Gadgets and Binky's and Monitors..OH MY!
What do you as a new parent really need for your newborn when you return home from the hospital?
As a Birth and Postpartum Doula I am so grateful to help guide parents through many firsts after their precious baby is Earthside. With all that is now sold to new parents with the hopes of making the transition into parenthood "easier" it can be quite difficult to decipher what you really NEED and what is just extra stuff that you will never use or doesn't have a purpose besides emptying your wallet and giving you hope. In this blog I will go over what I have experienced are items that indeed do help you transition into home life with your new perfect little one.
Besides the basics like diapers, wipes and baby clothes which most parents usually have, I have found that there are items that can help you and your baby stay calm, bond, sleep and thrive with less fuss. The most important part of your transition is creating an open flowing space in your mind that allows for whatever will happen. Newborns need you most importantly, they need to be close to you, skin to skin close and held safely in your arms and allowed to be free of expectations or schedules in the first few weeks of life. The myth of "spoiling your baby by holding them too much is just that-a myth. In fact not holding your baby can have more negative effects on this transition more than most things. Unless there are medical concerns I always encourage coming home from hospital and just getting in bed warming up the house and laying bare chested in a state of relaxation and bliss as much as you can. Put away your worries of dishes, cleaning, work related stresses and such for the moment and just be with your baby. This will help increase levels of Oxytocin which help increase breast milk production, reduce stress and anxiety, calm your baby and help you get the rest and healing you need to recover from your birth experience. This includes your partner as well. It's a full family benefit that I promise you will be so glad you took advantage of.
5 Things that can help life more comfortable-When I work with you as your postpartum doula I suggest most families have a few items in the home to keep things moving along.
1-A Bassinet-There are many different types of ways to sleep, whichever one you choose is right for you and baby you will need a place to lay baby down for resting periods to begin the path of healthy sleep habits and allowing your baby to get used to being out of your body and into the world. When you aren't holding your baby you will want a safe comfortable place for your baby. I recommend a bassinet rather than the crib because it's a smaller more intimate and portable place where your child can sleep when not in your arms but still close to you.
2. A swaddle- Since your newborn is just realizing that gravity is a "thing" a great swaddle is a must to soften the Startle Reflex, create a snug and warm space until their internal thermostat begins to regulate their body temp and also allows you to hold them, nurse should you choose to and even wear them in a soft carrier with more ease.
3. White Noise- As you baby gets used to the sounds of the world sometimes all those sounds can be distracting and keep baby from restorative sleep.There are a few guidelines too keep the positive aspects and lessen some possible negative effects such as keeping it at least 7 ft away from baby's sleep space, keeping the noise level down as to not damage her hearing and only using it during sleep times if needed can ensure that your baby does't become reliant on it and can sleep without it if need be.
4.Burp Cloths- You will always find yourself reaching for something to wipe your new baby in some way from spit up, milk dribbles, sneezes and even yourself at times. I suggest organic cotton that is soft and can hold up to many, many washes.
5.Baby Medical and grooming tools-Eventually you will bath baby with care and your gentle touch so a safe snug newborn bath, a thermometer, baby lotion and a gentle baby wash are a must. Also a safe bum balm for diaper changes as well as a bulb syringe or Nasal Aspirator to clear baby's nose of any sniffles that most certainly will come up at some point.
All that being said, of course there are plenty of other things that make life easier like wipe warmers and changing tables, wardrobes, baby swings, baby monitors....I could go on and on but mainly your baby needs your love and attention along with a calm centered Mom on the path to healing and learning. I wish you all luck on your journey and send you Doula Love and should I have the honor of supporting your family this is definitely a subject that I would help you with as you learn what you really do need for yourself and your new baby.