First, Congratulations! You are now a mom and are responsible for keeping a fragile looking baby that mainly resembles your husband (or sperm donor) alive. No big deal, right? I played with baby-dolls as a kid and have babysat so I clearly have this in the bag.
As I am sure you have heard, the next few weeks will entail little to no sleep (for you mainly), becoming a mind reader of why baby is crying, feeling like a partial cow with sore nipples, and being an overprotective baby hoarder. In addition, you will now be a professional rocker, shusher, and diaper changer. People will want to take your baby while you go get some “rest”, but your instinct is to hold the baby that you practically just met and push through. Go with your gut and you’ll be fine.
Here are the things you do need to know or remember.
1. Visit your Pediatrician
Usually your appointment will be scheduled before you leave the hospital for a day or two after you get home. This will be your first BIG outing. I recommend having your spouse come along too. We were supplementing a small amount of formula in the beginning so we asked the pediatrician office if they had any. They did! So, always ask if they have samples or anything that may benefit you that first week. (You typically won’t go back again until the 2 month appointment.) Talk about a leap of faith, right?
At the 2 month appointment, your little one will get their first round of vaccines. Don’t worry, it’s harder for the parent than for the baby. Once they get their shots, nurse your baby and hold them close. They feel safe with you and milk is comforting (comfort eating anyone?).
2. Insurance for Baby
Within the first 30 days of the baby being born, he/she has to be added to your or your spouses insurance plan. Initially the baby will be added to the mothers plan. You will just need their full name and date of birth.
New insurance cards will be mailed to you with your child’s name on it. Make sure to take this card with you when you visit the Pediatrician at your 2 month appointment.
3. Life Insurance for Baby
Within the first two weeks of being home, you will more than likely begin to receive mail from Gerber’s Life Insurance, which is pretty cheap; however, do some research before you sign-up. Life insurance prepares you for the worst. If something were to happen to your baby, this would help cover medical and funeral expenses.
Most insurance companies will allow you to add it to your plan for a very small amount. In addition, if you open a bank account for your baby at State Employees Credit Union, they will offer life insurance as long as a certain amount of money is deposited into the account each year (~$20).
4. Social Security Card
Your card should arrive about 2 -3 weeks after you get home from the hospital. The staff at the hospital send off all of the paperwork for you.
5. Pick up Birth Certificate
Check out your local Register of Deeds website for details or ask the nurse in Mother/Baby before you leave. I was able to stop by the Register of Deed office about 2 weeks after Brooke was born, filled out some paperwork, paid and received her birth certificate then.
The fee is usually around $10 (cash).
Link to New Hanover County Register of Deeds
6. Vitamin D Drops
So I found out about these when I was at the pediatrician on day 3 of my daughter being alive. If you are breastfeeding, they recommend you also give your baby “Vitamin D drops” daily. A trick I found is give your baby a paci, let them suck and just put the syringe on one side of their mouth. It tastes sweet so they will more than likely approve of it. (Amazon ~$9)
7. Sleep, Snuggle, Shower
The first few weeks that baby is exhausted, so girl sleep when that baby is sleeping. Trust me, I know that is easier said than done, especially if you have more than one kiddo at home. If you have the ability to at least rest. Sit on the sofa, binge watch Netflix and drink lots of water.
Snuggle up with that baby and enjoy the new baby smell, the tiny heart beating, the warm body heat, and the fact that he/she only wants you – momma!
Showering can not only make you feel clean, but also refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated. Don’t feel guilty if you live in your PJ’s for a while either.
8. Back to Work Blues?
Going back to work can be challenging. I loved my job and never in a million years thought I would dread going back to work, but that cute little human that resembles me was pulling my heart strings. I’m going to miss so much. If you have the ability to work from home, check out 5 Tips from Working from Home because friend, it ain’t easy.