After the stress of labor is over, you finally get to hold the child you have been waiting nine months to meet. It is euphoric, but bringing your baby home from the hospital for the first time can be just as magical. For tips, and further guidance on bringing your newborn home, read on.

Checking Out

The time has come to check out — but what do you need to know before leaving the hospital? Make a checklist the night before to make sure you don't forget anything, from your baby's swaddle to your cellphone. Then, make sure to check in with doctors, the pediatrician, and your OBGYN, before officially leaving the hospital. If you are breastfeeding your child, also check with the lactation consultant on call at the hospital to make sure your baby is latching on correctly.

Driving Home

It is important to avoid making mistakes when installing the car seat to keep your new baby safe while riding in the car. Make sure to read the seat's manual and practice installing a few times before the baby arrives. A typical mistake first time parents make is that they will usually turn the car seat the wrong way. Your baby's car seat should always be rear-facing until they are two years old. Also, ensure that the harness is secure, and the chest clip is positioned at armpit level. If you need help, ask the hospital staff to help with the car seat to make sure both the car seat and child are positioned perfectly before taking off. After all, you want your baby to feel comfortable and be safe.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Those first few nights with your newborn will be incredible — but also tough. So, don't be afraid to ask for help around the house. If you have relatives who are willing to assist, allow them to cook meals, help out around the house, or take the dog on a walk. Many communities and neighborhoods are happy and excited to help, don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you. You'll need a breather while adjusting to parent life.

Taking your baby home for the first time is one of those moments you will cherish for the rest of your life. Make sure everything goes smoothly by following these tips when checking out, driving home, and settling in. It's a wild ride, but every second will be worth it.

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