When you’ve given birth in a hospital and it’s time to make your great escape back home with your baby, you may think it’s as simple as going from A to B. After all, you’ve done the drive a fair few times. A couple of days ago, in fact. But oh no. It’s not as simple as grab-and-go. Because once it’s time to bring baby home, you ignite the mum-mode of travel. So what can new parents expect?
Behold our handy guide to bringing baby home from the hospital in 19 easy steps.
STEP 1. Discharge and paperwork
Before you can go, the midwife needs to discharge you. Baby needs a last looking over. And you will probably stand thisclose to the doctor to make sure everything is okay.
STEP 2. Get bub ready to go
Dress your newborn and gently place them into the capsule (or in your arms if you’re using a non-transferable car seat).
STEP 3. Take a picture of bub in capsule
Naw… Your wee one is sooooo small in that big car seat. And so squishy. Take 15 different pictures, just to make sure you get the right angle.
STEP 4. Realise bub has pooed all over that super-cute ‘going-home’ outfit
And, if you’re (un)lucky, it’s leached through to the car seat too. Take baby out. Retrieve emergency going-home outfit out of the bag and redress bub. Repeat step three.
STEP 5. Stop to let every person coo over your newborn as you walk through the ward
Because no one can resist having a sneaky peak at a brand new baby in a capsule. And how can you resist not wanting to share all that royal squishiness with all those new admirers?
STEP 6. Exit the hospital
Fresh air! Glorious fresh air! This is probably the first time your newborn has been exposed to outdoor air. So naturally, you’re going to freak out that their head is cold and frantically pull the nappy bag apart to search for the itty bitty baby beanie.
STEP 7. Put baby into the car seat
This is usually the time when new parents discover that the whiz-bang car seat they religiously road-tested doesn’t click in and out so easily when an actual baby is inside. Try 87 times. Finally get it.
Once you have bub clipped in and ready to go, expect to check that they are safe and secure another 35 times. This average goes down dramatically with each subsequent child.
STEP 8. Return to hospital
Because you’re pretty sure you left the baby’s dummy on the counter. And possibly part of your mind too. Retrieve the dummy. Realise that your pre-baby brain won’t be returning anytime soon.
STEP 9. Crawl into the back seat
Wince as you slide your birth-battered body into the seat beside baby. It will be a little bit longer before you can easily crawl in and out of any seat without feeling a bit of a strain. You did just give birth, after all.
STEP 10: Berate your baby daddy for driving too fast
Back seat driving just took on a whole new dimension. Repeat the instructions to slow down five times every 100 metres, even if you’re travelling at speed in a 40km/h zone.
Comment on the crazy drivers passing you on both sides. And feel just a little smug that you’re officially no longer one of them.
STEP 11: Take more photos of baby in capsule
#babysfirstdrive #supercuteness #slowdown
STEP 12: Make hubby stop the car
Because one of bub’s socks is missing. Pull the car apart looking for missing sock. Give up after 8 minutes and accept the universal mystery of newborn socks – once gone, they never return.
Return to the back seat and resume the brace position.
STEP 13: Watch baby vomit all over going-home-outfit #2
And insist that hubby pull over RIGHT THIS SECOND so you can check everything is okay. Because it can’t be normal for something so small to vom quite so much.
STEP 14: Stand on the side of the road arguing with husband
His fast cornering made the baby spew. And now baby is crying and hungry. Oh, and to add to the sideshow, your breasts are leaking through your shirt.
STEP 15: Perform very first breastfeeding front-seat experience
It will be one of many. But your first awkward side-of-the-road feed is always special. Take a picture.
STEP 16: Return to the trek home
You’re on the road again. And in the middle of crazy rush-hour traffic. As bub is now asleep you have nothing to focus on except the dangers all around you. Buses, trucks, Deliveroo drivers. And naturally, it’s your husband’s fault for taking this route.
STEP 17: Pull into your driveway
Curse under your breath as hubby takes the corner too quickly and the car bottoms out slightly.
STEP 18: Attempt to take capsule out of car
Give up after 10 minutes of trying to unbuckle the thing and just pull your sleeping newborn out. That’s a job for tomorrow … or perhaps in six years, when you finally agree to get in the car with your husband again.
STEP 19: Enter house
And a brand new wild journey ahead. Sure, the house might look the same as when you left it, but the world will never be the same again after bringing home baby. Buckle up! The car ride home is just the beginning.
Have a look at our guide to heading out with your newborn in tow (for when you get the nerve to leave the house again).