With some trepidation, that time has arrived to take baby home. Mom and dad and baby: a new unit, a new group, a new family, a new adventure, and a new life for all. How are you going to manage? Will baby thrive? Will mom survive? Am I going to be able to get this little one to sleep?
There are lots of considerations for all when bringing your new baby home from hospital. There is all the physical preparation – which you have had many months to think about and work on; there is the emotional preparation – that which in many ways you cannot prepare for at all, but an amazing thing happensa thing called maternal instinct!
The important thing to remember is that you will be all right – billions have trod this path before you, probably your sister or best friend – even you mother has done this! But the feelings of anxiety are understandable, as you make your way home for the first time.
It is important to remember that you will be the best mom you can be, and your partner will be the best dad he can be. You may fear the late nights, or lack of sleep, or the challenge of settling an upset baby. All that is still to come. The good news is that the first few days and nights at home, and in the first few weeks of baby’s life, she will sleep for far more of the time than she is awake. This gives both baby and mom time to recover from the rigors of labour. The process of learning to deal with those challenges happens gradually (albeit over a fairly short period of time).
Sleep is essential to baby’s development. The baby’s brain is growing at an incredible rate – laying down the cells and neural pathways for the physical, emotional and cognitive development. Sleep is an essential component of this development. Sleep refreshes the baby, allows her to become alert and engage with her surroundings.
The first few days and weeks are a time of elation and discovery. It is a time where you will have the space to get ready for the joys of a bringing up a growing baby, with all the practical challenges ahead. Your new baby will bring great joy and a sense of love and intimacy you have never experienced before. The earliest sleep pattern will encourage rest and recovery, and lay the platform for a well sleeping baby in the first three years of life. But for nowenjoy it while you can.