Your little bundle of joy has arrived! Now what? Here are 14 things to do after you have a baby.
I wished I had a checklist to cross off after I brought my son home from the hospital, so I made one you can keep handy.
We’ll go through everything on the list quickly.
And keep reading for a downloadable version you can print!
But before we get to the list of tips, I want to cover what may be the most important tip of all.
Remember, the year you give birth, you likely met your out-of-pocket max for your health insurance.
That means, any health care things you want to do would be extremely discounted if not totally free. This list includes:
- Visiting a therapist/psychologist
- Getting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for postpartum insomnia
- Visiting the dermatologist
- Therapeutic massages / chiropractic visits
I’m sure there are plenty more, too.
You will always want to check with your insurance beforehand just in case. But I was pleasantly surprised by all the healthcare stuff I usually put off that I was able to tack on that year for free!
One quick note: This post may contain affiliate links.
Without further ado, here are those 14 things to do after you have a baby!
What to do before leaving the hospital:
1. Fill out baby’s birth certificate. Nothing to worry about here. The hospital staff will make sure to handle this with you.
2. Complete a birth registration form to begin the process of obtaining a social security card. This will be mailed to you in 6-12 weeks.
3. Get baby’s hands and feet inked as a keepsake. This is also something they already do for you!
You can also bring a baby book or something else special if you want that done there.
But personally, I wouldn’t worry about it. Handle that at home if you want another copy.
4. Decide whether your son will be circumcised. Some hospitals perform this onsite, some don’t.
And this one is definitely a personal decision since there are pros and cons either way.
As of 2016, it was estimated that the male circumcision rate was 76-92%.
5. Ask hospital staff for the Lactation Consultant’s contact information if you’re interesting in breastfeeding.
A word to the wise: For me and countless other woman, breastfeeding was a much bigger challenge than I initially thought.
It’s best to have all the support you may need lined up before you leave the hospital. Then, if you don’t need it, all the better!
RELATED READING: 10 Tips For Successful Breastfeeding
6. Inform family and close friends of baby’s arrival.
This is a fun one! There are so many ways to share the good news. Phone call, text, video call, in person?
It’s nice to know ahead of time who is on your must call list and who can find out when you’re ready to share on social channels.
7. Confirm with your care nurse everything you need to do for postpartum recovery.
Make sure you understand everything you need to care for your own needs after giving birth. And don’t just take your friend’s word for it if she had a baby a few years ago.
The truth is, this information is being updated all the time as I found out here!
RELATED READING: What to buy ahead of time for a fast, healthy postpartum recovery
RELATED READING: Quick, easy way to make postpartum padsicles
What to do within 7 days of giving birth:
8. Contact work to initiate FMLA/Short Term Disability.
I can say from experience, this is a pretty easy process. If you have any questions, your HR department is going to make a great resource for you.
What to do within 30 days of giving birth:
9. Choose a health plan and add baby as a life event.
That’s right. Don’t forget having a baby is a life event so you can change health plans no matter what time of year it is.
You definitely want to price compare family plans between you and your significant other, there is also the option of you and baby being on one and your significant other being on their own.
Be sure to explore all options to do what gives you the most for your money. Most HR reps are happy to walk you through this.
Pro tip: Baby will NOT need dental coverage for their first year of life.
10. Plan a newborn baby photoshoot and order birth announcements.
Pro tip: If you want cute designs and a great price, skip the research because I already did it.
You can get the cutest birth announcements, Christmas cards, and all the other printed paper goods you need right here!
I highly recommend checking them out!
11. Update your budget to include monthly baby items.
Don’t forget to build in things you’ll buy frequently like diapers, clothes, formula/baby food (later as needed).
Pro tip: I found the best deals ever for gently used baby/kids clothes on Facebook marketplace!
What to do within a few months of giving birth:
12. Write/update your will and other legal documents.
It’s SO IMPORTANT to make sure all this is in tiptop shape so you can have the confidence your little one will be taken care of should anything happen to his/her caregivers.
13. Make sure you have life insurance.
Again, see above.
Most employers offer life insurance as part of a competitive benefits package. But if you talk to a trusted financial advisor you will learn it’s a good idea to consider life insurance outside of the company you work at.
The reason is these policies are not transferable if you were to leave.
You’ll definitely want to do your research here. Get a referral from someone you trust for a quality life insurance agent who will make you feel comfortable without upselling you bunch of stuff you don’t want or need.
14. Check into tax breaks.
We do our taxes through TurboTax and they make it really easy to track pregnancy and baby-related expenses with tax implications.
Pro tip: You may qualify for a tax credit if you pay a daycare provider (even in-home), babysitter, summer camp, or nanny!
You may want to consult an accountant to be sure you’ve got everything if you do your taxes yourself.
Want the entire printable checklist of 14 things to do after you have a baby?
You got it!
Find more time for what’s really important like bonding with your new baby and getting some much needed Me Time in with my 6 Time Saving New Mama Hacks!
Help me add to this list of important things to do after you have a baby. Comment below!