Your hamsters first week at home will be stressful and frightening, hopefully this guide will help you to make your hamster feel as comfortable as possible and to allow your new pet to start to trust you.
So you are bringing home your new hamster. If you can, I would always recommend having their cage setup already, this will make the time spent in the travel box as short as possible. Try to keep the ride home as dark and quiet for him/her as possible, this will help to reduce the stress. Remember your new hamster does not know you or why they are moving from the place that they used to call home.
Once home, place the travel box inside the hamsters new cage and allow them to walk out on their own. Try to avoid handling them or giving them a stroke, and this will just stress your hamster out and will frighten them unnecessarily. During your hamsters first week at home your new pet will most likely hide in the darkest corner of the cage, this is completely normal. It is often hard to not to try and touch your new pet or offer them something tasty to eat to try and show them that your are a great person for them to befriend, but actually in my experience this is not the message your hamster will take from this. Your hamster, probably very scared and defensive can often mistake the action of hands coming towards them as threatening and this may cause your hamster to react by biting. It is best to close the cage and watch from a distance as your hamster starts to explore their new home.
During the first day or two I would only recommend putting your hands into the cage to replace food and water.
After a couple of days you can start to talk to your hamster when he/she is awake, this action followed by the addition of food will of course become a very pleasant experience for him/her. Once you can speak to your hamster and open the cage without a startled reaction you can then start to offer them a tasty treat. This is the time that you can start the taming process. Further information about how to tame your hamster can be found here.
Just remember not to get frustrated if your hamster panics at your presence, especially during the hamsters first week at home. You need to bare in mind that this is maybe one of the most stressful times that your hamster will experience. Patience really is a virtue at this point!
Each hamster is an individual and has its own personality, for some settling in may only take a couple of days, but I have also had hamsters that have taken several weeks to even begin to trust me.