventually, it does come - but don't panic if it takes more than 2-3 days to arrive.
#7 Incessant Pumping
After 2 days or more of waiting for my milk to come in, I became convinced that my child was going to starve and I was clearly an inadequate mother because SURELY colostrum just isn't enough. Time to roll out Aunt Margarets baby shower present of an industrial-sized breast pump and get pumping!
#8 Rocket Launchers
When your milk finally does come in (whether it was thanks to my breast-pump or Mother Nature), my boobs felt (and looked) like rocket launchers. No doubt you and your husband will marvel at the size of your newfound feeding machines.
#9 Mega Mommy Mode
Everything, and I mean everything else that went on in my world before bringing baby home became irrelevant as I slid into hyper-protective Mommy mode. Showering alone felt weird as did popping out to do an errand. In fact, I'm certain I didn't leave my baby for weeks.
Suddenly everything in my world narrowed down and became fully focused on my son and his needs.
#10 Helicopter Mom Syndrome Is Real
Every time baby moved or made a noise, I had a borderline freak-out of fear or excitement. This reaction was amplified if hubby, grandparents or friends were in the vicinity also.
Hovering constantly became commonplace for me during those first few weeks at home.
#11 Black Poop
Nobody mentioned black poop. No - I'm not referring to my own. I'm talking about baby. Our son had his first poop within 24 hours of bringing him home from the hospital. After cheering him on for the champ that he was, we were horrified to see that his poop was straight-up black.
A frantic call to our doula subsided our fears as we were assured that this phenomenon was perfectly normal.
#12 Post-Delivery Poop
While we're on the topic of poop, and assuming you had a vaginal birth... did anyone else feel like their lower parts were going to fall off in fear at the thought of pooping for the first time post-delivery? Yeah. Enough said about that the better. I'm just lettin' you know that's a normal emotion to experience!
#13 The First Bath
Bathing your child immediately after bringing the baby home isn't necessary. Of course, I didn't know that back then so we decided to bathe the baby within hours of returning home.
Looking back now, I do regret it a little. He screeched the house down and was not very happy at being de-clothed and wet down by two very inexperienced and scared parents.
#14 General Fear Of Baby
Look, I'm not suggesting that I was scared of my baby when he first came home. But I was terrified of walking with him in my arms, scared that I wasn't holding him correctly. And heaven forbid someone else would want to hold him. How would I manage to transfer him from my arms to theirs??
It takes some time getting used to holding your bundle of love. Don't feel like you're alone if you feel uncomfortable initially.
#15 Husband Is Being Weird
Your husband may go into overwhelm or overdrive mode. When our son arrived 2 weeks before his due date, it's fair to say we were both in shock. We arrived home and realized that we were missing quite a few basics for the baby. So off my husband went to Walmart to pick up what we needed.
10 minutes I get a call from him "What am I doing here?" he announces in a very spacey sounding voice. I think our babies arrival had only dawned on him at that moment as he tried to get accustomed to the baby aisle for the first time.
#16 Gadgets & Gear Overload
I went on some sort of bizarre mission to use or try all the new things that I had gotten as gifts. After bringing home baby from the hospital I tried out every Itzbeen, app, seat, swing, and bed in the house multiple times.
Talk about shiny new ball syndrome! It was shiny new baby gear syndrome instead!
#17 Birth Story
I felt the need to tell my birth story to anyone who would listen. Perhaps we want to tell it because let's face it, it's as close to a war story as we will ever hope to get.
But for me, I think I kept repeating it to let the idea of bringing my baby home fully sink into my head.
#18 Pets Take Second Place
Our grand entrance to our home was only slightly deflated when we saw our two dogs, who were waiting patiently for our return. Their tails definitely wagged slightly less frenetically when they noticed our son. It would even be fair to say they may have cast a little 'stink-eye' our way once they realized that they may have to get used to getting all the attention.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to save a treat for your pets that you can give to them when you bring baby home.
#19 Saying Baby's Name Aloud
OK, so maybe this one was only weird for me because we didn't find out the gender of the baby until after he was born. But it is straight-up odd to speak this new humans name out loud multiple times a day when up until then, it's only been you, hubs and pets.
#20 Over Changing Diapers
For some strange reason, it's hard just to let your new baby just 'be.' We checked our son multiple times an hour to make sure he was comfortable and dry. Yes, even when he was sound asleep, we would still poke his rear end and ensure he was dry!
Perhaps changing his diapers brought me back to my Tiny Tear years where I literally terrorized my poor dolly for hours on end! SMH
#21 Ditto On Clothing
Of course, you want every single BFF that brought you an outfit for baby to feel like they matter. That's why it's IMPERATIVE to ensure you have taken a photo of baby in as many new outfits as possible within their first 24 hours after bringing them home from the hospital. Everyone wants to feel special, right?
Did you do anything that some might consider a little weird after you brought your baby home? We would love to hear your new baby stories! If you'd like to read up on some top baby safety resources, check out our safety article here.
CribCulture™ is all about safety & esthetic combined. To learn more about us, visit our About Page.