First-time parents often struggle with the challenge of getting prepared for the task. Talking with other parents can help. They can recommend support services including child care, medical care, products to use, and parenting strategies. They can give you many useful tips that you might otherwise overlook. If your available resources are limited, you can check with your local pregnancy center, church, hospital or community organization to find out about parenting classes and other resources. Contact a pregnancy specialist toll-free at 1-800-672-2296 to get connected to parenting resources in your area. In the meantime, the following list can help you get started.
Take Parenting Classes: Parenting classes can teach you the basics about baby and child care, discipline and family relationships.
Get the Essentials: There are countless baby products in the marketplace but only a few that are essential for the time when you bring your baby home.
Parenting Preparation Checklist
Don’t feel the need to rush out and get everything. However, it is good to be prepared. Here is a list of things that are usually considered more essential.
- Car Seat - Hospitals require parents to have a car seat for their baby before they take their child home.
- Diapers - This also includes wipes, powder and lotion for helping with possible diaper rash.
- Bassinet or Crib – a secure and safe for your baby to sleep
- Formula and Bottles – If you are not planning to breastfeed, you will need to buy formula for your baby
First Aid: Learn CPR for infants and children.
Maternity Leave: Most states have laws in place that require companies to allow working mothers and fathers up to 12 weeks of un-paid leave for the birth of a child. The law is called the Family Medical Leave Act.
Child Care: Decide ahead of time how you are going to handle routine and emergency child care situations.
Compiled using information from the following source:
The Mother of all Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby�s First Year. Douglas, Ann, Ch. 3.