You’ve birthed your baby, the hard work is done. Or so you thought. You’ve spent so much time preparing to have your baby you may not have given second thought as to what comes next. While there’s a never-ending to-do list that comes with new parenthood, in addition to snuggling your new bundle of joy, here’s a list of 10 things that you’ll want to do first.
1. Take Pictures
You may not be a photography pro now, but you’ll become one soon enough. Take baby’s first photo and a million more. You’ll want to capture his first moments and chronicle how he changes over the days, weeks, months and years. Be sure to take that first family shot too. Friends and family are waiting to see it!
2. Tell Family and Friends the Good News!
While you’re going to want to notify close family and friends personally, once those calls are made, take to social media to make your announcement. A quick photo upload and shout out to your new little one is an easy and effortless way to tell the masses and can serve as an easy alternative to a traditional birth announcement.
3. Connect with a Lactation Consultant
For many moms, breastfeeding comes surprisingly unnaturally. Fortunately hospitals and local support centers for new moms make connecting with a lactation consultant easy.Let your nurse know you’re seeking the support of one and she’ll be able to get you connected.
4. Contact Your Pediatrician
Depending on where you give birth, your baby’s pediatrician may want to make an appearance at the hospital to evaluate your newborn or may schedule you for an appointment a day or two after you’re discharged.
5. Double Check Your Car Seat Installation
While many new parents assume that the hospital won’t let them leave if the car seat is installed incorrectly this simply isn’t true. Ask the hospital if they have a certified car seat passenger technician on staff or visit SafeKids.org to locate a certified tech in your area. Eight out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. Don’t let your child’s be one of them.
6. Apply for a Social Security Number.
If you give birth in a hospital, when you provide the information for your baby’s birth certificate they’ll also ask if you want to apply for a social security number for your newborn. Take advantage of this opportunity so that you aren’t stuck having to apply for one later, when you need it.
7. Notify Your Health Insurance Company
Unless you want to spend a lot of time sorting out medical bills for your newborn later, call your insurance company and notify them of your baby’s birth. They’ll let you know what steps, if any, you need to take to have your baby added on to your plan.
8. Start Your Baby Journal
If you plan on chronicling your child’s life, start now rather than having to play catch up later. For mom’s who don’t want to deal with a handwritten journal, online versions can be a great alternative. KidMondo, is an online baby book that lets you update photos and your journal via email and create a professional printed book as a keepsake (it’s one I’ve used and am affiliated with) and has got great parent and media reviews.
9. Ask for and Accept Help
Think twice before turning down those offers of prepared meals, babysitting and housecleaning. Your friends and family will want to help you however they can so why not let them? Have them watch the baby so you can jump in the shower or take them up on their offer to send over pizza. The less you have to do, the more time you can spend recuperating and bonding with your baby.
10. Get Dad Involved
Now is the time to get dad in on diaper duty and bath time. Sometimes new moms want to do everything for their new baby, which is great, but often ends up in dad getting left out. Now is the time to facilitate dad and baby bonding and to empower him to play an active role in parenting. If he seems a little lost for what to do, provide him with directives. “Can you take the baby for a walk around the block while I take a shower?” “Could you hold her while I prepare dinner?” With a little guidance and support, dads will embrace their role.