After months of planning and anticipation, your new addition has finally arrived and you’re probably feeling all kinds of emotions. From overjoyed to overcome with emotions and everything in between, bringing a new baby into the world is a whole lot to handle in many ways. While you may have prepared yourself for motherhood by taking a few parenting classes and reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting, there’s still so much to learn when it comes to caring for a newborn.
Fortunately, hospitals are excellent resources for helping new moms navigate their way through the first few days of motherhood. While you and your baby are hanging out at the hospital to make sure both of you are in tip-top shape, you’ll surely pick up on a few necessary mommy lessons along the way. Whether you’re discovering new things about your new baby or yourself as a new mom, there’s a whole lot of knowledge that develops after giving birth. Here are ten vital things new moms will learn at the hospital.
10 The Art Of The Swaddle
Having a newborn baby can be a bit much at times, but it always helps to have a few handy tricks up your sleeve when it comes to soothing your little one. One of the first things you might pick up on at the hospital is how to properly swaddle your baby. Swaddling is basically wrapping your new addition up in a blanket that resembles a tiny baby burrito.
As strange as it sounds, newborns love the feeling of security that comes along with being swaddled, and being all snug inside the swaddle likely reminds them of being in the womb. During your hospital stay, nurses will teach you exactly how to properly swaddle your baby…and it’s something you might want to pay attention to.
9 Taking Baby Essentials From The Hospital Is Key
Take it from us – after having a baby you’ll quickly realize the true value of all of those baby essentials that the hospital has to offer. Whether it’s diapers, wipes, or formula, it’s important to stock up on all of the items that your newborn might need during their first few days of life. In fact, nurses will likely encourage you to fill up your bags with these newborn essentials because they are included during your hospital stay.
Although your newborn is your new top-priority, your postpartum care is also a huge thing to consider. New moms should also consider grabbing things like hospital-grade pads, perennial bottles, and other feminine care products you will need during your recovery.
8 The Basics Of Breastfeeding
If you decide that breastfeeding is the right choice for you and your baby, but you don’t quite know where to start, rest assured that you’ll definitely learn all about it during your hospital stay. Nurses will teach you the basics of how to hold your baby and how to get your little one to latch, but you can even take it a step further by meeting with the on-site lactation specialist.
These consultants are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things breastfeeding and they will likely ensure that you know all of the best ways to feed your baby before you head home with your newborn.
7 Bathing Your Baby
Both you and your baby will experience a lot of ‘firsts’ during your postpartum hospital stay, and baby’s first bath is probably one of them. Because newborns are so fragile, you might want to take notes on how to tackle tubby time in your baby’s first weeks. You can either have nurses give your newborn a bath or you can choose to watch and help with the process so you can learn exactly how to keep your bundle of joy clean.
If you decide to participate in bath time, your nurse will likely bring in a basin of warm water and towel to wash gently cleanse your newborn with. Although newborns don’t need daily baths because it dries out their skin, the do’s and don’ts of bathing your baby are an important skill to pick up on while you're at the hospital.
6 How To Change Your Baby's Diaper
Of course, it’s exactly rocket science, but diapering your baby is one of the main vital things you’ll learn while at the hospital. Whether you’ve changed a few diapers in your day or it’s your first time, handling a newborn can sometimes be tricky. Especially if you have a recently circumcised baby boy, changing your little one might pose some new challenges.
Not to worry! Nurses will show you a step-by-step method to change and wipe your baby and can answer any pressing questions you might have about the topic. During your hospital stay you’ll probably be a pro at diapering before it’s even time to head home with your newborn.
5 The Beauty Of Bonding With Your Baby
Sure, you have a lot to think about after giving birth, but there are better things to do than stress over the small stuff. Those first few days in the hospital with your little one are some of the best moments to spend bonding with your new addition.
While you may have carried your baby inside of you for nine months, but this is your first time meeting face-to-face. You’ll learn that spending time together, picking up on your baby’s cues and doing some skin-to-skin contact are all precious ways to bond with your newborn during your hospital stay.
4 Take Advantage Of Nap Time
It’s common to want to spend every waking second with your new baby, but new moms definitely need their rest. After all, you just went through the laboring process and now you have a tiny human to take care of – there’s a lot on your plate! Many moms will say from experience that it’s crucial to stock up on nap hours while you’re in the hospital because there are nurses to help care for your baby while you catch up on sleep.
In addition to taking care of your newborn, you also have to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling like you need a quick catnap, don’t hesitate to let your on-duty nurses know. They understand the value of resting and recharging your mind and body so you can be at your best once you take your baby home.
3 Just Because The Baby Is Out Doesn’t Mean Your Belly Gets Flat
You already had your baby, but your belly still looks like you’re about six months pregnant. What gives? If you were expecting to instantly have your pre-baby body back right after giving birth…that’s not quite how it works. Your hospital nurses will explain that your uterus expanded during your pregnancy and you still have things like amniotic fluid in your midsection.
You will likely also notice nurses pushing down on your stomach to check that your uterus is slowly decreasing in size sometime after delivery. It took nine months for your body to change so drastically, so it of course can’t go back to the way it was overnight.
2 Asking Questions Is Expected And Encouraged
You’ll probably have a million questions about how to take care of your newborn (and yourself) after giving birth, and it’s perfectly fine to ask them! In fact, your doctor and nurses are there to answer any questions you may have and they usually encourage you to inquire.
Your health care providers have dealt with their fair share of newborns and new moms, so they are the perfect ones to ask if you don’t know how to do something. You’ll learn that they want to help you be the best parent possible and that there’s really no question that’s too embarrassing to ask.
1 Your Body Is Capable Of Some Amazing Things
Having a baby is a beautiful experience, but the process takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice for moms to make it all happen. Your body goes through a wide range of changes over the course of pregnancy…and things only get more intense when it comes time for labor and delivery.
After months of being uncomfortable and hours of pushing, you produced a tiny human and it’s pretty amazing to think about. Once you give birth and see the little baby that you created, you’ll quickly realize that you are more powerful than you ever imagined. You’ll learn a lot about babies during your maternity stay at the hospital, but you’ll also gain a whole new appreciation for yourself as well.