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How can I best prepare for my baby?

There’s not long to go now until you can hold your baby in your arms! Bringing your baby home is a momentous occasion. You need to be well-prepared to ensure you can enjoy your newborn’s arrival. Don’t leave everything to the last minute, because some things, e.g. delivery of furniture, can take longer than expected. And you probably won’t want to be out shopping for hours or taking care of urgent paperwork at this time. Here are a few helpful tips:

Sleeping arrangements: In the first few months, especially when you’re breastfeeding, it can be a good idea for your baby to sleep in the same room as you.


Preparing baby’s bedroom: Check floor coverings, paint, furniture and decorative elements for harmful substances. If you’re painting the baby’s room, make sure you do it a few weeks before your baby moves in to make sure the odours evaporate. Don’t carry or move any heavy furniture, and don’t breathe in fumes or gases while painting or wallpapering, because these could be harmful for your baby. What you need in the baby’s room:

Somewhere to sleep

  • Bassinet, bedside cot or cradle
  • Firm mattress
  • Important: no pillow!
  • Waterproof underlay
  • Fitted sheet
  • 2 baby sleeping bags for changing
  • Baby monitor, optional

 

Space for changing nappies:

  • Changing table
  • Washable cover
  • Nappies
  • Wet wipe, bowl for warm water, washcloth
  • Nappy bin with lid

 

Bathroom:

 

Administration and paperwork:

  • Apply for child allowance
  • Draft an agreement for care and maintenance costs (possibly with the help of a lawyer)
  • For unmarried couples: Organise maintenance payments and right of custody (apply for joint custody with the guardianship authority and submit your agreement on care and maintenance costs to the same)
  • Register for maternity benefits (entitlement to maternity leave of 14 weeks / 98 days and 80 percent of your salary during this time)
  • Check your insurance policies and update them if necessary
  • If necessary, take out health insurance for your newborn
  • Schedule check-ups for your baby with your paediatrician
  • Register for an antenatal course as early as possible
  • Prepare documents for the birth (married couples should bring their family record document and confirmation of residence, issued within the last 6 months, to the hospital/maternity facility). Foreign nationals also have to bring a copy of their residence permit and passport. Unmarried women must bring confirmation of residence, a copy of their passport or ID card, and confirmation of acknowledgement of paternity, if available. You can obtain confirmation of residence from the residents’ registration office in your town.
  • Prepare birth announcement cards and sending arrangements

 

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