Becoming a new parent is an overwhelming but exciting time. There is so much to learn and so much to process before the baby arrives. Whether you are part of a couple giving birth, adopting, or a single parent bringing new life into the world, here are a few things to consider before your bundle of joy arrives.
One of the first things to look into is how much your insurance will cover of your pregnancy, delivery, and hospital stay. If you are considering a midwife, or a method of birth that does not involve a hospital stay, be sure to research what your insurance will and will not cover. Another pro tip: look into how to add your child to your health insurance before they arrive as well.
Maternity & Family Leave
A lot of moms-to-be anticipate the conversation they will need to have with their boss. Chances are, the company you work for has a maternity leave policy already in place. Consider talking to the HR department, or reviewing the corporate notebook. You should also find out whether that policy falls in line with federal and state laws regarding family and medical leave. Don't forget to ask about Paternity Leave. More employers than ever are also offering this benefit to fathers to assist in the first weeks of a new baby in the home.
Choosing a Pediatrician
Another important and big step: your baby's pediatrician should be chosen before the birth of the baby. Take your time with this search, and interview potential candidates. Consider asking trusted family members and friends for recommendations, as well as your primary doctor or OB/Gyn.
There are many choices for childcare. Talk with your partner about your options, consult family members, day care centers, and think about looking into home childcare. A popular option for some parents is to hire a nanny to lend a helping hand part or full time once mom and/or dad has to return to work.
Planning for the Future
One of the most important decisions you can make is choosing the godparents for your child(ren). The guardian(s) should be someone trustworthy and ready to take on the responsibility of caring for your child, should anything happen to you and your partner.
Life Insurance & College Savings
Now that your family has expanded, it is time to decide whether to increase your insurance coverage, or buy insurance for the first time in your life. Along those lines, it is never too early to think about saving for college. The way you save is up to you. Whether it is an account in the child's name, or savings bonds and CDs, there are so many ways to start saving today.
After all the above considerations have been made, there is a step that absolutely should be taken, yet so many young families overlook this step until it is possibly too late. Consult your attorney about setting up a Will and other documents that reflect how you want your child cared for in the event of your death or incapacitation. This truly does not have to be expensive and does not take much time. Make estate planning a priority.
We know how much there is to consider, and what a great and wonderful responsibility becoming a new parent is. It can be immensely helpful to have a guide assisting you on this incredible path. Consider seeking the counsel of a family law attorney to ensure your family is protected in all the ways you want them to be.