In most cases, you will be able to bring your baby home directly from the hospital after he or she is discharged. It depends on the laws in the birthmother’s state and how far away you live from the hospital.
Many states require a certain amount of time to pass before the adoptive parents can take their baby out of the area or the state. Many adoptive families do not live in the same state as their birthmother, so they often make arrangements to stay in a local hotel or extended-stay facility until their attorney gives them clearance to take the baby home. Here’s how to be prepared for bringing your baby home.
The Essential Supplies
Make sure you have the essential baby care items ready for when you get home. Here are the basics:
- Burp rags
- Swaddle blankets
- Baby clothes
- Age-appropriate car seat
Baby's First Car Ride
Every state requires parents to have a car seat before leaving the hospital with their baby. Before you’re ready to leave the hospital, make sure your car seat is properly installed in your car. Most fire stations will offer a free car seat safety inspection if needed.
Baby’s First Doctor’s Appointment
Schedule your baby’s first doctor’s appointment as soon as possible after birth. Most hospitals have pediatricians on staff who examine newborns before they are discharged. After you get home, however, you’ll want the regular pediatrician you’ve chosen to see your baby.
Introduce Your Baby to Siblings
If you have other children at home, there will be an adjustment period after you bring home your new baby. Don’t be surprised if they show signs of jealousy. To help curb these feelings, set aside time to spend one-on-one with your other children on a regular basis. Do special activities with just them. You can also encourage them to help you care for their new little brother or sister. Many older siblings are thrilled to do so and will quickly get over their feelings of jealousy and uneasiness.
Introduce Your Baby to Friends and Family
After you bring home your new baby, it’s likely you’ll get lots of requests from family, friends, and coworkers to come and meet him or her. The number and frequency of visitors is completely up to you and your comfort level, but don’t be afraid to communicate that. Your baby’s immune system will not have fully developed yet, so if anyone is sick, ask them to wait until they are feeling better before visiting. For the same reason, ask visitors to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching or holding your baby.
Introducing Your Baby to Your Pets
If you have a dog or cat at home, you’ll need to introduce the baby to them as well. To start, have them smell one of the baby’s blankets or clothing items. Then slowly introduce them to the baby. Don’t leave your baby alone with your pets until they’ve become fully accustomed to all the changes.
Bonding and Attachment
You might be concerned about bonding with your new baby, but you don’t need to be! When it comes to attachment, adopted newborns develop a bond with their adoptive parents just as they would their biological parents.
Your New Life With a Newborn
It will take a little while to get used to life at home with your newborn. Like all new parents, you will suffer from a lack of sleep to some degree and you might not find the time to keep up with your basic household chores and responsibilities. Don’t be shy about asking your family and friends for help. Most will be more than happy to lend a hand. Whenever your baby is napping, catch a quick nap yourself, take a shower, or just sit and relax. Anything you can do to recharge, even if it’s for just a few minutes, will help a great deal.