Your Newborn Baby and the First Week
Bringing your baby home is an exciting time. There are several things that should be taken care of before you leave the hospital:
- Make sure you have a rear-facing car seat that has been properly installed. Most fire stations or places where you buy car safety seats have people who are certified to install a car seat. Most birthing facilities will not complete your baby's discharge until they can confirm that the baby will be traveling home safely in a correctly installed car seat.
- Make sure you have weather-appropriate clothing for you and your baby. Your baby will need to wear clothing that allows each part of the car seat harness to operate correctly and be snug against your baby's body. There should never be blankets or padding inserted between your baby and the car seat unless it came with the seat or was made by the manufacturer of the seat.
It's common for new parents to anxiously report on their baby's progress with regard to weight. Many parents may be disappointed when their baby checks out of the hospital weighing considerably less than when he or she was born.
But nearly all newborns will lose some of their birth weight (usually between 5 and 10 percent) in the first five days of life. This is normal and is usually caused by post-delivery fluid loss, which is not immediately regained, as most babies need and take in very little food during this time. Breastfed babies, who consume only small amounts of premilk colostrum (only teaspoons at a time) tend to lose more weight than formula-fed babies.
By around day 5, most babies have stopped losing weight and will begin regaining those lost pounds. Somewhere around day 10 to day 14, most babies have regained or surpassed their birth weight, and you can start boasting those weight-gain reports again.