One of the most exciting moments you will ever have, is the day you get to bring your new baby home. During a pandemic, you might find yourself more eager than ever to get back home. Lets talk about some ways you can make this transition as easy as possible. Before we begin, I want to encourage you to do all you can to prepare for your homecoming before you go into labor and are admitted to the hospital. Bringing home a newborn can be overwhelming all on its own and it works out in your favor if you prepare. Trust me!
Tip 1: Multitask
When packing for your hospital stay, get your home ready at the same time. Think about the first few things you will want to do when you get home. You will want to fall into your new routine quickly, so here is what I recommend doing so you can get to those baby snuggles!
Put a trash bag near whatever door you will enter. This is for all of the clothes you wear home, which should be stripped and placed into the bag right away.
Have fresh towels and washcloths out. I recommend showering immediately upon arrival and adding these towels and washcloths to your load of laundry (which we will get to in a second).
Put an empty trash bag and disinfecting spray/wipes in your car. Before you get into your vehicle, you should place the shoes worn out of the hospital in a bag. I recommend spraying them down or using wipes to clean them off prior to bringing them into the house. Think ahead and have a clean pair of shoes or slippers in your car for you to switch into so you are not barefoot.
Lay outfits out on your bed. Have a diaper and a cute little onesie ready as well. Put out maxi pads, mesh underwear, and/or anything you may need when you finish your shower. You will be so glad all of this is waiting for you!
Tip 2: Don't postpone laundry day
It is important to wash everything that was in the hospital as soon as you get home. Your dirty belongings worn during your stay should already be sealed in a bag that can be machine washed or thrown away. Take all of your clothing and washable bags and toss them into your washer. Be mindful not to start the wash until you have completed your shower so you can add all of your towels. If you can find a pair of gloves, I recommend using them to transport your towels into the wash and then discarding them. Regardless, be sure to wash your hands afterwords.
Tip 3: Remember what you touch the most
It is easy to forget about things like our phones or credit cards, but it is important that we don't. Before you go back into your home, use a wipe to clean chargers, phones, keys, glasses, etc. I also recommend giving every surface you touched between entering your home and taking a shower a wipe down as well.
Tip 4: Let Dad do the work
Postpartum recovery demands that you take it easy. All you should be involved in, is getting inside, taking a shower, and getting some rest. Let your Partner be the one to give your home a good wipe down and do the laundry. Unless you're a health care worker who has been doing similar protocols after every shift, all of it can feel so out of the ordinary. Because of this, I actually recommend giving it a run through before you go into labor. When you are sleep deprived you will be grateful that you knew what to do ahead of time.
Recommended Baby Protocol
Adding a precious newborn to all of this makes things kind of complicated if you don't have a flow. So here is what I recommend when making sure your little one gets taken care of:
Wash your hands
Strip baby down completely and wipe them down with a clean, warm, wet washcloth. It is not recommended babies are fully submerged in a bath until their umbilical cord falls off.
Be sure to wash your hands before and after putting on a fresh diaper and clean outfit.
Add all of their clothes and blankets to the wash
Wipe down car seat with Clorox wipes.
Even when we aren't asked to social distance, I always recommend that you enjoy time alone as a family before inviting people to visit. Discuss together ahead of time how you will handle visits. I strongly encourage limiting visitors if not avoiding them completely for at least the first week or two after coming home.
The most important thing is that your family finds an efficient way to maximize health and safety. Giving birth and bringing your baby home can still be a memorable moment, even during a crisis. Before you know it, you will be tucked into your own bed, breathing in that sweet newborn smell. Enjoy these days, they are sacred and pass way too quickly.