In planning for baby its fun to get caught up in buying tiny clothes and stocking up on newborn nappies. There are however, several considerations that are often overlooked by expectant parents, which can have a considerable impact on your time as a new parent and on the health of your new baby.
Some child care centres, particularly in inner city areas, may have waiting lists of to 18 months! If you are planning to put your baby into childcare within the first 2 years of their life, it is definitely worthwhile having a look at the childcare options available to you in your area. Researching pre-baby can be beneficial, while you have some time and energy on your hands.
Some centres will allow you to enrol baby before birth and others you will need to contact to place them on the waiting list once baby has landed. As an alternative, you might also want to explore options with a smaller number of children, such as family day care or home based care.
Whooping Cough Booster:
Whooping cough, while a nuisance for adults, can be very serious or even deadly to young infants. Around one in 200 infants, under the age of six months who contract whooping cough, will die. Many adults would have received a vaccination against this when they were children, but immunity lessens over time. In Australia newborns will not receive their first Whooping Cough immunisation until around 8 weeks (6 weeks at the earliest). Unfortunately this illness is still prevalent in the community and often babies who contract it, do so from a parent or grandparent. It is a good idea to encourage close family and friends who will be in contact with your baby, to have their booster vaccination at least a few weeks before your baby is due to arrive. Pregnant women are encouraged to talk to their pregnancy care provider, about receiving a booster in the last trimester of pregnancy. This may provide the baby with some protection prior to their first immunisation.You can find out more about Whooping cough from the Australian Department of Health.
Supports for New Parents in your area:
It is usually a few weeks before your local Maternal Child Health Centre organises a New Parent Group for you, in your area and the time between birth and then, can be a lonely and isolating time. Its worthwhile taking some time before baby arrives, to see what kind of support is available to new parents in your area. Some local Maternal Child Health Centres have drop in sessions, where you can come in for feeding or baby advice. You might also find a new parent morning tea at a local independent midwifery, or early parenting centre. Help is available on the phone too via various help lines, such as Parentline or Maternal Child Health lines. These do differ from state to state. Find the details of your local help line here on the Raising Children Website.
Family Friendly GP:
Its really important to link in with a local GP who is familiar with treating babies and children. You will be seeing them a fair few times during your parenting career! Finding someone who you have a good rapport with and who is confident in dealing with an unwell and restless wee person, is a real benefit for you and your child! Word of mouth is always good, ask friends and family in the area who have children who they see. Otherwise see this information from the Royal Childrens Hospital for tips about choosing a family GP.