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Having a baby is an exciting, life-changing experience. After your baby is born, many new parents are happily sleep deprived, which is why it is important to do a little prep work ahead of time. When bringing home a newborn for the first time, the following are some important (and helpful) tips to keep in mind.
Pick your pediatrician.
Have the infant car seat fitted in your car PRIOR to leaving the hospital.
Make sure car seat is rear-facing.
Install the correct car seat based on weight.
Have the “key essential supplies”.
Have a place for your baby to sleep.
Consider a swing or rocker.
Consider your feeding method(s).
This is an exciting time for your friends and family, and most of them will want to meet the new baby ASAP. Pace yourself, and set aside certain days/times that friends and family can come visit. They should always take care to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to touching your newborn.
Please advise anyone who is sick not to visit the baby until they are well. Keeping your visits brief and focused will help both you and your baby from getting too exhausted with visitors.
Premature infants are particularly susceptible to getting sick, especially during cold/flu season. Therefore, it is EXTREMELY important that you keep your premature baby away from others who are sick. It is an absolute must that everyone washes their hands prior to touching your baby.
Preterm infants also need more sleep than their full term counterparts. Minimizing visits from friends and family is, therefore, important. As your baby gets older, they will be able to tolerate more activity. At the beginning, however, it is important to give them time to rest so that they can conserve energy to feed and grow.
Finally – if you have a preterm baby, it is important to follow up with all of your pediatric visits. Call your pediatrician if you feel that your baby is getting sick or not feeding well. Prevention and early care is key!
About Claudia Cadet, MD
Dr. Cadet is part of WakeMed’s Neonatology team and is board certified in general pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. Her clinical interests include: simulation as a way to improve resuscitation and clinical care, and improving maternal-child health in Latin America.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610