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Checklist to Prepare for Becoming a Dad

Posted by SK on June 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Checklist to Prepare for Becoming a Dad

Moms-to-be instinctively reach out to experienced moms and have no shortage of resources to help them get ready to be mothers.  But dads-to-be are generally left to figure things out on their own.  To better prepare you for what lies ahead, here are some tips from new fathers to help you “hit the ground crawling.”

Stock up

Stock up the freezer and kitchen cupboards, as well as on baby supplies like diapers, wipes, etc.  Also make sure you have over- the-counter meds on hand, like headache and cold medicine, etc.  There’s nothing worse than having to run out to the store at all hours of the night.  A few meals in the freezer will also come in handy.

[If you're near Walsenburg, CO, stay connected with Open Arms PRC--with their Earn While You Learn programs, for dads &/or moms, you can earn baby bucks for wipes, clothes, baby swings, diapers, and all that.  Plus, some of those older moms are good cooks and are glad to share with the new baby's family!]

Get a Handle on Finances

Hard to do, but worth it.  With your lady, work on a budget that you can both agree on.  If Mommy is spending money you don’t have on baby clothes, a budget on paper (or screen) may be your best line of fiscal defense. [And encourage her to get everything you can from Open Arms before going to the stores to buy the rest.]

Unfortunately, financial worries are an inescapable fact for most fathers.  Talking with your partner about your concerns and mapping out a plan to stretch the dollars is best done before the baby comes.  It’s very difficult to find the time, energy and emotional focus afterward.

Buy Something for Your Baby

Finances may be tight, but you don't have to buy something expensive.  Just something from you.   It can be something low-cost, like tiny booties, or maybe her first baseball mitt. Consider it an early bonding experience.

Car Seat

Listen to what people say about having the car seat ready.  Have it in your car a month before the baby’s due because babies come early all the time.  You can find information on getting it installed correctly at a child safety seat inspection station near you.

Keep Gas in the Car

Not only keep gas in the car, but make sure everything else is in good working order.  Check the tires, battery, brakes and windshield wipers.  Babies prefer to come in the middle of the night when nothing is open.

Pre-Register at the Hospital

Make sure that everything that can be filled out ahead of time is. Check on any limitations or out-of-pocket costs for your health insurance. You can also check on your baby’s social security number application (called Enumeration at Birth for some bizarre reason). Some men report that this is when they really knew they were fathers.

Pack a Hospital Bag

Just like the car seat, you’ll never know if you’re going to need this early. You can pack it and set it aside so it’s ready to go.  [Open Arms has a checklist for what mommy-2-b should bring.]

Some recommended items:

Any important documents, such as insurance cards and pre-admission forms

Snacks to eat and drink so you don’t have to leave for the cafeteria

Headache medication for you (recommended by an OB nurse)

Cash to have on hand

Calling card in case you’re not able to use your cell phone inside the room

List of important phone numbers, just in case your cell phone battery goes down

Long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt – hospitals can be cold

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