What to do after bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital

Bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital is exciting, and it also sometimes can be a little nerve-wracking for new parents.

Bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital is exciting, and it also sometimes can be a little nerve-wracking for new parents. Here are a few things parents can keep in mind during the first week with a newborn.

Norton Children’s Medical Group

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How soon can you take a newborn baby home?

Healthy babies who are carried to full term (at least 37 weeks) and born vaginally usually go home within 48 hours after birth. Healthy babies delivered by cesarean section (C-section) usually go home within 72 hours.

When should the baby see the doctor again?

A newborn baby’s first checkup with a pediatrician should occur within the first two to three days after coming home from the hospital, when the baby is still less than a week old.

“Regular well-baby visits are important, because we can make sure the infant is healthy and developing normally, and we can catch any issues early,” said Maria T. Bowling, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Windy Hills.

“It’s also a great time for parents to check in with us about questions and parenting advice.”

What should you do when bringing a newborn baby home?

Now that you’re at home with the baby, it’s all about getting used to new routines and a new environment, and spending time together bonding.

Bonding activities
Bonding with your baby is simple. Hold them. Cuddle them. Rock them. Lightly stroke their skin or give them kisses. Make eye contact and talk or sing to them. Breastfeeding is another bonding activity.

Sleeping arrangements

Your baby needs plenty of sleep throughout the day and night, and they often will wake you up. As a new parent, make no mistake — you will be tired. But no matter how tired you are, never put your baby in bed with you. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a bassinet or crib by themselves, in the parent’s room but not in the parent’s bed. To lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), your baby should always sleep on their back — never on their stomach or side — with no toys or blankets.

Handling crying

Crying is the only way newborn babies know how to communicate, and you should expect them to cry often during the first several months. Eventually, you may be able to detect how different cries sound based on the baby’s needs: hunger, diaper needs changing, etc. If your baby won’t stop crying, check if they have a fever. Talk to your pediatrician about colic or excessive fussiness.