Congratulations! You are about to embark on the journey of being new parents! As you prepare and think ahead, make sure you are not overlooking some of the important details. Trying to get things in place right as you are about to give birth or during those first few days at home can be extremely stressful and difficult! To help make sure you are all set, here is a list of essential things to do before bringing your baby home.
Check with Your Insurance Provider
Get in touch with your health insurance provider and find local doctors that are covered under your insurance. Be sure to understand the whole insurance plan regarding labor, delivery, and maternity care.
Choose a Doctor or Midwife
As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, it is time to find an OBGYN or a midwife. Now, depending on what kind of experience you are hoping for, there is a wide range of health care providers out there. A midwife can help you have a more personalized and natural birth with fewer medical interventions, where a doctor is best for severe medical conditions. In the end, it is up to you to decide!
Start a Registry
Gather information from family and friends on the “must-haves” when having a new baby. Read customer and product reviews to help you find what you need. Double-check products you register for are safe, innovative, good quality, and even stylish if that’s what you’re after! It is also vital you get the essentials first, such as the car seat and crib, just in case the baby comes early!
Once you are ready, it is time to talk to your employer. It is crucial they know so you can get at least 12 weeks of leave regardless if it is paid or not.
It is no surprise that having and raising a baby (or babies) is expensive! Setting a budget for delivery, clothes, toys, etc., for your baby’s first year in life is essential. It is also nice to consider long-term expenses like future extracurricular activities, college, and of course, an emergency fund.
Are you thinking of getting a planned C-section? Water birth at home? There are so many different ways to give birth. It is best to discuss these options with your OBGYN or midwife before being admitted to the hospital.
Find a Pediatrician
Most parents only focus on pregnancy and delivery and quickly forget about finding a family doctor to care for the baby once they have made their grand entrance. Talk to your insurance, network, friends, or family for recommendations for a pediatrician.
From learning how to breastfeed, perform infant CPR, and swaddle, there is so much to learn as you become a first-time parent. Taking classes will teach you and your partner everything you need to know and help you be a confident parent.
Get the Home Ready
Are you getting the nursery ready for the baby’s arrival? Try to get it done early as it can feel as though there is no time for that with a newborn! Be sure to get all necessary home repairs, renovations, and furniture in place beforehand.
If you plan to go back to work, be sure to plan your child care sooner rather than later. Reach out to centers, home daycares, nannies, schools, and care provided by family members. If you are unsure what to do, ask for advice. Also, don’t wait too long since some of those options will have waitlists.
Pack a Hospital Bag
The last thing you will want to worry about when having contractions is if you packed everything in your hospital bag. Get your bag and the baby’s bag put together weeks before your due date. We recommend bringing personal items that can make your hospital stay more comfortable, such as a speaker, slippers, blanket, or pillow.