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Tips for Bringing Baby Home From the Hospital

9 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Their First Car Ride With Baby

We've partnered with Michelin to help new parents learn everything they need to know about keeping their families safe, because life happens on worn tires. When you purchase four new MICHELIN® Premier® tires, you'll get a $100 Mastercard® Reward Card from Michelin.

In the past few weeks and months before your due date, there are a million and one things running through your head. Have you mapped out your birth plan? Is the nursery set up? When do you start parental leave? With so much on your to-do list, it’s natural to feel a little nervous.

But there’s one part of the process that many new parents overlook: the first car ride home from the hospital with your newborn. Even something as simple as driving home requires a decent amount of preparation — after all, you have to make sure your car is safe for your little one. Here’s what every new parent needs to know before that big moment occurs.

Treat Your Car Like a Mobile Nursery
Your growing family will likely spend a lot of time in the car in the coming months, so it’s smart to keep all the supplies you need in the trunk. Extra diapers, blankets, onesies, swaddles, wipes, and a changing pad can all come in handy. You can also install a rear-facing seat mirror so you can keep an eye on your little one while driving.
Overpack Your Hospital Bag
While you don’t want to have to lug a full-on suitcase to the hospital, it is a good idea to overpack your hospital bag just a bit. New moms might want to bring a few different clothing options, as long as they’re all equally comfortable. A few extra baby blankets and outfits suitable for different types of weather are also always helpful to have.
Make Sure Baby Is Ready to Go
You don’t want any accidents on the road, if you can help it! Ensure your newborn is fed, burped, and wearing a clean diaper when you leave the hospital to minimize your risk of spit-ups, diaper blowouts, and a crying baby.
Choose MICHELIN® Premier® A/S Tires

The average family will stop about 20,000 times per year, so choosing high-quality tires that perform well over time is crucial to your family’s safety. MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tires were designed to maintain wet braking performance and handling, even when they're worn. That means your tires won't just perform well when they're first installed, but for many miles down the road. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your car is as safe as possible is priceless.

Make Sure the Car Is Room Temp
If you’re due during an especially warm or cold month, you’ll want to make sure you take the time to bring the car to room temperature before loading your little one into the car seat. If the car is too hot or too cold, they’ll be uncomfortable and unhappy — a mood that is not at all conducive to a smooth ride.
Sit in the Back Seat With Baby
It might feel a little odd, but sitting in the back seat with your newborn can actually be a smart choice for new parents. That way, you’ll be able to watch your little one every mile of the drive, and you’re right there in case they start crying or need something.
Install the Car Seat Ahead of Time
Long before you go into labor, you’re going to want to practice installing a rear-facing car seat a few times. Every state requires babies to be in a car seat, and many hospitals will even inspect your car to make sure it’s properly set up before you can leave. Try installing and removing your car seat at least a few times before your due date, so you’re ready to rock and roll when it’s time.
Do a Trial Run of Any New Gadget
If possible, you really don’t want to wait until the last second to put together or test out any of your new baby-friendly equipment — breast pumps, bassinets, and changing stations included. Being sleep-deprived doesn’t make it any easier to figure out the instructions.
Relax and Enjoy the Moment
When you finally have your new baby strapped into his or her car seat and you're ready to go, don’t spend any more time worrying. Everything is going to be just fine, so just remember how much you have prepared and try to enjoy the moment.

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Credits: Photography: Shutterstock and Michelin; Design: Rebecca Joy