After all the excitement and the exhaustion it can be overwhelming to consider all that is needed to be done, and making sure you don't forget anything! This is especially important as some UK government bodies have imposed strict deadlines on when certain things can be done. But that's where we at Babycchinos come in! We have the lowdown on what needs to be done after the birth (in the UK), so keeping reading....
1) Register the birth of baby
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the birth of the baby must be registered within 42 days of the birth date. This can either be done at the hospital before the mother leaves to go home (if this facility is available), or at your local registry office. To find where your local registry office is as well as what you need, go to the UK Government website by clicking here.
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2) Activate Paternity Leave
It's important to let your employers know as soon as the baby is born so your paternity leave comes into effect. This entitles you to 1 or 2 weeks Paternity Leave or Shared Parental Leave (which is 52 weeks minus any maternity leave taken).
It is also important to know your employment rights when you go on leave, such as you are still entitled to pay rises when on leave and you are still entitled to any annual leave you have accrued during this time. See the UK Government website for more information on Paternity Leave and Shared Parental Leave and your rights by clicking here.
3) Register your baby at the GP
It's important to register your baby with your GP as soon as possible after the birth in case you need to pay them a visit. You can do this by filling in the pink form they will give you when you register the birth of the baby. Alternatively, you can walk into your GP to register. For more information, visit the NHS website by clicking here.
4) Get your child's health record
You will be given a personal child health record (PCHR) or "red book" shortly before or after the birth of the child. This documents the growth of the baby, immunisations and important health information of the baby. This serves as a record of health for the first 4 years of the baby's life. The NHS recommends this book is taken to all healthcare visits. For more information, visit the NHS website by clicking here.
5) Apply for a Child Passport
Even if you are not planning to travel abroad immediately after the birth, it may be worth registering for a passport as soon as possible, just in case the need arises! For the UK Government's requirements and how to apply for a passport go to their website by clicking here.
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6) Check when the health visitor will make their first visit
This is normally between 10 days to 2 weeks after the baby is born. Your midwife will pass you to the health visitor with all the relevant paperwork. Make sure you make the most of these visits - tell the health visitor how you are getting on and don't be afraid to ask questions - there is no such thing as a silly question!
7) Take newborn pictures
This can be done at the hospital if this facility is available. If not, make sure you book this with a local photographer. Within the first week is the best time so make sure you get these booked in as soon as possible.
8) Send out birth announcements
This can be done by posting cards to friends and family (these also make adorable keepsakes) or you can do a modern announcement by posting on social media or a WhatsApp Media message. There are some awesome apps out there which lets you customise and edit the picture for free (for example, Pic Collage). Or you could always do both :)
9) Schedule your doctors appointment
Remember your body has gone through a lot and it's important to keep an eye on things as well as focusing on the baby. Book yourself in to the doctors to see how are things going. It's important to focus on your health as well as the baby's health.
10) Apply for Child Benefits as soon as the baby is born
It's worth applying for Child Benefits as soon as possible as payments can only be back-dated 3 months from when the application form is received. In order to apply, you will need to complete the CH2 claim form and send it to the Child Benefits Office along with the baby's original birth certificate (they will return this to you). If you don't have the birth certificate yet, you can submit the form and forward the birth certificate once you have it. For more information, including what level of benefits you are entitled to, visit the UK Government website by clicking here.
11) Apply for the Sure Start Maternity Grant if eligible
You could qualify for the Sure Start Maternity Grant (a one-off payment of £500 which does not have to be paid back) from the Social Fund. To find out if you or your partner are eligible and how to apply visit the UK Government website here.
To find out more about other benefits you may be eligible for, check out the Money Advice Service website by clicking here.
12) Re-look at your financial situation and consider taking our life insurance & consider your Will
As you are now a family, its important to consider what if the worst should happen. Taking our life insurance will help your family with coping financially should the worst happen to either one or both parents. It's probably not what you want to think about at this happy time, but it's best to be prepared. It's also a good idea to prepare/ update your Will.
13) SIDS - be aware on how to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
It's important to be aware of how you can reduce the risk of cot death and other forms of SIDS. The Lullaby Trust has a complete list of safety checks you can do. To go to their website, click here.
14) Know your nearest Sure Start Centre
These free centres are the perfect place for learning and support for new parents. They also offer free playtime activities for the little ones and is a great place to meet other new parents in your area. Find your nearest Sure Start Centre by clicking here.
15) Monthly baby shoots with flash cards
Schedule monthly baby shoots for the baby. You can do this yourself at home (we love the idea of using baby milestone flashcards) or you could go with a local photographer. These can get booked up easily so if you book in advance, you avoid disappointment.
And most importantly of all, enjoy it! You have gone through an amazing experience and it's just going to get better from now on!
What did you think of this blog? Do you have any words of advice you wish to share? Comments below - we'd love to hear them!