Vital Baby offers some useful – and reassuring – advice for new moms, who might be feeling overwhelmed once they’ve brought their babies home from the hospital

First-time moms are often anxious about what to expect after bringing baby home for the first time. During those precious first few days you may experience a rollercoaster of emotions. Don’t be worried if you feel excited one moment and a little overwhelmed the next; all these feelings are completely natural.

The birth

No two births are the same. You will read lots on the signs of labour and how to prepare for the birth and may have attended antenatal classes in preparation. We feel you should trust your body to do the talking. You have been caring for this baby for months and will know what feels right when the time comes. When your little bundle arrives it will be well worth the wait.

The first 48 hours

Those first couple of days can be filled with a mixture of emotions and opens the door to a whole new world of exciting experiences. From the first meconium nappy (the first poo has a black tar-like consistency which is made up of what baby ingested whilst in the womb), to trying to breastfeed and the first bath time, try to enjoy these experiences as much as possible. They all seem strange but these are just a few of the many firsts you will experience throughout your little one’s life.

Those first few days at home

After all the build-up to the birth, you may not have considered what the first few days at home will be like. You will probably have guests popping by, flowers and cards arriving and all this time you may feel tired and just want to spend some time alone with your new family.

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Give yourself some space to enjoy these precious moments and don’t be scared to say no to guests for a couple of days until you feel up to it! Although they will be excited to meet the newest member of your family, they will understand that you want to spend time with your new family too.

As a partner, listen and support mom in whatever she needs at that time. Take on as much as you can; nappy changes, dressing baby, feeds if possible, household tasks, preparing food and drinks and most importantly, ensure mom rests as much as she can after the birth.

Life never stands still with your baby. Changes and new stages will continue to happen with your little one from the birth right through to when they fly the nest. After those first few days and weeks, you can expect to see and experience many things. We have highlighted just a few:

Smiling

At around 6-8 weeks, baby will repay all of those sleepless nights with the ultimate gift to make it all feel worthwhile. Their first smile!

Weaning

At around 6 months old, baby will be ready to start having their first tastes of solid foods alongside their usual milk.

Is your baby ready for solid food?

Teething

Babies can start to develop teeth through the gums as early as 8 weeks old, with baby’s first usually appearing at around 6 months.

Rolling over

In what feels like the blink of an eye, baby goes from not moving to never staying still! Baby may begin to roll from tummy to back as early as 4 months old, mastering the reverse move a few months later.

As soon as little one is on the move, previously ‘safe’ areas can become filled with potential hazards as they become more inquisitive.

Child-proofing the house with a few simple steps before it is necessary will mean that accidents may be prevented. Falls, burns, trips or pulling items onto themselves are most common with young children. Ensure that stair gates are in place, hot items are kept out of reach, plug sockets are made secure, bath water temperature is checked and medicines and cleaning products are locked away.

How to childproof your home

There is a lot to navigate in the weeks following baby’s birth. Sometimes, even if you don’t plan on being away from baby for more than an hour or two, unexpected situations or emergencies may dictate otherwise. As such it’s important to have a few bags of breast milk refrigerated.

Breast milk storage bags are a real lifesaver in unplanned situations, and a must-have for moms who express milk. (Vital Baby’s Nurture Easy Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags (R180.00) have a unique design that makes them simple to fill, store and easy to transport.)

Vital Baby products are available at Clicks, Babies R Us, Loot and Babies Africa.Find Vital Baby on social media: @vitalbabysa