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What to Expect Spending the First Night With Your Baby

February 25, 2016

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Some moms either LOVE the hospital, or are ready to get home as soon as they can. Whatever type of mom you are, and especially for first-time moms, the first night home with your baby is something you will never forget. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the things you can expect your first night home with your newborn.

First bit of advice: throw out any expectations you have of what your first night home might be.
It could go extremely well– baby is eating just how they should, you are even able to get some sleep, and baby is not a little bit fussy. Or, if you are like me, you might have a horrible first night where you didn’t know how to comfort your baby. Secondly, let people help you. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Have your significant other not only help taking care of you, but with the baby too. Third, rest when you can. If the baby is sleeping, try and sleep too.

Supplies

So you, hopefully, have a seamless first night at home with your baby, here are some must-haves for baby:

+ Diapers and wipes (make sure the diapers are a Newborn size, unless you have a bigger baby)

+ Onesies

+ Jammies for baby (you too)

+ Blankets (we love to swaddle our baby)

+ Pacifier

+ Bottles

+ Formula (we suggest having formula on-hand even if you plan on nursing baby)

+ Breast pump (pass this item if you are planning on formula-feeding baby)

+ Lanolin cream for nipples (pass this item if you are planning on formula-feeding baby)

+ Burp cloths

+ Nipple shields

Routine

Although you won’t have a routine nailed down yet for you and baby, the main things you’ll focus on during the first night with baby is sleep, changing baby, and feeding baby. You’ll want to make sure baby stays dry and fed. Before each feeding session, be sure to change the baby’s diaper. You’ll also want to notice if the baby’s diapers are wet or have stools in them. Not only is this something to mention to the baby’s doctor at their first follow-up appointment, it is also a clue for you. If the baby’s diaper is not wet between changes, this most likely means that the baby is not getting anything during their feeding sessions.

Also, you’ll notice that baby is SLEEPY. Trying to keep them awake during a feeding is probably
one of the hardest things you’ll find yourself doing. If your baby just won’t stay awake during a feeding session, you’ll want to help them stay awake. Try tickling the baby’s feet, getting them un-dressed, or going into a room that is bright. Whatever you can do to keep them awake, will benefit both you and the baby. They’ll be able to go longer between feeding sessions, and it will help your milk come in faster, if you are nursing.

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After a feeding session and while the baby is extra sleepy, you’ll want to make sure that if you
are not holding the baby, that the baby is safe while sleeping. That means having the baby sleep
in a bassinet or a crib with a sheet on the mattress. No extra blankets, pillows, or stuffed
animals should be in bed with the baby.

Taking Care of You

While baby does have plenty of needs, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. After going
through an intense labor and delivery of your baby, you’ll want to make sure that you have
nourished yourself, so don’t forget to eat! Drink as much water as you can, as well, to keep yourself hydrated- especially if you are nursing.

We hope you remembered everything the nurses instructed you do when taking care of yourself post-delivery. Be sure to do exactly what they told you, and if you are in pain, take pain relievers when you are supposed to.

While baby is sleeping, take advantage of that down time. While it may be tempting to put the
dishes away, or check Facebook, you will want to feel well-rested for when baby is awake, so take advantage of the down time and rest.

Finally, even if you read all of the instructions on how-to take care of baby, the most important is your own. You are this amazing baby’s mom, so if you suspect something isn’t right with your baby, do not hesitate to call their doctor. And, remember that they will grow quickly, so sneak in as many cuddle sessions as you can. Enjoy that baby!

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Author Info

Avatar for Angela Silva

Angela Silva

Angela graduated with her B.S. in Exercise and Wellness and is a NASM certified personal trainer who specializes in postpartum fitness and recovery. She enjoys writing, cracking jokes, and spending time with her family, preferably while fishing. She shares many of her life adventures on Instagram as @angelagrams

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3 thoughts on “What to Expect Spending the First Night With Your Baby

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Beth Bishop

Most new moms stay in the hospital for a few days after delivery. Use this time to recover and rest; you’ll be very busy when you go home! The pediatrician will look at your baby here to make sure she’s healthy. Ask in the hospital if you have or see any concerns before leaving for home.

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Lilia

Yes, definitely have formula on hand even if you plan on breast feeding. Our first night home, I couldn’t calm my newborn so my husband gently suggested we try a bit of formula. I was so tired by that point that I agreed and you could hear the liquid hitting the bottom of the poor kid’s stomach. Went ahead and stuck with formula, but the lanolin cream was still necessary.

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Dixie Graham

the first night must be so interesting, the first time mother and baby at their own home