That moment the umbilical cord of your baby sends many parents into visions of outer space and the terror of the astronaut’s cord being cut. Your baby’s every need has been met with excruciating precision for the whole pregnancy, and then, suddenly, he or she is totally dependent on you, your anticipating needs and dangers, in providing for every need, it’s scary.
But the whole pregnancy is a preparation for life without pregnancy. Every one of us and everyone we know made this leap, so it stands to reason your baby is prepared to do so, too.
The other very good news is that your baby is very well defended against all common infections, they have exactly the immunity Mom has for about 4-6 months after birth.
So going home from the hospital nursery is not a trip into deep space, but a very warm embrace. And it poses no particular medical risks. As a result, there is very little need for any extensive medical material at home.
We recommend just a few items, most of which you may never use, but they are nice to have on hand:
- Ibuprofen. This is a great medication, very safe, very effective in reducing fever and pain. We prefer it to acetaminophen (Tylenol) since there remains some question about whether use of Tylenol might be associated with developing asthma.
- Benadryl. A nifty medication to have around just in case an allergic reaction happens.
- Topical antibiotic like Neosporin. Nice to have if any cuts get red.
- Thermometer. Most people like having one around. It is useful to see if your baby’s warmth indicates a fever or not. It turns out the actual temperature is not so important to us. The illness is no more serious if the temperature is 104 rather than 102, more uncomfortable, but not more dangerous. Still, everyone likes to know temperature. We like the infrared gizmos that give you a temperature without touching.