If you are a first-time parent, you may be struggling with getting prepared for the task. Fortunately, you have time to get ready. Talking with friends and family who have children can help you get started. They can recommend services such as child care and medical care, products, parenting strategies and other useful tips that you may overlook. If you don't have these resources available, check with your local pregnancy center, church, hospital or community organization for parenting classes and resources. Contact a pregnancy specialist to get connected to parenting resources in your area. In the mean time, here is a list to 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 tons of baby products out there, but only a few are the essentials you need to bring your baby home. Some of the essentials include:
- Car Seat - hospitals require parents to have a car seat for their baby before they can take their child home
- Diapers - this also may include wipes, powder and lotion for diaper rash
- Bassinet or Crib - someplace safe for your baby to sleep
- Formula and Bottles - if you are not planning to breastfeed, you will need 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 that requires companies to provide this time off is the Family Medical Leave Act.
Child Care: Figure out ahead of time what you're going to do for routine and emergency child care situations.
Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association