All About Babies

Is Your Newborn Really Ready to Go Home?

Newborn and mom
As a new mama, you probably can't wait to bring your newborn home to her Pinterest-perfect nursery (even if, yes, you're just the tiniest bit freaked out by the fact that that precious little person is actually being allowed to go home with you.)

But is your baby really ready to leave the hospital just a day or two after being born?

Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its guidelines on the release of healthy-term newborns from hospitals. The guidelines, which were published online in the journal of Pediatrics, emphasize the importance of both the baby and mother's health and stability, as well as ensuring that the baby will be brought home to a suitable environment.

That means, among other things, that parents must have a suitable car seat and be fully aware of how to properly use it, according to the AAP. The policy also mentions assessing potential risk factors at home; including but not limited to untreated substance abuse, history of domestic violence, and mental illness.

Aside from normal-range vital signs, the newborn should also complete a minimum of two successful feedings, whether they are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

"A shortened hospital stay (less than 48 hours after delivery) for healthy, term newborns can be accommodated but is not appropriate for every mother and newborn," the AAP states.

Related: How to Pack Your Hospital Bag

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

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Image: Newborn baby and mother via Shutterstock