When mothers bring their babies home for the first time, it can seem like they're living in a dream world. Some mothers might feel the urge to pinch themselves, just to make sure that they're actually awake. It can all seem like a huge haze, a tired blur after such an arduous process of giving birth to the little one. When mothers finally arrive home with their baby, the last thing they want to do is start going over their checklist.
But the truth is that plenty of mothers forget some pretty important things when they bring their baby home. Some of these things are quite minor, and don't really have a huge impact on their children. Other things are definitely major steps that every mother should be taking with their newborn. When we add all of these things together, they each play an important role in the parenting process, and mothers should really strive to remember all of them.
But at the end of the day, we're all human, and everyone forgets to do things every now and then. We can definitely understand why new mothers forget certain things. Being a mom is hard, and there's a lot to remember. Having said that, here are 20 things that mothers forget to do when they bring their baby home.
20 Swaddle The Baby
Swaddling is a very important thing for new mothers to do as soon as they bring their baby home. It's a very simple step to take to make your baby feel more at home, and yet a surprising number of mothers forget about it.
Your baby will always feel more secure and comfortable when they're wrapped in a warm blanket. You can invest in a specialized Swaddling blanket if you'd like.
The general consensus is that babies love to be swaddled because it reminds them of the warm, comforting confines of the womb. It's a great way to welcome your newborn to their new home.
19 Use Lanolin Cream For Breastfeeding
Depending on whether you're a first time mom, breastfeeding might come with its own unique challenges.
Let's face it, there are always going to be some challenges with breastfeeding, even if you've done it a dozen times before.
Of course, not all mothers will choose to breastfeed, and that's perfectly fine.
But those who do breastfeed would do well to remember to use some lanolin cream. This simple cream can be used to sooth sore and dry skin after breastfeeding, but many women simply forget that it's even an option. You don't have to keep dealing with such annoyance when you breastfeed your newborn!
18 Prepare Big Sister Or Brother For Their New Sibling
One of the biggest potential sources of conflicts when you bring home a newborn child is the older sibling. We all know that these older brothers and sisters can become jealous of all the attention a newborn is getting, and that's why it's so important to prepare an older sibling for the arrival of the baby.
One of the best ways to do this is actually right after the newborn arrives. Some parents note that giving their older children gifts helps to mitigate feelings of jealousy and potential issues.
You can even say that these gifts are from the newborns, in order to get things off to a good start.
17 Get A Soft Carrier
Another thing that parents tend to forget when they bring their newborn home is a soft carrier. These come in a variety of shapes and forms, but the concept remains the same. Some mothers might have purchased a soft baby carrier before they bring their newborn home, but they simply forget to use it.
Why is a soft carrier so important? What are the benefits? Using a soft carrier is also known as "babywearing," and it allows the mother to keep her baby close to her at all times. This skin on skin contact allows the mother to bond with the baby, but also keep a closer watch on the little one, and any needs that might arise.
16 Dress The Baby In Multiple Layers
For the most part, baby clothes are pretty much the same as regular, adult clothes. But when it comes to dressing our newborns, a lot of mothers forget the importance of layering up. Remember, babies can get cold pretty easily, and layering is by far the most effective way to ensure that they remain toasty.
As a general rule, the baby should be wearing the same amount of layers that you're wearing - plus one extra layer for warmth.
Obviously, the best part about layering up is that you can always remove or add layers if the baby gets too warm or too cold.
15 Find Out When The Next Checkup Should Be
When your baby gets back to your home for the first time, it can seem like a dream come true. Immediately, you're caught up in the haze of raising a little one, and little things can vanish out of your mind.
One of the most common things that new mothers forget is to find out when the next checkup should be. This is a crucial piece of information that is very important to remember.
Ideally, you should be asking your doctor about the next checkup as soon as you get home. Even if your baby is extremely healthy, it's always good to keep organized and informed about when your baby should see the doctor next.
14 Get Your Pet Familiar With The Baby
Even though you might not have an older sibling that will meet your newborn, you might very well have another member of the family that needs introducing. Yes, we're talking about your pet - be it a dog or a cat.
These animals might react in different ways when they first lay eyes on a newborn, so it's important to prepare them and take it slow. A lot of mothers forget to do this.
One great method that works with dogs is to get them used to the newborn's scent. This can be done with a blanket or a piece of baby clothing. In this way, the dog gets to know the baby before he even physically meets him.
13 Limit The Number Of Guests
When your baby first arrives home, it's going to be a major life event. Not just for you, but for everyone you know. People from all over town are going to want to stop by and meet the baby, and it can be tempting to show your newborn off to the entire world. Other mothers might want to keep their babies more sheltered, and that's definitely the smarter option here.
Too many people crowding around your baby isn't going to make them feel safe and secure, and that's the number one priority when the baby first arrives at home.
There are plenty of other opportunities for people to meet your baby, but now is not the best time for crowds.
12 Don't Let Certain People Visit The Baby
Part of the reason why it's so important to keep visitors to a minimum is because of the baby's health. It might make them feel crowded, but too many visitors can also spread unwanted illnesses to the baby at a very young age. This is definitely not a good thing, especially when the baby's immune system is so weak and vulnerable.
Even if you're playing it safe and only letting a few people see your baby, it's very important that you make sure that everyone who comes into contact with your baby is healthy. Don't hesitate to ask people if they've been sick lately, and if so, forbid them from meeting your baby. It's the right call.
11 Know When To Call The Doctor
Some mothers are pretty laid back when they bring their newborn home for the first time, while others are much more paranoid and careful. But whatever your parenting style, it's important to know when to call the doctor. There are a few crucial things to look out for, and some mothers simply forget to actually educate themselves as to what these signs are.
You should definitely call a doctor if your baby has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. You should also call the doctor if your baby has signs of severe dehydration, such as crying without tears. Other signs to watch for include consistent diarrhea, red stool, and vomiting.
10 Watch For Strange Breathing Patterns
Another thing to keep in mind is that breathing problems are actually pretty common in newborns, and they tend to occur during the first few hours of a baby's life. Remember, this is the first time they are breathing real air. It's always important to keep tabs on your baby's breathing during those first few days and weeks, and watch out for any worrying signs.
Mothers should be watchful for things like rapid or labored breathing. If your baby turns bluish around the mouth, it's time to call 9-11. Most of the time, these problems are addressed before your baby even leaves the hospital, but it's always good to be prepared.
9 Meal Prep
Ideally, this is something which should have happened before the baby arrives, but what happens when you run out of all the meals you've prepared? That's right, you'll need to prep more meals. It's definitely worth the effort to prepare meals well into the future, as the newborn is going to demand tons of attention in the weeks to come.
Trust us, you're really going to thank yourself when instead of cooking, you only have to heat up or serve a meal that you've prepared long in advance. This is definitely a simple step that can remove tons of stress, but lots of mothers end up forgetting all about it.
8 Wash Your Hands Very Often
It's always important to wash your hands, and you should really be doing this often even if you don't have a newborn at home. But when you bring a little one back from the hospital, you really need to step up your hygiene game, and that starts with washing your hands.
Because newborns have such vulnerable and weak immune systems, it's extremely important to ensure that you're not introducing any unnecessary bacteria and germs to their system.
You might even need to purchase special extra-strength soap to get the job done. If possible, make sure that everyone else who's touching the baby is also washing their hands. You can never be too careful.
7 Get A Pump
Immediately after returning home with the newborn, most mothers will realize that they are in desperate need of a breast pump. Some women will have prepared for this situation, and have a pump handy. Some mothers didn't take this crucial preparatory step, but obtain a pump after bringing their newborn home. Still others decide they don't need one, or never even consider getting one at all.
A breast pump provides many important benefits to a mother. It not only ensures an adequate milk supply, but it also can help to alleviate engorgement. You can easily purchase your own pump, but you might also consider renting one from the hospital instead.
6 Keep Reference Books Handy
No one has a photographic memory, and most no matter how hard mothers study before bringing their baby home, they'll need to actually refer back to baby books when the time comes. Of course, for this tactic to work, mothers must actually buy these useful books in the first place. This is part of the preparation before the baby arrives, but mothers know that the learning only truly begins when they bring the baby home.
At this point, it's crucial to have books nearby to refer to if you get stumped. You might find yourself doing this a lot, especially if you're a first-time mom. But even if you've had plenty of children in the past, you might still need to refresh your knowledge from time to time.
5 Clip The Baby's Nails
Many women are totally surprised at how fast baby nails grow. Their entire body will undoubtedly be growing at incredible speeds, but the nails require special attention. Obviously, you'll need to trim and cut you baby's nails, and this is something that often slips the mind of mothers when they bring newborns home.
Cutting baby nails is much harder than cutting adult nails. They're much smaller, so they're harder to see and trim correctly. Mothers are sometimes paranoid about accidentally cutting their infant in these situations. You can actually buy specialized baby nail clippers, which sometimes come equipped with magnifying glasses.
4 Take Baby's Temperature Often
One of the most important tools at your disposal when taking care of a newborn is a rectal thermometer. You might not be a healthcare professional, but with a rectal thermometer you can easily find out when you need to worry about your infant. These tools should be purchased or acquired before the newborn arrives at home from the hospital.
The main thing to realize is that you should be regularly taking your child's temperature - even if there is no sign of any illness. This ensures that you're on top of your child's health at all times. Rectal thermometers are far superior to any other type of thermometer, such as mouth or ear varieties.
3 Use Diaper Cream
Changing your baby's diaper is a necessity that you'll quickly get used to after you bring your newborn home for the first time, but your baby might not acclimatize to it in the right way. Soreness and irritation is common with newborn babies, and the best solution is definitely diaper cream. This will prove to be extremely useful in making your baby as comfortable as possible as they get used to the realities of life outside the womb.
There are plenty of different diaper creams out there, including ones that are all-natural. You can even make your own diaper cream if you so desire. One tip is not to use petroleum based diaper cream if you're using cloth diapers, as this can cause irritation and affect the cloth.
2 Get Your Baby Seat Tested For Safety
You'd better hope that you've organized a car seat before the baby has arrived, because the hospital legally cannot allow you to take your baby home without one. This is understandable, of course, because a car seat is a very crucial part of raising a child and transporting them around. It's hard to forget this product.
One thing that some mothers forget, however, is that you can actually get your car seat tested for safety by the professionals. Most Fire Departments will actually test out your car seat for you, and tell if you if it's actually good enough. This is a really good option for all new mothers, because it's always good to be as safe as possible.
1 Get A Nursing Pillow
Nursing pillows will save you a lot of stress and inconvenience, and it's something that some mothers might not consider right when they bring their newborn home for the first time. There are so many benefits of using this product, and mothers quickly find out that they're totally worth it.
First and foremost, nursing pillows saves your neck, shoulders and back from aching pains. Trust us, you're going to be doing a lot of feeding, and it all adds up. They also encourage latching in your baby, and can be a welcome relief after a c-section. The best part is that nursing pillows can be used as regular pillows after breastfeeding finishes.