Preparing to Bring Baby Home
What can you do to prepare for bringing the baby home?
- Bring your infant car seat to the hospital the day you go home. Learn how to use it correctly before your baby is born. The law requires that unless you come home in a taxi, you must have your baby in an infant seat that meets the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. For more information on purchasing an infant car seat, click here.
- Have diapers, blankets, clothes, and a safe, firm, sleeping space ready at home.
- Ask friends and family to help with older children and things such as preparing meals.
- Plan time for rest. Think of this as your “nesting time” when you can focus on your new baby.
- Plan to share in the care of your baby.
- Do not get a new pet when you are bringing your baby home.
- Ensure that your home is smoke‑free.
What can your partner do to support you?
- Arrange time off from work.
- Be present.
- Plan to share in the care for your baby.
- Plan to take on making meals and housework.
What about visitors?
You may have a few visitors or dozens who want to visit. This can disturb your sleep and rest time. Let visitors know your visiting guidelines before your baby is born. That way, their visits can be a positive part of your recovery. Here are some guidelines you may want to give your visitors:
- Please do not drop in unannounced.
- Do not visit if you are sick.
- Wash your hands before touching the baby.
- Do not smoke in the house.
What about older brothers and sisters?
Brothers and sisters will react differently to the new baby. Some may love the baby and others may be angry. Many children will go back to acting like babies themselves for a while. You can help prepare another child for the new baby by:
- Introducing the idea that families often have more than one child. Take your child to a playgroup. Make friends with parents who have children the same age.
- Making changes in routines several months before the baby arrives, or well after the baby arrives. Some examples are toilet training or moving from a crib to a bed.
- Reading books or watching videos with your child about pregnancy and having a sibling.
- Giving your child a chance to practise staying with family or friends while you give birth. Do this sometime before the event.