Tips to prepare the first few nights back home with your newborn

Bringing back your newborn home from the hospital is often seen as a happy period. You’re supposed to be over the moon starting a new chapter of your life.

In reality it’s not as simple. Between the fatigue, the hormones, often the first thought we got once we get there is “ How am I going to do it on my own?”. The responsibility seems insurmountable

The first challenge in general is to get your baby to sleep. There are no rules, the first nights of baby completely depend on the baby. Some babies are calmer than others. Moreover, it also depends on the parents. A tense stressed parent will communicate that to their little one. In any case, prepare yourself to be really tired. Hence the importance to be prepared and to have a strategy.

Prepare your baby bed

It’s important to have your baby’s bed ready when you come back. It’s the first thing to take care of if you want to survive these first night. When choosing a bed, you should prioritise safety, comfort and the quality of the air he breathes. Thus your child will be comfortably settled in his bed and will be able to benefit from calm nights with less nocturnal awakenings.

Where to put the bed?

The first question is where should baby sleep? Your room or their room? In a separate bed or your bed?

The NHS recommends to keep your baby in your room until they are 6 months old. However they advise against having your baby in your bed for their security. It’s important that your little one have their own bed

If you choose to have your baby in your room and you want them close to you, the co-sleeper is a great solution to keep your baby close to you all night and facilitate the feeding during the night. 

Choose the right mattress

To provide a quality sleep to your child and protect their health and well-being, consider a mattress made of natural material. Unlike synthetic materials they do not contain petroleum derivatives and are softer for the skin.

Baby Sleeping Bag

Another accessory that will make your night easier are baby sleeping bags. They will make your baby feel safe and snuggled. This snuggle feeling can sometimes make miracles to help a baby to sleep. It reminds them of the womb and reassures them. When choosing a sleeping bag having the right togs to make sure your baby is never too hot or too cold.

Make sure they burp

Once you have fed your baby, it is good to keep the baby standing upright for 10-20 minutes while gently rubbing their back to give them time to burp. If your baby doesn’t burp, you can help them do it, by rocking them backwards and frontwards in a pendulum motion:

  1. Take them in your arms
  2. Raise them vertically against you
  3. Then we bend your knees and slowly, tilt your baby horizontally (as if you were feeding them, on their back)
  4. Make sure your baby’s head is raised. 

Often the transition from the vertical position to the horizontal position, helps him to burp.

What to do if baby is crying?

Here is a quick checklist to identify why baby is crying:

  • Is it too hot?
  • Too cold? 
  • Has their nappy been changed? 
  • Are they hungry? When were they last fed? 

If the checklist has been reviewed and your baby is still crying, they probably just need a hug! In this case, there is only one thing to do: rock them. You can also put some soft music, from a mobile for example or project a night light on the ceiling. If it still doesn’t do the job consider giving them a pacifier. Babies have a need to suck on something and a pacifier helps a lot to soothe them.

Written by Amy Hadley for Smart Sprogs!

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