Congratulations are in order! You are now responsible for a precious new and tiny life in the world, and your family couldn’t be more thrilled. Having a new baby, especially if it’s your first child, can change your life completely, and parents will tell you there isn’t a more rewarding experience. You may have done your best to prepare for your baby’s arrival in the months leading up to the birth. But now that your perfect bundle of joy has joined you at home, there still may be a few things to consider. Today, we’ll highlight what some suggest are the most important things to give your new baby.
Preparing All the Things for Baby
While you may have piles of cute onesies and stacks of diapers, now that you’re home with your baby, you realize there are a few things you might still need. Now is the best time to get all those things you may not have unwrapped at the baby shower.
Things You May Still Need at Home
You might already have a crib and changing table. But in your daily routine of caring for a new baby, you may be finding that changing baby on your bed is easier, and adding a changing mat to your list of supplies is necessary. Is your baby the king of spitting up? Some new parents find themselves with a shortage of burp cloths. You, too, may soon understand that there’s no such thing as too many burp cloths to keep on-hand. Other items you need in abundance with a newborn that you might not have considered include mild formula laundry detergents, extra binkies, and ample supply of diaper rash creams.
Traveling with Your New Baby
Maybe you have the best car seat on the market but forgot to buy sun shades to block the heat and brightness. Whether you’re planning a short trip to run errands or longer trips to visit distant family, parents will also suggest making sure you have all the baby supplies with you. Pack your diaper bag, to include plenty of wipes, diapers, and pacifiers, to always be prepared. And it also may be helpful to make sure you have extras already in your vehicle, just in case.
Bedtime Baby Needs
When it comes to things you may have forgotten to buy before your baby’s arrival, many new parents identify needs pertaining to nighttime routines. Bumbling around in the dark, for example, can prove to be brutal as parents find every piece of furniture with their toes. Consider making use of nightlights to keep the environment dark but illuminated enough to prevent accidents. Night light products exist today that are multifunctional and play lullabies or display room temperatures, too. Swaddlers, blankets, and pacifiers need to be on hand and easy to grab for overnight comforting, as well.
Giving Your New Baby (And Yourself) the Gift of Routine
Most seasoned parents will suggest the best thing you can give your new baby is the gift of routine. Carving out a schedule for every care step will help a baby’s development. It will also have secondary benefits to parents who can also find their groove in basic routines.
Routine Feeding Schedules
Within your first few weeks home, you can expect to be feeding every few hours. And you and your baby will be discovering those hungry times together. But once you’re able to identify a schedule, do your best to stick to those times throughout the day and night. Every newborn will have different needs, of course, and your regimen will need to adjust based on gassy tummies and teething. However, adhering to set feeding times, will contribute to predicted diaper changes and napping schedules, too. Predictability can be your best friend as a new parent and is one of the best things to give your new baby.
Routine Sleeping Schedules
Finding your system for naps and overnight sleeping will vary ongoing based on your baby’s needs. And it’s less about being a ‘cry it out’ parent or not. It’s more about trying to block out regular times every day for naps or quiet time and encouraging a bedtime routine to set up the overnight rests. Mixing up times for naps will affect the entire feeding and overnight schedule. So, do your best to commit to dedicated sleep times during the day. Preparing for overnights might mean lavender baths before bed, listening to lullabies, or swaddle time before laying your baby down.
Routine Play Schedules
Don’t forget to include dedicated playtime when trying to layout your baby’s schedules. Allocating certain hours of the day for development mat time or tummy time is beneficial for babies. Some parents use floor time, with toys to encourage stimulation. There are also baby-related videos that can be great backdrops for playtime. Vibrating seats and gentle bouncers are comforting to wide-awake babies, as well.
The Gift of Health & Peace of Mind
Aside from the ‘things’ that you can give baby, now is the time you should also consider giving the gift of health and peace of mind. The official business behind bringing a new baby home will include handling a little paperwork and exploring options for insurance.
Birth Certificate, Social Security Card & Birth Announcements
Your new baby is an official member of society, and you’ll want to handle all the necessary documentation accordingly. Once you have your birth certificate, you can then follow through with the next steps. Your new tiny person will need a social security number assigned and a card, which may take a few weeks to secure. In the meantime, you can send birth announcements to friends and family.
Wills, Legal Docs & FMLA
Other official business tasks you can do now that will benefit your baby includes updating your wills. You may also need to contact your employer to add your new arrival as the beneficiary of any life insurance products you have. And now that your precious baby is here, you can better predict your needed at-home time, should you be using Family Medical Leave Act time off from work. Taking care of your baby means handling any contingency planning to make sure you have a safety net.
Health Insurance & Care Providers
Having a new baby is a significant life-changing event, and in the eyes of insurance providers, it’s also considered a qualifying life event. This means you have an opportunity, usually within 60 days, to change your current health insurance coverage to include a new member of the family. You may already have your infant’s preferred health care provider, but now you’ll want to make sure you find the right insurance plans to help with the costs and security of ongoing routine check-ups.
Congratulations again on the arrival of your perfect bundle! Enjoy every experience for the first time, but don’t lose sight of some of the most essential things your baby needs right now. Buy the nightlights. Try to stick to a nap schedule. And browse today, to find the best health insurance policy for the newest member of your family.