Going home and early days with your baby

Please watch the below videos before you are discharged from our care. If you have any questions, please ask a midwife.

Before you go home

 Going home with your baby

 First feed, weight gain and nappies

Some babies feed immediately after birth and others take a little longer.

The midwives will help you whether you choose to:

A children's doctor (paediatrician), midwife or newborn (neonatal) nurse will check your baby is well, and will offer him or her a newborn physical examination within 72 hours of birth.

It's normal for babies to lose some weight in the first few days after birth. Putting on weight steadily after this is a sign your baby is healthy and feeding well.

Read more about your baby's weight, and nappies, including healthy poo.

Tests and checks for your baby

On day 5 to 8 after the birth, you'll be offered 2 screening tests for your baby:

If your baby is in special care, these tests will be done there. If your baby is at home, the tests will be done at your home by the community midwife team.

In the early days, the midwife will check your baby for signs of:

  • jaundice
  • infection of the umbilical cord or eyes
  • thrush in the mouth

Safe sleeping for your baby

Make sure you know how to:

2 weeks and beyond

You don't need to give your baby a bath every day. You may prefer to wash their face, neck, hands and bottom carefully instead.

Most babies will regain their birthweight in the first 2 weeks. Around this time their care will move from a midwife to a health visitor.

The health visitor will check your baby's growth and development at regular appointments, and record this in your baby's red book.

You after the birth

The maternity staff caring for you will check you're recovering well after the birth.

They will take your temperature, pulse and blood pressure.

They'll also feel your tummy (abdomen) to make sure your womb is shrinking back to its normal size.

Some women feel tummy pain when their womb shrinks, especially when they're breastfeeding. This is normal.

Seeing a midwife or health visitor

If you've given birth in hospital or a midwife unit and you and your baby are well, you'll probably be able to go home 6 to 24 hours after your baby is born.

Midwives will agree a plan with you for visits at home or at a children's centre until your baby is at least 10 days old. This is to check that you and your baby are well, and support you in these first few days.

The ICON campaign

A baby’s cry can be upsetting and frustrating. It is designed to get your attention and you may be worried that something is wrong with your baby. Your baby may start to cry more frequently at about 2 weeks of age. The crying may get more frequent and last longer during the next few weeks, hitting a peak at about 6 to 8 weeks. Every baby is different, but after about 8 weeks, babies start to cry less and less each week.

ICON advises parents and carers that:

  • infant crying is normal 
  • comfort methods may help soothe your baby
  • It’s ok to walk away briefly, if you have checked the baby is safe
  • you should never, ever shake or hurt a baby.

Speak to someone if you need support such as your family, friends, Midwife, GP or Health Visitor.

For more information, advice and to download the ICON guide, follow this link.