6 Things On Every Parents' To-Do List When You Have A Baby
The pregnancy alone is stressful, but when your little bundle of joy arrives, the nerves start to jangle even more. They look so small that they could break! Thankfully, children are a lot more durable than they appear, so you shouldn't worry too much. That's one thing you can tick off the to-do list.
Unfortunately, you have to deal with a ton of stuff as the parent of a new baby that it's tough to keep up with everything. Sometimes, things keep a low profile and fly under the radar. It's no big deal, you say. If you can't remember what it is, it mustn't be that vital! However, with the excitement of the birth and preparing to welcome your son or daughter to their home, it's easy to lose track of the essentials.
And, they are essentials. They may not be urgently required straight away, and they may come into play in the medium to long-term, but it's always better to take care of the small details as soon as possible. If you already have children, you'll know pitfalls can pop-up out of the blue and prevent you from completing the simplest of tasks.
Plus, there are things that you don't value that you should. To find out more, please continue reading.
Register Your Baby
In all fairness, registering your child will be one of the first priorities in the forefront of your mind. It's not that you forget to do it, but more that parents fail to settle on a name that they both love. As a result, neither wants to head to the registry office. It's not as if you can file for a birth certificate if your baby is nameless!
You do get a couple of weeks to finalize your child's formal title, so it's not as if the midwives will be forcing you to write something down that you hate. Still, it's better to come up with a name sooner rather than later as you can be fined if you don't register your child on time. The penalty isn't huge, yet it's easily avoided and pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things.
It's not illegal to be nameless, but at the same time, your child won't be able to open a bank account or apply for a social security number. If you're unsure, there are only a few disallowed options - Messiah and Santa Claus have been challenged in US courts - yet everything else is fair game.
Therefore, there really isn't an excuse to be clutching at straws when your little one arrives!
Apply For A Social Security No
When you think about all the things for which a Social Security number is vital, none of them apply to children. They aren't going to open a bank account any time soon, so you may feel that it's unnecessary to obtain an SSN so early on in their life. You can do it later on when it means more and there's less chance of losing the card!
Although this is mostly true, there are times when a social security number is handy. For example, if you file an application for benefits, you'll need to prove that your child is dependent on you and your partner. The best way to do it is to provide their Social Security information. Also, you shouldn't rule out opening a savings account or purchasing investment bonds in their name.
It's an excellent way to save for the future as your access to the account is restricted when it's not in your name. Then, there is the fact that there are usually delays when parents file for an SSN after they leave the hospital since the government must verify the birth certificate.
The good news is that you can do it before you and your family head home. After the birth, the nursing staff should help you fill out the forms for the birth certificate. When they do, you can ask them to apply for a Social Security no. All you need to provide are the parents' SSN.
Get A Passport
Traveling is the last thing on your mind in the midst of a global pandemic, especially when it looks as if the risks aren't disappearing any time soon. You may book a vacation only to find out that it's canceled, or even worse, that you're expected to isolate when you return. Besides forcing you to quarantine and take time off work, you'll lose the booking money.
Of course, there are reasons why you may prefer to obtain a passport for your child now. Firstly, the process should be shorter as there will be fewer applications. That means the waiting times will be faster, too. Secondly, it's a secure form of identification. Carrying around a birth certificate is a risky move as you only receive a single copy of the original. The rest are photocopies.
Probably the most practical reason to apply for a passport is that staycations in the US are complicated. You can stay within the country, but you can also head to the likes of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and some Caribbean countries, thanks to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
Let's face it - they are a little more exotic! You don't have to take a passport for your child, or yourself for that matter, but it's less hassle.
Start Searching For Preschools
Your baby is only a couple of days into their life. By that logic, and the fact that they have four to five more years before you have to think about their education, you're not prioritizing school. There's plenty of time to worry about whether you should move homes and locate closer to a top institution for the sake of their future.
Or is there? As it turns out, moms and dads often need to plan their kids' education sooner than they imagine. After all, it's not easy to obtain a place at a preschool of your choice. Your perfect pick could be several others' ideal choice, too. If they are proactive, the number of slots will get snapped up before you even contemplate kindergarten.
And, that's without considering daycare. If you ever plan on utilizing a daycare facility to help you claim back your routine, you should be prepared to put the feelers out very soon. Knowing moms and dads that already attend will stand you in good stead, as will being friendly with the faculty.
You can do this by attending neighborhood functions and events and making small talk. It's surprising how far a conversation will go!
Buy Life Insurance
Life insurance is one of the most commonly misinterpreted investments in the world. Whether you don't think you'll need it any time soon, hate the idea of pondering your mortality, or assume it's a waste of money, it's tempting to avoid the topic. There are less depressing subjects to talk about at such a happy time of your life.
Life insurance is essential because there is no way to tell what will happen in your life. One minute you and your partner are welcoming a baby and the next, you're a single parent. It's not nice to think about, yet you can't be irresponsible either. To leave your SO and child with limited resources and many debts to pay off is even worse.
Thankfully, comprehensive life cover pays for everything from granite vases for cemeteries to a lump sum amount negotiated before you sign on the dotted line. There is a monthly stipend, too, depending on which plan you decide is the most suitable.
You don't have to spend a fortune to afford an acceptable policy. As long as you research which features are the most important to your family, you can avoid overpaying at a time when your finances are tight.
Take Vacation Allowance
As a mother, it's daunting to deal with everything within two weeks of giving birth, even with all the gadgets. It's enough to cause an anxiety attack!
With this in mind, you may want your SO to take another week off work so that you can bond. Not only that, but the moms can prepare for nine months of not speaking to an adult between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm!
Once an employer understands that you're having a baby, they should be accommodating. Of course, it's hard for them to sanction vacation allowance when your partner drops it on them one week into their paternity leave. As a rule, it's best to give as much leave as possible.
Your SO may even be happy to take unpaid leave. That way, they'll still have vacation time for later in the year. It's the family's decision, yet one thing that applies to everyone is to be proactive!
What's on your to-do list? Do you need to add any of the above?