Newborn 101 – You just had a baby, now what?

You just had a baby, Now What?

Congratulations! – You made it through 9 months of pregnancy and made it home from the hospital in 1 piece OR are just about nearing the end of your pregnancy… and are now thinking – I am on my own…I now have to take care of this cute little baby – what do I do? Just like riding a bike – or teaching yourself to do anything – you will learn as you go. With 4 kids between us we have compiled our newborn 101 list to help you get through the first few weeks…

Get Organized

  • Baby Announcements Before the baby arrives, pick out your baby announcements. -Narrow down your choices to boy or girl if you’re waiting to be surprised and place your order as soon as you get home from the hospital. You should pre-print your address labels beforehand so all you have to do is stick them on the envelopes and send out when they come in. Trust us, you won’t want to waste time after the baby arrives hand-writing addresses when you could be sleeping.
  • Gifts A good tool to keep track of announcements, thank you notes and gifts is our announcement/gift tracker
  • You will receive plenty of gifts during the first few weeks. Separate items into what you want to keep and what you want to return. Make sure to keep all gift receipts and tape them to the gifts as that will make returning the unwanted items much easier and will allow you to get store credit for the full price (comes in handy at places like Baby Gap and Old Navy)
  • Clothing and Bedding All clothing and bedding should be washed in a gentle fragrance-free detergent like Dreft or Seventh Generation unscented before touching your baby’s skin. Newborns have extremely sensitive skin.
  • “Me” Time Having a baby can be overwhelming. Everyone will be asking you a zillion times “How do you feel? Do you need anything?” Sometimes it’s OK to just want to be alone. Have your partner stay with the baby and go take a walk or run an errand. It’s important for you to have some time to yourself.
  • “The Others” ie: Family and Friends….Everyone wants to visit when a baby arrives. New babies bring a lot of joy so everyone wants to meet the little one. Here are our tips on visitors —Take advantage of all the love and support from your friends and family. If they want to bring you lunch or dinner – say YES. The attention will be very intense for the first few weeks and then it will die down. –Holding your baby – Make sure that everyone that holds the baby has clean hands. Have hand sanitizer on every table in your home for people to use. Just as its important for everyone’s hands to be clean, their clothes should be clean too. It’s not that you’re asking everyone that walks into your home to strip down , just visitors drape a clean burp cloth or blanket over their shoulder so your baby’s skin isn’t touching their street clothes. –No Perfume. If your great Aunt Sally is known for taking a daily bath in smelly perfume, kindly ask her not to come by yet or when she arrives tell her that the baby is sleeping, that way you won’t hurt her feelings. –Space them out . You don’t want too many people in your home at once. You also do not want too many people around the baby at once. Be careful with small children visiting that are in school as they may have a cold or cough which can be very dangerous for a newborn to catch. Be firm that NO sick people should be around the baby at any time . –Baby Nurse – If you have a baby nurse you may ask them to tell the visitors no touching the baby is allowed. Since they are a “hired outsider”, it takes the pressure off of you, as your family and close friends can blame it on the baby nurse.

Also, you can never take too many pictures. Babies grow and change the most over the first few weeks. Try and capture all the great moments. A nice keepsake is to take pictures of the baby with all of your guests. Even better if you can take a picture of your baby wearing or using a gift and sending it to the gift giver. Another idea we love it to take a picture of your baby every month for the first year with a “I am X month old today” sign….This is a tradition that we continue to do with all of our kids on every birthday. There are even companies that sell a set of onesies with this printed on it for every month of the first year.