What to Expect in the First 24 Hours After Bringing Your Baby Home

Bringing your baby home for the first time is simply so exciting! You’ve been dreaming of this moment for nine months and the nursery is ready. But like all new parents, there’s some worry about what to expect and how you’ll manage things without the on hand support of the hospital staff.  But don’t worry, because we’ve written a guide on what to expect during those first 24 hours after bringing your baby home.

Welcome Home! Coping with Life After Bringing Your Baby Home

Depending on how long your stay in hospital after delivery was, you may have some ideas already about life with your newborn. But sometimes they can start doing things you weren’t expecting and that’s when new parents are quickly overwhelmed. We’ve made a list of some of the common noises and movements, plus tips on handling new experiences after bringing your baby home.

  • Expect lots of crying – it’s how babies communicate. It’s up to you to decipher what those cries mean from needing a nappy changed, being fed, being held or being tired.
  • Learn about burping! After feeding, your baby needs to burp and no one way suits every baby.
  • Startle refluxes are common, which is why wrapping a newborn before they go to sleep helps them stay asleep for longer.
  • Expect to feed your baby frequently. On demand feeding is necessary but varies for each baby.
  • Look out for meconium. It’s the black tar like bowel movement in the first few days after birth. Poo then changes colour, being greenish or mustard colour for breastfeed babies and paler for bottle fed. The consistency is generally loose and watery. You can use a nappy liner in your newborn’s cloth nappies to help scoop out the poo.
  • Your newborn will sleep a lot, but not all night! While sleeping for between 16-18 hours a day is common, the length of sleeping time is pretty short. This is because their tummy will be hungry and wake your baby up.
  • It’s okay not to bath your baby every day. A wash with warm water and a flannel is fine and can stop your baby’s skin drying out.
  • Expect hair to fall out. Sleeping on their back and turning their head can leave a bald spot which will disappear at a later date.

Bringing your baby home is a life changing experience. Just remember that you are not alone and help is available. Your midwife, GP and the 24 hour Plunket line are here to help!

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