Congratulations! You have just been discharged from the hospital with your new precious baby, and you are now parents. This is quite likely the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, and – yes – terrifying moment of your lives.

Adoption can be such a challenging road and you have been so involved in getting to this point. You may not have taken a lot of time to prepare for the next steps after your baby goes home. Where a new parent has had a predictable nine months to prepare a nursery and learn to care for a baby, adoption is unpredictable. You may not have had a baby shower or even set up a crib. In all the excitement, it is hard to focus on and comprehend all the instructions you are given about your baby’s care. To add to the stress of this time, you are beginning the first of many nights of interrupted sleep. You have likely been away from your home, friends and family and are heading ‘home’ to a hotel. Take a deep breath and relax. Here are the baby care basics from someone who has been in your shoes as an adoptive parent and happens to be a pediatrician.

Now that your baby is home, where do you start?