5 big things you need to do after you bring baby home

We all know babies can be a lot of work when you get them home but rarely does anyone discuss the actual homework that follows their arrival.

No one really talks about the paperwork and all decisions you need to make beyond the obvious things like pram, cot, clothes and toys.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of all the administration tasks around having a baby.

Here’s five things you need to do after you bring baby home.

1. Register your baby’s birth

Soon after your baby’s arrival, the hospital should give you a Parent Pack complete with a Newborn Child Declaration you, and your doctor or midwife, will need to complete.

This is an essential first step for you to be able to access various government parenting and family payments and benefits, but is also necessary for registering baby’s birth and enrolling your child with Medicare and the My Health Record System.

Once your baby has arrived, you will need to register him or her with your state or territory government.

Birth registration is free and must be done within the first six months after your baby’s birth (or adoption).

2. Prepare a Will

When you become wholly responsible for a new life, it requires caring for them in the present and planning for their future.

It may be confronting, but it is in the best interest of your child that you consider what life you would like for your baby to have should anything happen to both parents. If you already have a Will, the arrival of a baby means you should update it.

The best way to protect your child’s future is to appoint a guardian and have your wishes clearly stated in a legal Will. It’s really important to discuss your intentions, obtain consent and make your expectations clear to the prospective guardian.

Thankfully this process is made easy with the step-by-step guide provided in the State Trustees Legal Will Kit, covering everything from appointing a guardian and an executor, to choosing beneficiaries and specifying gifts.

3. Set up a savings plan

It is never too early to start saving for the future and, when it comes to your baby, having a solid plan from the start could make all the difference.

This post-baby plan could centre around organising your own finances, re-evaluating your budget to allow for all the new expenses you have to cover for the next 18 or so years from nappies through to university tuition.

It could also include setting up a savings account for your new little bundle that you can make modest contributions to throughout their life until they are old enough to take the reins of their own financial future.

Most banks and credit unions have account options for children boasting great incentives to save, with little to no fees involved.

4. Update insurance details

This is one of those administrative jobs that that you could come to regret if you put it off.

Start with contacting your private health insurance provider to have your baby added to your policy and be sure to understand exactly what coverage is included.

It is also important to update your home contents insurance as you will likely find all the baby-related furniture and gadgets you’ve recently acquired would cost a pretty penny to replace if anything were to happen.

5. Enrol in kinder and school waitlists

Depending where you live, you may have loads of daycare and schooling options or a very limited pool to choose from.

Either way, the best of the bunch can come with long waiting lists and stringent entry criteria so it really is never too early to start looking at your options.

You may feel ridiculous calling daycares a year or two out from needing them but you could be surprised to find people are still waiting for spots despite having their child’s name down before birth.

Daycares and preschools, like primary and high school, have to comply with strict carer to student ratios so the earlier you contact them the better your chances are of getting a spot when you need it. If you change your mind later, it’s easier to pass on a spot than to find a spot at the last minute.

When it comes to primary schools, and even high schools, the same logic applies. It is never too early to make the call and check what is involved with enrolment.

(This is a sponsored post for State Trustees)

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