Although everything has been leading up to the moment when you bring your baby home (or babies, if you've had more than one), it’s probably still a bit of a shock when it finally happens! So don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit nervous – it’s totally understandable.
The good news is that you’ll have plenty of expert help around you, with your midwife or health visitor dropping in to check that everything’s going well, and answer any questions you might have. We’re here to help you too, with some top tips for those early days.
Ready Steady Baby from NHS Inform is a great source of information to help you cope with the first weeks of parenting a new baby.
What the parents say
“I just think spending that time with them, taking that time, even reading stories, even when they’re just little. Even though they don’t know exactly what you’re saying, but they still know your voice, and it’s just the loving touches, the playing and talking and stroking them and stuff like that that they love and it just builds the bond.
"Being a first time mum is really daunting, you’re not sure, it’s the first time you’ve done anything, you’re worried about if you’re doing something right or if you’re meeting their needs and everything. I suppose sometimes you feel guilt as a mum as well; I always feel guilty for doing stuff for me, I don’t know, but it just comes across if I go out and I buy myself something instead of buying Calen something or if I go out for a few hours I feel guilty for leaving him with Grandparents or whatever. But, Shaun, he’s really reassuring, he makes sure that I know that I’m a good mum and he’s a great dad as well, and so I can’t fault him.”
Kellie, Mum of 1
"By noticing those little cues that your wee one is hungry - or maybe something else is wrong - and responding before they become upset, you can avoid trying to feed a baby who has become distressed.”
If you have twins, triplets or more
Bonding with twins or multiples may feel a wee bit trickier, as you'll have less time with each baby. But there are lots of things you and your partner can do to strengthen your bond with your wee ones. For example, you could take it in turn to spend one-on-one time with each baby, or ask a trusted friend or family member to look after one baby for a while so you can focus on the other. You can find lots more tips for bonding if you have twins or more on the Twins Trust website.
To find out more about health visitors and the health checks your baby can get, speak to your GP or health visitor or visit Ready Steady Baby.
There’s also more information on how to settle your baby and change nappies.
If you're expecting twins, triplets or more, the Twins Trust offers advice and support.