My Wonderful Life

New Parent Checklist

posted on 5/16/11 by Staff

Preparing for the worst: Although no one wants to think about dying, much less talk about it, it is critical to prepare for it. That’s why we, at MWL, thought it would be a good idea to compile a New Parent Checklist so that all your affairs are in order in the event that something terrible might happen. 

This MWL checklist realizes there are more important things than diapers (though the smell might make you think otherwise) or how many different-colored onesies you're taking home from the hospital. The most important thing is knowing that your family is taken care of. So put down those other checklists for baby showers, the hospital, and babies first days and think about the hard pressing, albeit unpleasant, issues in your families future.

1. After the birth of your new baby, the first call goes to your family members, and the second to your health insurance provider. Add your newborn baby to your health insurance plan immediately. Most people don’t know that you must do this within 30 days of their birth. If you fail to do this, you will have to wait for the next open enrollment period, which only happens once a year.

2. Apply for their Social Security Number.

Go here for more information and to fill out an application. Your health insurance provider will want this number soon after it's issued. After all, you may want your child to be an official citizen. 

3. Remember how much tuition was for you to go to college? That will be nothing compared to what your kids will have to pay. By 2020, based on College Board estimates, it could be as much as $287,000 at a private institution and $133,000 at a public one. Start saving now for your child's education a 529 savings plan. Find more information here:

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid and savings. Prepaid plans allow one to purchase tuition credits, at today's rates, to be used in the future. Therefore, performance is based upon tuition inflation. Most 529 savings plans offer a variety of age-based asset allocation options where the underlying investments become more conservative as the beneficiary gets closer to college age. Each state has at least one 529 plan, but they differ from state to state, so make sure you understand what your state has to offer. Find more information here at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

4. Update your budget.

Make sure you are putting aside more money than usual, especially because children will be going to the doctor a lot at first, so co-pays might start to add up after awhile. Plus, you can't forget the endless amounts of diapers, formula and baby gear.

5. Get a living will, both of you!

Legal Zoom is a wonderful website with information about living wills and trusts. Stay tuned for more information about wills later this week on the MWL blog. The number one reason couples don't complete their wills is because they can't agree on who would look after there brood in their place. It is a hard but very necessary decision. Instead of Tupperware and jewelry parties, get your close friends together and have a "Will Party."

6. MWL -

Fill out the website as a family. Fill out one book for each person (don't forget grandma and grandpa!). Discussing end-of-life planning issues now lets you live every moment to its fullest! When the time comes afford your family the luxury of time to grieve, not running around guessing how you'd like to have your last party.


Other Considerations: 

1. Setting money aside for daycare right away. BabyCenter has an online cost calculator to help you understand the expenses for your child within the first year.

2. Starting a Google/Gmail Account for your child, in unison with MWL, would be a great way to save all your memories and leave behind letters. Start saving your memories now. Here is a really cute video depicting how you could actually use Google for your small child as they grow up.

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