5 Tips for When You’re Having Your First Baby

By Diana McKeon Charkalis

Even when you think you’re prepared, the surprises never end when it comes to having a baby. Sure, all they seem to do is eat and sleep at first—and yet, you’re still full of questions. Here are just a few inspired new parent hacks to help get you through those early days of first-time parenthood.

Sleep train yourself. It may seem like a no-brainer, but a good habit for new moms and dads is to sleep when the baby sleeps. It can be tempting to try to get a few things done once the baby settles down, but in those early days it’s important to seize any opportunity to close your eyes, too.

Create calming rituals. Most infants thrive on routines, and getting into the habit of a relaxing evening bath and book time can be a great transition to the crib. Create a soothing experience with soft lights and gentle music. You set the tone, so the more relaxed your movements and voice are, the better the chances for a blissful baby. If tubby time makes your little one fussy, try a gentle sponge bath followed by slowly reading a book and rocking in a chair. The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep is a sure-fire tool to help little ones drift away.

There’s an app for that. With babies, everything is on a schedule, and pediatricians often suggest paying attention to feedings, bowel movements and sleep cycles. Luckily, there are apps that monitor babies’ input and output, plus how much shut-eye they get. For older kids, there’s the ever-popular free app sit or squat, which gives parents the heads-up on the state of public restrooms including changing stations.

Removing onesies: Yes, those little baby body suits are cute, but did you know there’s a reason for the styling shoulder flaps? Rather than removing a onesie over baby’s head after a major poo-nami, you can stretch and roll the onesie down, off the shoulders toward the feet and avoid baby’s face and hair. Crisis averted. You’re welcome.

Consider life insurance. Having a baby is an awesome responsibility, and with it comes concern about the future. Life insurance can help your family cover expenses like education, mortgage, car loans and other everyday expenses, says personal finance author Nicole Lapin. And if you or your partner is a stay-at-home parent, it’s a good idea to look into coverage to provide for things like childcare and household services. “When you’ve had your newborn, it’s the perfect time to look into this. Getting life insurance might be one of the greatest things you can ever do for their future,” says Lapin.

Amica offers affordable Term Life insurance rates, making it easy to find coverage that meets your budget.  When you purchase Amica life insurance, you may be eligible for a discount on your Amica auto policy. Visit AmicaQuote.com today to get a quote.

Diana McKeon Charkalis is a Yahoo Storyteller. Her work has also appeared in USA TODAY, Prevention and The LA Daily News.

  • Things They Don’t Tell You About... Renting Together

    Things They Don’t Tell You About... Renting Together

    In this episode of “Things They Don’t Tell You About…” couples share the challenges and rewards of moving in together — plus, the one item that means the most to them. Financial expert Nicole Lapin also details the importance of protecting your valuables with renters insurance.

  • Things They Don’t Tell You About... Having a Baby

    Things They Don’t Tell You About... Having a Baby

    In this episode of “Things They Don’t Tell You About…” new parents share advice on having a baby and the rewards and challenges that come along with it. Financial expert Nicole Lapin also shares the importance of life insurance for your child’s future.

  • Things They Don’t Tell You About... Getting Married

    Things They Don’t Tell You About... Getting Married

    In this episode of “Things They Don’t Tell You About…” couples share what they learned about each other after getting married and the advice they never received about marriage. Financial expert Nicole Lapin also discusses wedding insurance policy and how it can help you prepare for any wedding day mishaps. 

  • My First Apartment—with Katherine Accettura

    My First Apartment—with Katherine Accettura

    Katherine Accettura’s first apartment was awash in crisp, clean white. Accettura, now 31, is the blogger behind the popular lifestyle and food website Lily the Wandering Gypsy. At the time, Accettura was in college, studying graphic design and marketing, and her boyfriend was into photography and photojournalism.

  • My First House—with Dorothy Kern

    My First House—with Dorothy Kern

    Growing up in pricey San Francisco, Dorothy Kern wasn’t sure that she’d ever be able to buy a house. Today Kern, 39, is back in California where she and her husband are raising their 12-year-old daughter. Tucked away in her home are dozens of photos of that first house in Arizona, as a reminder that dreams do come true.

  • My First Job—with Byron Talbott

    My First Job—with Byron Talbott

    Byron Talbott was 15 years old when he landed his first job—scooping ice cream at a Baskin Robbins. Now married, with a 3-year-old and another child on the way, Talbott is an accomplished chef.  He and his wife own a production company, and he has taken his food expertise to the internet, creating recipes and videos in his Thousand Oaks, California, home to share with the world. Talbott worked hard and rose through the ranks at his first job.

  • My First Baby—with Emily Frame

    My First Baby—with Emily Frame

    Emily Frame was a multi-tasking maven. Whether working as a technical writer, editing a local fashion magazine or running a market featuring handmade items, she was always on the go.

  • My First Car—with Kelly Dixon

    My First Car—with Kelly Dixon

    When Kelly Dixon graduated from college and landed a job teaching first grade, she headed to the car dealership to buy her first new car. Now 33 and married with two kids and two dogs, Dixon is the blogger behind Smart School House, a fun-filled DIY extravaganza born from her love of Pinterest and family-friendly activities. Dixon, whose easygoing DIY crafts have earned her 1.7 million social media followers, also published a book based on her website, Smart School House Crafts for Kids.

  • 5 Tips for When You’re Getting Married

    5 Tips for When You’re Getting Married

    Officially forging a union with the one you love, in public, can be both exhilarating and terrifying. Get crafty and save money. You can still save money by handling some of the programs, menus and seating cards yourself.

  • Getting Married

    Getting Married

    For more life lessons about getting married, check out “Things They Don’t Tell You About… Getting Married.”

  • Buying Your First Home

    Buying Your First Home

    For more life lessons about home-buying, check out “Things They Don’t Tell You About… Buying a House.”

  • Renting Together

    Renting Together

    For more wisdom about what changes when you decide to rent together, check out “Things They Don’t Tell You About… Renting Together.”

  • Things They Don’t Tell You About... Buying a Car

    Things They Don’t Tell You About... Buying a Car

    In this episode of “Things They Don’t Tell You About…” millennial couples share what their cars mean to them and the advice they’ve received when buying a car, including car insurance. Financial expert Nicole Lapin also talks about the problems with minimum insurance coverage and how Amica insurance can help.

  • Having Your First Baby

    Having Your First Baby

    For more wisdom from parents who’ve been there, check out “Things They Don’t Tell You About… Having a Baby.”

  • Buying Your First Car

    Buying Your First Car

    For more wisdom from first-time car buyers, check out “Things They Don’t Tell You About… Buying a Car.”

  • 5 Tips for When You’re Buying Your First Home

    5 Tips for When You’re Buying Your First Home

    Before you set your heart on that cute colonial on the corner, make sure you’ve checked your credit score—and that it’s accurate. If you do find a mistake, open a dispute, since higher credit scores should net you a lower mortgage rate. Pre-approval doesn’t lock you into the loan, but it does let realtors know you’re serious about buying.

  • 5 Tips for Buying Your First Car

    5 Tips for Buying Your First Car

    Americans spend an average of $30,000 on a new car, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. Finances first: Before you shop for your car, figure out financing, suggests the Federal Trade Commission. Check with banks, credit unions and finance companies for car loan rates, and bring your best offer with you to the showroom.

  • 5 Tips for When You’re Having Your First Baby

    5 Tips for When You’re Having Your First Baby

    With babies, everything is on a schedule, and pediatricians often suggest paying attention to feedings, bowel movements and sleep cycles. Rather than removing a onesie over baby’s head after a major poo-nami, you can stretch and roll the onesie down, off the shoulders toward the feet and avoid baby’s face and hair. Life insurance can help your family cover expenses like education, mortgage, car loans and other everyday expenses, says personal finance author Nicole Lapin.

  • 5 Tips for When You’re Renting Together

    5 Tips for When You’re Renting Together

    Millennial couples are waiting longer than previous generations to get married, but they’re more likely to move in together, according to the Pew Research Center. If you rush to grab your dream space without consideration, extra costs can pile up if you need to break your current lease, pay double rent or spend more than you can afford due to a super competitive market.

  • Things They Don’t Tell You About... Buying a House

    Things They Don’t Tell You About... Buying a House

    New homeowners share the pros and cons of owning a home along with things they’d do differently next time around, all in this episode of “Things They Don’t Tell You About…” Financial expert Nicole Lapin also weighs in on finding the right homeowners insurance for your needs.

  • What Home Buyers Face Today

    What Home Buyers Face Today

    Looking to buy a new home? You're not alone.

  • What Car Buyers Face Today

    What Car Buyers Face Today

    In the market for a new car? You're not alone.

  • What Renters Face Today

    What Renters Face Today

    Looking for a new apartment? You're not alone.