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6 Things to Remember to do After Your Baby is Born
Walking into your home for the first time with a new baby in tow is a life-changing moment. It can be simultaneously exciting and terrifying — but most of all a tad overwhelming. You’ve most likely prepped your home for your new addition’s arrival, but having a plan for the first few days after your baby is home is just as crucial. Here’s a list of essentials to plan for once you’re all settled in.
Celebrate promptly. First of all, a new baby requires celebration! Whether you invite the whole family over to meet your new addition to the family, share news and pictures on social media, or keep the news to yourselves, celebrate your new baby in the best way to suit your growing family.
Put health first. Before you even leave the hospital, check with your doctor for next steps in terms of doctor visits. Schedule follow-up appointments for both you and the baby before you go home, that way you won’t have to worry about it during the hectic week to come.
Grab a pen. Hospitals typically provide the forms you need to file for your little one’s birth certificate, so it’s important to fill out the necessary paperwork before leaving. As for obtaining your baby’s Social Security card, some hospitals may have you fill out the forms there — if yours does, take advantage of it! The later you wait to apply, the more complicated it can get. You’ll have to visit a Social Security office and have proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship, age and identity, as well as your own.
Ride in style. One of the best ways to protect your baby is with the proper car seat, which is why every state requires parents to have one before leaving the hospital. It’s important to know how to use it beforehand, so you can quickly and properly secure your baby in it. Infant-only car seats automatically face the rear of the car, but if you have a convertible seat, it’s important to have it rear-facing to accommodate the baby.
Ensure protection. Although most policies give you a 30 day grace period after the birth of your baby, it’s important to get your little bundle of joy covered under your health insurance as soon as possible. Keep in mind that having a baby counts as a qualifying life event, so there’s no need to wait for your insurance’s open enrollment. Depending on how you’re insured, you should notify your health insurer directly, contact the health plan director at your work, or make an addition through your state’s health insurance exchange.
Plan ahead. If you haven’t already done so, it’s important to make a plan for when maternity or paternity leave ends. Whether you’ve decided to take time off work, enlist a family member or nanny, or need to sign up for a daycare, don’t leave the decision to the last minute. If you decide to go the daycare or nanny route, do your research and plan some visits way before you actually need to start using them — that way you’ll have peace of mind for when the big day arrives.
Once you’ve got these tasks out of the way, you can focus on relaxing and bonding with your new bundle of joy, and preparing for the next phase of your life!