The biggest shock after having our son is that after four days the hospital was letting us take him home.
Despite the baby prep classes and recovery time from my C-section and the video the nurses insisted that we watched, it seemed really soon. As in: We don't know what we are doing yet - are you sure you want us to take home this precious little life?
And yet, they did. And we were (like most new parents) unprepared but able to figure it out.
I think back on that time today and think about how much easier life would have been with a baby box. "What's a baby box?" you ask. Well, there is this essentials kit that Alberta parents have been receiving (lifted from an idea in Finland) that is filled with all the things you'll need once at home with the baby. Actual essentials. It's not filled with the cutest possible outfit that you saw in the store or the fanciest diaper bag, but items like blankets, swaddling instructions and baby thermometers. (Things that you maybe didn't know to register for.)
In the first few weeks of my son's life we didn't know how tightly he liked to be swaddled, or which exact cream to use on what area of his body and how much. Yes, I had my Mother living nearby to ask these questions of her, but a box full of answers would have helped tremendously.
I hope that one day the baby essentials kit becomes standard issue to all parents. Because there is nothing scarier than when the hospital encourages you to leave the nurses and the sterile environment and take your baby home. A box of help is just what every parent needs.
What did you need when you first brought your baby home? Tell me in the comments.