Parenting is one of those jobs where you never stop learning. The first child can be the scariest and hardest—but you’ll also learn the most. Having a few extra tools at your fingertips can help you make it through the first year while you’re learning almost as fast as your new baby.
One of the most important things you want for your child is not just to grow but to thrive. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) provide a chart for that. It explains about what your child’s length and height should be depending on her age.
The CDC recommends WHO’s growth charts as opposed to the CDC’s. Their charts are created using typical U.S. children. On the other hand, WHOS’s charts “identify how children should grow when provided optimal conditions.” Their studies were also much more comprehensive. Find WHO’s Child Growth Standards here.
Feeding, Sleeping, and Diaper Charts
Every appointment you have for your baby is going to involve two questions. How many times a day does he eat? How many dirty diapers does he have a day? His pediatrician is probably going to ask how often he sleeps, how many naps, and if he’s sleeping through the night. Despite your desire to remember these things, you’ve got a lot going on!
Charts to document breastfeeding or bottles and wet or dirty diapers can also help keep you reassured that your baby is eating and pooping normally. You’ll notice when things aren’t quite normal. You can design your own, or find about a zillion already pre-made on the internet.
Health Care Organization
Doctor’s visits, WIC trips, vaccines, insurance numbers. There’s no end to the medical care you’re going to have to keep stored in your brain, planner, and a handy folder. Your doctor should provide you with proof of each vaccine, but it helps to know what set is coming next.
Keeping everything together will have you ready in five years when kindergarten rolls around. It also makes it easy to grab and run if something happens to require a hospital trip. Understanding which vaccines your baby needs and when can help alleviate some of the difficulty that comes with watching your baby get poked. Check out the CDC’s recommended vaccines through age 6.
Caregiver Interview Checklist
One of the hardest parts of being a parent is returning to work after maternity or paternity leave. Even more so if you aren’t thoroughly familiar with Baby’s new caregiver. Whether you’re looking for a nanny, babysitter, or daycare, there’s a lot you’re going to want to know. It’s easy to forget important questions in the moment, especially if you’re hitting it off with an interviewee.
The Bump offers a thorough questionnaire for a nanny or babysitter. BabyCenter offers this set of interview questions that would be more appropriate for a daycare center. Also, a quick google search will bring up quite a variety of options. Mix, match, and make one that’s perfect for you and your family.
Luckily, you and Baby shouldn’t have to deal with teething until closer to the end of the first year. A tooth chart may not be necessary, but it can be fun. Your baby is definitely going to let you know when his first teeth start coming in. Having an idea of when to expect them can help you get prepared.
Additionally, it gives you a great way to remember when each new tooth came in. As well as details like how long it takes to get through the dreaded teething, and how many teeth he still has left. Orajel offers a great visual of tooth appearance.