Teen Pregnancy: Preparing for Baby

Reviewed Oct 13, 2016

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Summary

Prepare now for what your baby will need the first year.

It won’t be long before you’ll be sharing your life with a little baby, so it is a good idea to start thinking about what you’ll need to have at home to take good care of him. Here are a few important things:

  • A place for the baby to sleep. You don’t need anything fancy. A clean laundry basket or dresser drawer carefully lined with a soft blanket and baby sheet will do for a few weeks, but eventually you’ll need a crib. Look for something unpainted (to prevent lead poisoning) and built with rungs close enough so that the baby can’t fall out. Do some research on crib safety before you buy a crib. Warning: Unless you follow specific safety practices, don’t let the baby sleep next to you in your bed. You could accidentally roll over and hurt the child, or the baby could fall off the bed.
  • A car seat. If you have a car, take your car seat to the local fire department for free installment. Be sure the car seat base is already installed in the car before you go into labor, and take the car seat to the hospital with you. Most hospitals require a parent to have one. They may not release the baby to you without it. 
  • Diapers. When you get home from the hospital, you’ll want to have plenty of newborn-size diapers on hand, maybe 35-40 to get you through the first few days. You’ll also want to have some diaper wipes, or else soft washcloths and a salve to prevent diaper rash. You can get those items in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Linens and clothing. You’ll need sheets and blankets, several waterproof pads, about a half-dozen newborn-size T-shirts and a few one-piece outfits. Babies don’t sleep under blankets, so get one or two full-length, footed sleepers.
  • A carrier. There are many ways to carry a baby outside of a car. You can put the child in a special carrier that you wear like a backpack, in something like a reclining seat with a handle, or in something you can push, such as a carriage or stroller. See what works best for you, and what you can afford to buy or borrow from a friend.    
  • Other items. There are whole stores stocked with baby supplies, some of it useful and some of it unnecessary. Ask your friends if you can borrow big things like a baby bathtub, stroller, playpen, or high chair. Be sure to clean them carefully with soap and water before your baby uses them.

And, here are some things you might not think of:

  • Health care insurance. Remember to add your child to your health insurance policy. Call the insurance company or agency, and ask them to put her name on your policy. You may be charged extra for the baby’s insurance.
  • Health care for the baby. A doctor who treats babies, called a pediatrician, will examine your child at the hospital, to make sure he is all right. You also need to take the baby to a doctor for a check up soon after you go home. Find a doctor or clinic that will take care of your baby during the first few years. They will follow her growth and development at regular visits, even though the child is not sick. If the baby is hurt or sick, don’t waste any time getting medical care. Little problems can quickly turn into big ones in young children.
  • Health and wellness items. Buy a baby thermometer, so you can find out if your baby has a fever. If so, call the doctor immediately.
  • A baby book. Find a book to read about your baby’s first year. There are many good ones available. You might be able to borrow one from a library or a friend. 

Babies don’t need much other than your love, patience, and care. But, these few things will make life easier for both of you.

Resources

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, 2nd edition by Harvey Karp, MD. Bantam, 2015.

What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition by Heidi Murkoff. What To Expect, 2014.

Your Baby's First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Bantam, 2015.

The Happiest Baby, www.happiestbaby.com, an interactive website, hosted by Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block.

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Prepare now for what your baby will need the first year.

It won’t be long before you’ll be sharing your life with a little baby, so it is a good idea to start thinking about what you’ll need to have at home to take good care of him. Here are a few important things:

  • A place for the baby to sleep. You don’t need anything fancy. A clean laundry basket or dresser drawer carefully lined with a soft blanket and baby sheet will do for a few weeks, but eventually you’ll need a crib. Look for something unpainted (to prevent lead poisoning) and built with rungs close enough so that the baby can’t fall out. Do some research on crib safety before you buy a crib. Warning: Unless you follow specific safety practices, don’t let the baby sleep next to you in your bed. You could accidentally roll over and hurt the child, or the baby could fall off the bed.
  • A car seat. If you have a car, take your car seat to the local fire department for free installment. Be sure the car seat base is already installed in the car before you go into labor, and take the car seat to the hospital with you. Most hospitals require a parent to have one. They may not release the baby to you without it. 
  • Diapers. When you get home from the hospital, you’ll want to have plenty of newborn-size diapers on hand, maybe 35-40 to get you through the first few days. You’ll also want to have some diaper wipes, or else soft washcloths and a salve to prevent diaper rash. You can get those items in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Linens and clothing. You’ll need sheets and blankets, several waterproof pads, about a half-dozen newborn-size T-shirts and a few one-piece outfits. Babies don’t sleep under blankets, so get one or two full-length, footed sleepers.
  • A carrier. There are many ways to carry a baby outside of a car. You can put the child in a special carrier that you wear like a backpack, in something like a reclining seat with a handle, or in something you can push, such as a carriage or stroller. See what works best for you, and what you can afford to buy or borrow from a friend.    
  • Other items. There are whole stores stocked with baby supplies, some of it useful and some of it unnecessary. Ask your friends if you can borrow big things like a baby bathtub, stroller, playpen, or high chair. Be sure to clean them carefully with soap and water before your baby uses them.

And, here are some things you might not think of:

  • Health care insurance. Remember to add your child to your health insurance policy. Call the insurance company or agency, and ask them to put her name on your policy. You may be charged extra for the baby’s insurance.
  • Health care for the baby. A doctor who treats babies, called a pediatrician, will examine your child at the hospital, to make sure he is all right. You also need to take the baby to a doctor for a check up soon after you go home. Find a doctor or clinic that will take care of your baby during the first few years. They will follow her growth and development at regular visits, even though the child is not sick. If the baby is hurt or sick, don’t waste any time getting medical care. Little problems can quickly turn into big ones in young children.
  • Health and wellness items. Buy a baby thermometer, so you can find out if your baby has a fever. If so, call the doctor immediately.
  • A baby book. Find a book to read about your baby’s first year. There are many good ones available. You might be able to borrow one from a library or a friend. 

Babies don’t need much other than your love, patience, and care. But, these few things will make life easier for both of you.

Resources

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, 2nd edition by Harvey Karp, MD. Bantam, 2015.

What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition by Heidi Murkoff. What To Expect, 2014.

Your Baby's First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Bantam, 2015.

The Happiest Baby, www.happiestbaby.com, an interactive website, hosted by Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block.

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Prepare now for what your baby will need the first year.

It won’t be long before you’ll be sharing your life with a little baby, so it is a good idea to start thinking about what you’ll need to have at home to take good care of him. Here are a few important things:

  • A place for the baby to sleep. You don’t need anything fancy. A clean laundry basket or dresser drawer carefully lined with a soft blanket and baby sheet will do for a few weeks, but eventually you’ll need a crib. Look for something unpainted (to prevent lead poisoning) and built with rungs close enough so that the baby can’t fall out. Do some research on crib safety before you buy a crib. Warning: Unless you follow specific safety practices, don’t let the baby sleep next to you in your bed. You could accidentally roll over and hurt the child, or the baby could fall off the bed.
  • A car seat. If you have a car, take your car seat to the local fire department for free installment. Be sure the car seat base is already installed in the car before you go into labor, and take the car seat to the hospital with you. Most hospitals require a parent to have one. They may not release the baby to you without it. 
  • Diapers. When you get home from the hospital, you’ll want to have plenty of newborn-size diapers on hand, maybe 35-40 to get you through the first few days. You’ll also want to have some diaper wipes, or else soft washcloths and a salve to prevent diaper rash. You can get those items in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Linens and clothing. You’ll need sheets and blankets, several waterproof pads, about a half-dozen newborn-size T-shirts and a few one-piece outfits. Babies don’t sleep under blankets, so get one or two full-length, footed sleepers.
  • A carrier. There are many ways to carry a baby outside of a car. You can put the child in a special carrier that you wear like a backpack, in something like a reclining seat with a handle, or in something you can push, such as a carriage or stroller. See what works best for you, and what you can afford to buy or borrow from a friend.    
  • Other items. There are whole stores stocked with baby supplies, some of it useful and some of it unnecessary. Ask your friends if you can borrow big things like a baby bathtub, stroller, playpen, or high chair. Be sure to clean them carefully with soap and water before your baby uses them.

And, here are some things you might not think of:

  • Health care insurance. Remember to add your child to your health insurance policy. Call the insurance company or agency, and ask them to put her name on your policy. You may be charged extra for the baby’s insurance.
  • Health care for the baby. A doctor who treats babies, called a pediatrician, will examine your child at the hospital, to make sure he is all right. You also need to take the baby to a doctor for a check up soon after you go home. Find a doctor or clinic that will take care of your baby during the first few years. They will follow her growth and development at regular visits, even though the child is not sick. If the baby is hurt or sick, don’t waste any time getting medical care. Little problems can quickly turn into big ones in young children.
  • Health and wellness items. Buy a baby thermometer, so you can find out if your baby has a fever. If so, call the doctor immediately.
  • A baby book. Find a book to read about your baby’s first year. There are many good ones available. You might be able to borrow one from a library or a friend. 

Babies don’t need much other than your love, patience, and care. But, these few things will make life easier for both of you.

Resources

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, 2nd edition by Harvey Karp, MD. Bantam, 2015.

What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition by Heidi Murkoff. What To Expect, 2014.

Your Baby's First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Bantam, 2015.

The Happiest Baby, www.happiestbaby.com, an interactive website, hosted by Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block.

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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