What To Do Before Bringing Your Baby Home
Congratulations, you’re having a baby!
It’s totally normal to be feeling nervous and excited—but have no fear. We’ve compiled a short checklist to make sure you’re ready.
Remember, the more you accomplish before bringing your baby home from the hospital, the easier the change will be.
✔ Study up on all things baby.
And we’ll make it easy—we have all the resources here! We recommend looking at:
✔ Download the Pathways.org Baby Development app (it’s free!)
As soon as baby is born, it’s important to track their development, log tummy time, play activities, and so much more. Our mobile app makes all of this easier than ever before. Just create a profile for your child, and we’ll recommend content for their exact age, to help track and meet their milestones! Download the app at the buttons below.
✔ Get a car seat.
Set it up in the car ahead of time, so you have one less thing to worry about for the trip home. Not sure if you’ve installed it right? Many local fire departments will check your car seat for free.
✔ Make some meals ahead of time.
Have pre-made meals in the freezer that are ready to go for when your newborn first comes home. Things may feel hectic at first, but having a home-cooked meal without the cooking will help!
✔ Find a pediatrician.
Get references and decide on a pediatrician or healthcare provider before your baby is born. Once your baby arrives, you can schedule your visits.
✔ Talk to your children.
If this isn’t your first child, do what you can to make the transition as smooth as possible. Let your little ones know what to expect. Tell them this new baby is going to need to be held a lot and given lots of attention. If they are old enough and able, give them a role in taking care of the baby, like making sure everyone that wants to hold the new baby uses hand sanitizer. Read more about getting kids excited about becoming big brothers and big sisters.
✔ Prep your pet.
Even your animals will feel the transition! To ease into the change, ask a friend or family member to bring one of your baby’s onesies home while you are still in the hospital. Letting your animal get familiar with your baby’s scent will take away the surprise once you actually bring the baby home. As they’re getting adjusted, never leave your pet alone with your newborn, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
✔ Pack your hospital bag.
Be sure to pack what you need and what your baby will need, including their outfit for coming home for the first time.
✔ Accept help from those you trust.
Often friends and family members will offer to help by cooking you some meals or cleaning your house while you’re at the hospital. Let them! Building these support networks and getting into the habit of accepting and asking for help when you need it will be beneficial for when baby comes home.
Our Baby’s First Year Milestone Guide helps you keep track of your child’s motor, sensory, communication, and feeding milestones throughout the first year.