Having a baby is a very exciting time. The nine months leading up to the birth of the baby seem to consist of to-do list after to-do list. Then, when those start to finally dwindle down and you have everything set up and ready, the real excitement kicks in. Once the baby is born, there is another to-do list with some pretty important things on it.
Extra Baby Supplies
The hospital provides anything you may need for baby while you are there. When it comes time to leave, grab any extra items in your room for baby. Your nurse may be able to provide you with a few extras if you ask.
Possible Baby Items
- Formula (if not breastfeeding)
- Bulb Syringe
- Blanket- Some hospitals send one home with you
Extra Items for Mom
While you are in the hospital they will provide the majority of what you need as well. At discharge go ahead and grab any extra supplies that are left in your room and, if you like you can even ask for a few extras as well.
Possible Items for Mom
- Mesh Underwear
- Hemorrhoid Cream
- Slipper Socks
- Ice Packs
- Peri Bottle
- Numbing Spray
- Donut Pillow
- Bed Pads
- Breastfeeding supplies
- Lanolin Cream
Don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for extra things to take home. Typically they will oblige and bring you some extra goodies (for you and baby) to bring home.
Once the baby is born, it is time to notify your health insurance company. Yes, they will see the charges but, letting them know that you had the baby will fast track some of their questions.
Depending on the hospital, you will either get the paperwork to fill out and turn into public records to purchase your child’s birth certificate or, they will file the paperwork for you. Either way, there is typically a fee to get the birth certificate so be prepared for that.
Social Security Card
The social security card paperwork is usually filled out at the hospital and turned in before you leave. Within a few weeks your child’s social security card should show up in the mail.
After the baby is born the pediatrician will make a trip to the hospital to see them but, after that you will need to schedule office visits. These office visits usually happen around three or four days old and then again between one and two weeks old. If your baby requires extra monitoring for one reason or another you may have more appointments.
If you haven’t already, you will need to notify yours and your significant other’s place of employment that the baby has been born. Whether you (or your significant other) are taking your maternity (paternity) leave or, claiming short term disability, they will be able to get that ball rolling for you.
Sometime between six and eight weeks after delivery you will be due to see your OBGYN again. If you have any questions prior to this appointment or, if something changes and you feel you need to be see sooner don’t be afraid to call your clinic and ask to be seen.
If newborn pictures is something you are planning on having done, you need to be sure to call the photographer and let them know that the baby was born. Typically this is something you have already pre-arranged with a photographer while you were pregnant but, if you decide you want to get it done after the baby is born call around and see who (if anyone) has openings.
Sending baby announcements usually happens within the first few weeks of the baby’s birth. Even if you haven’t had professional pictures done, you can still snap a picture with your phone or camera at home. Then, you can upload it into a pre-made announcement to send out.
If recording your birth story is something you want to do, it is best that you can do it as soon as possible. Even a few days after you get home some of the details may become a bit foggy. That is why I recommend writing your birth story within the first week of being home.
In the hospital you will start to acquire keepsakes for baby. These are things like hospital bracelets, the hat, bassinet cards and footprints. Some baby books have places for these things but, I got a small plastic bin to keep them in instead.
Having a newborn at home is exhausting. It is very easy to forget things. That is why I recommend writing down any questions that come up between baby’s appointments. If you have urgent questions you can call the clinic but, writing down the non-urgent ones will make it easier to remember them.
Ask For Help
This one was a tough pill to swallow for me. I am not one to ask or even accept help but, after having a baby, you need all hands on deck. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for a hand. Whether that is dishes, vacuuming or just snuggling baby so you can have a hot meal. Just ask.
If you delivered vaginally an Epsom salt bath feels amazing and helps you along in the healing process. If you delivered via C-Section, it will feel equally amazing once you are able to soak. Baths aren’t the only way to use Epsom salt though, you can even just soak your feet while you snuggle baby.
You just had a baby, don’t feel bad about sitting and putting your feet up while you snuggle the baby. Taking it easy will help your body to heal better. Don’t just rush back into daily life. Give yourself time to heal. I highly suggest that you give yourself the full six to eight weeks to take it easy. Rushing back into things will only prolong your healing.
Stock the Fridge
I can guarantee that you won’t be up for a trip to the grocery store in the first few days after getting home but, stocking up on (mostly) healthy foods and snacks is important. Send someone to the grocery store for you. Stock up on items that you can easily eat one handed so you can snack while you nurse or bottle feed. Pre-cut fruits and veggies, nuts and yogurt tubes are a great starting point but be creative. Don’t forget a special snack though too! Grab some bite size candy bars or some other treat because everyone deserves a treat sometimes.
Skin to skin contact is extremely important both in the hospital and out. It doesn’t matter if the skin to skin happens with Mom or Dad but, it is very important that baby gets that close contact during the day.
If you don’t already have a living will, now is the time to make one. If something were to happen, it is best to have all of your wishes on record. While a will including the baby most likely cannot be done before baby is born, it is okay to draft your ideas before you have the baby. Once the baby is born make your appointment to have it written up.
If you have a pre-existing will, you can go in and have changes made after the baby is born. Don’t wait too long though. You want to make sure all of your wishes with baby are known.
Any time there is a new baby, there is always a long stream of visitors. A tong of visitors doesn’t help Moms recovery and quite frankly, the amount of germs that are brought in with several visitors aren’t good for baby. The best thing to do is to limit the number of visitors that come until the baby is at least a few weeks old.
By limiting the visitors Mom will be able to rest and recover better. As an added bonus, baby will be introduced to fewer germs.
Many of these items aren’t too time consuming but, are pretty important after having a baby. You can easily accomplish these by crossing one or two off a day. Spend the rest of the time snuggling your sweet bundle of joy and enjoy the time you have together.