Oh good heavens this is long. I have so much laundry I'm avoiding right now.
Originally Posted by heinz28
Home from hospital: Does the baby wear a onesy? Or more? Or does a blanket/receiving blanket keep her warm? Scull hat? Socks?
Well, I'm more about function than form, and comfort is key, so firstly I'd say whatever it is, needs to be warm. That means diaper (obviously), socks, something over hands (those long gowns typically have fold out cuffs that go over tiny hands), hat, main warm outfit (how warm depends on your locale) and (presumably) thick blanket to tuck around baby OVER the carseat straps. No bulky stuff under carseat straps. That's unsafe. It's okay to put a blanket over the whole seat if it's an infant bucket for the quick run to the car if it's snowing or windy. Warm up car ahead of time. Otherwise, wrap baby in warm blanket, then get in car with him/her and put in carseat, fasten straps, then tuck blanket around baby over straps.
Also whatever s/he's wearing, especially right next to the skin, needs to be comfortable -- that means no scratchy tags, anything embroidered has the fabric tape inside to protect sensitive skin, made of soft fabrics, etc. But I'd definitely go with something warm and cozy.
And it is nice if it fits. A little big is fine, but I'd bring two outfits that can work in two sizes, if they're size-specific (like an actual outfit of pants and top) versus a gown type thing, if that makes sense. I'd brought gowns for Guinevere but also had a specific going home outfit. It was way too big. I put her in it anyway because I'm a doofus. This time I'm just taking gowns, and extra layers for warmth if need be (leggings and long sleeved side snap tshirt for underneath, warmer blankets, etc.).
Baby will likely sleep in the car on the way home, and still be drowsy for a while after that, so personally I'm going with a sleeper type outfit for this baby. I don't care about the outfit being something super fancy for the going home pictures. But that's just me.
Sleeping: I'm confused about whether the baby will sleep in one of those sacks with arms? Or, a gown? Or, a onesy? I also saw a bunch of wrap-up type apparel where you swaddle them in it, like a doll. Am I suppose to try and keep a baby's armed pinned down when it is sleeping?
Most newborns sleep better when swaddled. They should show you at the hospital how to swaddle the baby, but if I were you, I'd practice a bit ahead of time. I like the way Dr. Karp does it (from Happiest Baby on the Block
). There are different ways but that one was easy for me to remember.
A newborn needs to be in one layer more than you're in. They cannot regulate their body temp until close to 12 months actually. (Side note: A cold baby should be warmed skin to skin before layers are added -- otherwise you're trapping cold in.) So it's key to keep baby warm, and the truly best way to do that is to have him next to you.
But as a general rule, adding one layer is a good approach.
A receiving blanket counts as that layer (though use your judgment here -- some of those blankets are thick, some very thin -- obviously for wintertime babes, the super thin blankets may not work as well). To help prevent SIDS, be sure the room temp is around 68 degrees (too warm = not good). You don't want a baby overheated. If it's very cool (you can tell by feeling her cheeks and neck) then put some of those mittens that help prevent scratches on her hands, and a little baby cap on her head. Most body heat escapes through your head anyway, so a hat can help lots there. When in doubt, put baby on your chest and wrap something around you both. You don't have to undress the baby to do that, but it's a good way to keep her warm.
The sleep sacks are used instead of a receiving blanket for swaddling as I understand it. I've never used a sleep sack though. Typically do not use any other blankets with a sleepsack -- it is the swaddling receiving blanket and a cover blanket all in one. I might try one with this baby if she resists swaddling after a short while but not as a brand new newborn.
Otherwise I'll likely skip it again. Some mamas swear by them. Some say they're useless. It just depends.
It wouldn't hurt to have one on hand, if you can afford it. Try it out and see how your babe responds. But for a newborn I'd use one that encloses arms too. For an older infant, the sacks that have the overall type tops may work better.
Most newborns need their arms and legs wrapped snug in the swaddle. It reminds them of the womb. Seems restrictive but for most newborns, it is very calming and helpful.
When their arms are free, and especially when they're on their backs, they feel a falling sensation and it startles them (you'll see them throw their arms out to the side in the Startle or Moro Reflex). Anytime they hear a noise or something, they can flinch their arms, which can wake them. They're used to a very snug environment where everything is surrounded all the time. So flailing arms can make it hard for them to sleep.
And on their back is considered safer for sleeping in terms of SIDS prevention. So what we did was especially for naps (since we coslept at night) was put her in a long gown with elastic at the bottom for easy diaper change, and socks. Then wrapped her in a receiving blanket or swaddled her.
For naps in the bassinet, I made a positioner by taking a thick towel, folding it in half, then rolling the sides under to form two small bolsters on either side.
I laid a receiving blanket over it, and tucked it in under the sides of the towel, and laid her on top of that.
Here's a picture
. She wasn't swaddled in that picture, but it was warmer by then. She slept better slightly on her side but I wasn't comfortable swaddling her and her on her side. She was only about two weeks old there. I'd have swaddled her more consistently if she'd not napped well early on, and if it had been cooler.
This time it will be different because it will be much colder (Winnie was born in April).
I didn't swaddle her at night all the time when we coslept as I recall. I had her dressed in one layer more than me, with her own blanket and I had mine, and she slept in the crook of my arm. Body heat keeps baby warm and sometimes you don't need that extra blanket even. Had we not coslept, I definitely would have swaddled her at night.
I realize it's a lot of hit and miss but some basic input about what I should have on hand would really clear up my confusion.
It's different for everyone and every baby. Some babies need swaddling often and for a long while. Some hate it. Some are fine for the first few weeks. It just depends honestly. But definitely try it -- it can really help. I highly recommend the Happiest Baby book or DVD (DVD is easier) just for ideas in general. Don't have to use all the tips precisely as is -- you can adjust as needed for your own child. For instance, Guinevere did not respond positively to the louder shushing at all. But soft shushing worked really well.
The other tips though, on gentle movements and how to hold baby, and especially how to swaddle, were very helpful for us early on. Dr. Sears' Baby Book is also very good.
It's also good to have some nursing books or info on hand ahead of time. I highly recommend reading at least one BFing book before hand so you know what to expect. The LLL one is probably the best, but you can ask in the BFing forum for recommendations. I had The Nursing Mother and it was fine. And if there's a lactation consultant on staff at your hospital, definitely see her, even if you don't think you need to.
Good luck! Hopefully others here will help with more tips. But that's how it worked for us, first time around. Who knows what will happen this time.