Bringing a Newborn Baby Home from the Hospital – Some Tips for First-Time Parents

Before our baby was born my husband and I took every class that our local hospital had available. There were classes ( about taking care of a newborn where we learned things like how to swaddle a baby, how often they eat, how often they sleep etc. We also took a first aid class that covered first aid specifically for newborns. We did everything in our power to get ready for our daughter to join us.

My mother-in-law wanted to be there when our daughter was born ( so she flew in from out of town. Luckily for me she was able to find a coupon and get herself a room so she didn’t have to move in with us for a week right after I had my baby. That would’ve been a little bit too much for me to deal with but that’s another story.

What to Do before Leaving the Hospital

Before you leave the hospital and bring your baby home there are some things that you want to make sure you take care of. You will want to make sure you schedule your baby’s first visit with the pediatrician. It’s also a good idea to learn how to swaddle your baby. If you did not take prenatal classes ( you can get a nurse to teach you how to do it. If you have any issues with breast-feeding you can get help from a nurse or a lactation consultant. Ask any other questions you might have before it’s time to leave.

When It’s Time to Go Home

One thing you should do before you even go to the hospital to have your baby is to get a car seat and make sure you know how to use it. It’s a good idea to get a little bit of practice before it’s time to do it for real. When you are taking your baby home for the first time, make sure he or she is dressed appropriately. It’s common for a lot of parents to want to wrap their baby in a bunch of blankets ( and make sure they are wearing a hat and socks etc. Everyone seems to worry about their baby being warm enough. If it’s cold outside you can use an extra blanket but a T-shirt, a diaper, and one blanket is usually more than enough to keep your baby comfortable on the ride home.

Feeding Your Baby

If you are breast-feeding you will need to be prepared to do so frequently. Depending on who you speak to (, some people will tell you that babies will eat every 2 to 3 hours and some people say it’s every 3 to 4 hours. Either way, you will be feeding your baby frequently. This is good though because frequent feedings help encourage your milk supply.

If your baby has gone for four or five hours without eating, which might happen when they are sleeping, you will need to wake them up and feed them. If your baby sleeps for extended periods of time without eating there is a greatly increased chance of dehydration.


Newborn babies really don’t do a whole lot to get dirty. Of course you will have to change a few diapers but a few baths a week is all you’ll need to keep your baby clean. Don’t wash your baby in the tub until after the umbilical cord drivers up and falls off. After that, you can wash your baby in the tub or even in the kitchen sink. Use mild, unscented soap, and warm water.


Newborn babies sleep a lot, approximately 16 hours out of every 24 hours in the day. The problem is that they usually sleep for just two or three hours at a time and then they wake up. As a new parent, you’re going to have to adjust ( to an irregular sleeping pattern. However, as mentioned earlier, it is important that your baby wakes up every few hours so that you can feed him or her.

I hope these tips have helped ease the minds of any expecting parents. Getting ready for the arrival of a new baby can be nerve-racking but it is also a wonderful experience.