You’ve had your baby and everything seems to be going as expected during your hospital stay. You may be experiencing some hiccups with discomfort or breastfeeding, but you know that help is just a button-press away. But now it’s time to go home. Without your nurses. And that can be an overwhelming prospect for many families. How do you know what to expect your first day home with baby (and beyond)? We’ve put together an idea of what you can expect to help make this transition home a little easier.
What to Expect Your First Day Home with Baby
- Do not expect to leave until at least early afternoon (even if your doctor says you will be discharged in the morning). There is a lot of discharge paperwork and it can take time for your nurse to process it all. Order a large breakfast on the day of discharge (for you and your partner) so you have food to snack on while you are waiting.
- If you haven’t prepared freezer meals, order food to be delivered when you’re leaving the hospital. You may want to order more than you think you will eat so there are leftovers for late night cravings.
- Set boundaries for visitors on your first day home (and beyond!). It is absolutely fine to tell well-meaning friends and family that you’re not up for visitors, but appreciate the sentiment. You can let them know you will share when you and baby are ready for visitors. Remember, you are healing from having a baby and rest is paramount. If you are up for visitors, be mindful of your need to rest, and try to limit visits.
- Have self-care items ready to go, including postpartum pads or Depends, a peribottle, breast pads, etc. Order these items on Amazon when you’re settled into your postpartum room. They will be waiting at home for when you and baby arrive. If you are recovering from a c section, here are some of our best tips and favorite products to ease your healing.
- If your baby isn’t here yet, you still have time to set up a baby station on the main floor of your house (or in the main space you will be with your baby). This will be a tremendous help when baby is born as it will consolidate trips to the nursery for diaper and outfit changes. What could your baby station look like? We talk about that here.
- Don’t expect to do much on day one, or even the first few days after getting home. Your healing and your baby should be your focus. Delegate other responsibilities as necessary, including housekeeping and providing primary care for your older children or pets. Many families will hire a postpartum doula for daytime or overnight support to make the first days home go a bit smoother.