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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.