Preparing for the First Week Home with Your Newborn

Categories: Baby, Pregnancy
March 29, 2019

Once you come home with your little one, you’re going to be exhausted from the labor and delivery process. We recommend planning ahead so the first week home is as easy as possible.

Keep in mind, there will be things that may be useful down the road. For now, focus on what you absolutely need for these initial seven days.

For Transporting Baby:

You’ll need a car seat to leave the hospital, of course. As well, unless the weather is really inclement, you may enjoy taking the baby out for short strolls. You can also consider a travel system that allows you to click the car seat into the stroller without having to remove baby from the car seat.

For Changing Baby:

Ever heard the phrase “little stinker?” Prepare yourself for changing lots of stinky diapers by arming yourself with the following:

For Feeding Baby:

Something you’ll be doing even more than changing diapers is feeding your newborn. On average, you will be providing your baby with milk every two to three hours. To make this as comfortable as possible for both you and your little one, we recommend having these items:

  • 1-2 nursing pillows
  • Soft and absorbent bibs and burp cloths
  • Ice packs for soothing your breasts
  • Cream for potentially sore/cracked nipples
  • Breast pads
  • Access to a lactation consultant for additional support

For the healthy term baby, pumping is not recommended until breastfeeding/milk supply is well established, or there is a medical indication to do so. But if you are pumping during this first week, we recommend being prepared with these additional items:

For Cleaning Baby:

A daily bath won’t be needed for a while. In fact, until the umbilical stump heals (typically between one and four weeks after birth), the baby will only be able to take a sponge bath. To help baby maintain her body temperature, wash her face, head, and hair while she is still wrapped up. Then move on to her body, uncovering one arm at a time, then the trunk of the body (see below for the umbilical cord) and back, her legs and feet, and finally her diaper area.

For the umbilical cord, dip a cotton swab in warm water, squeezing the tip to remove excess water. Gently clean around the base of the cord and then the surrounding skin. Hold the stump with a clean absorbent cloth to dry it completely. The umbilical cord must remain clean and dry until it falls off naturally.

  • Several soft clean cotton hand cloths
  • Cotton swabs

For Dressing Baby:

For the first week with your newborn, the primary focus should be comfort! Pro-tip: don’t buy a lot of newborn sized clothing – babies grow quickly and those newborn sized items won’t fit for very long!

For Sleeping Baby:

In addition to your crib, you’ll need a few additional bedding supplies. Below are important for ensuring that your baby sleeps safely and soundly.

Getting ready for the first week is a big deal. By focusing on just these items, you can take a deep breath and feel better prepared for the big day!


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