How to get motherhood off to a great start while still in the hospital

Breastfeed ASAP. Have your newborn “room in” with you rather than stay in the hospital nursery, and ask the nurses not to offer him anything in a bottle. Even if the baby doesn’t actually latch on, you can squeeze the yellowish colostrum—the precursor to real breast milk that’s packed with immune-boosting nutrients—directly into his mouth.  It might be hard at first but calm down and take it slow. Having a nursing pillow around helps a lot specially if you are new to breastfeeding.

Stall the visitors. Baby reception in Kuwait are huge but try holding it off for a few days or even for a few weeks. This will do wonders for you. It will also give you some a lone time for you and your husband to bond with your new baby. Because a newborn is usually alert and receptive immediately after birth, it’s the perfect time to bond, so look him in the eyes and talk to him. He knows your voice from being in your body and may find it soothing.

Dress your baby right A cute going-home outfit is irresistible, but remember that babies cannot regulate their body temperature until they’re about 6 months old. So dress your newborn carefully. Generally, he should wear the same amount of clothing as you, indoors or outdoors. Don’t over bundle him—sweating can cause him to become chilled. Layers are a good way to go.

Have a car seat ready. As much as we don’t want our baby out of our arms; having him in a car seat is crucial. I have seen numerous parents leave hospital with the mom sitting in the front and her 2 day old baby in her arms. This is something I cant stress enough on!! It is so important to put your baby in a car seat.

Car seat basics:

  1. If your baby has too many clothes on, the harness may not fit properly. If it’s cold out, put your baby in the seat first, buckle him in, then place blankets on top.
  2. The harness must be snug against the hips and shoulders.
  3. The chest clip should be level with your baby’s armpits.
  4. The seat must be installed at a 45-degree angle so that the baby is semi-reclining; his head must not flop forward.
  5. Once the seat is installed, push on it—hard. It shouldn’t move more than an inch in any direction.
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