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Here’s one way of how to prepare for a baby! Honestly, one of the most helpful things I did before having baby girl was getting organized. I made two expanding file folders to organize paper items pre- and post-baby. Much better than just stashing receipts and medical reports all over the place!
The first organizer is for health items. I brought this with me to every doctor’s appointment for the first several months, and it was so helpful to keep everything together. Baby girl has had lots of health problems in her short little life and sees lots of doctors and therapists, so it is great to keep her records with me.
Health-Related Organizational Dividers
Social Security/Birth Certificate
Bad mom moment here: I still don’t have her SS# memorized after many months.
Our pediatrician prints a summary of the visit as well as handouts for her age range every time we go. I like to save these to keep track of her weight, sick visits, and general health.
Immunizations/Other Health Records
This contains baby girl’s updated vaccination records as well as her visit summaries from her specialists. (Yes, I believe in vaccinating my child!)
This is where I keep a copy of our current and previous insurance cards. It is also where I keep every itemized bill that I receive from a doctor or hospital, every EOB (explanation of benefits) that I receive from the insurance company regarding what they pay, and every receipt from the bills I pay. You will receive many bills from your child’s birth thru first year of life, and it is important to keep track of them to ensure you are not overpaying. Always request an itemized bill, and do not pay a bill until you have carefully reviewed it.
When I had my daughter, some services were billed twice (NOT cool!), and they billed the incorrect code for her newborn screening. When my insurance didn’t pay for the newborn screening as it should have and I received a bill, I was able to have the hospital correct the claim with the correct codes so the insurance would pay instead of me.
Also, many doctors will bill you a copay or their negotiated price with your insurance company on the day of your visit but will wait several days or even months to file their claim with your insurance company. By the time they do file their claim, if you have met your out-of-pocket from other doctor’s visits where claims are filed same-day, your insurance company will pay the cost of your visit to that first doctor. You will then be able to call the doctor back and request a refund or ask for a credit on your account. Believe me, I’ve worked for some crooked doctors who fully intend to keep your money unless you keep on top of things and request a refund.
The hospital gave us footprints, hand prints, and several other goodies. I stored them here until I was able to get home from the hospital and sort through it all. Up until I finished my daughter’s baby book recently, all that stuff stayed neatly filed in there!
Over the course of pregnancy, my husband and I collected pregnancy and baby resources. We were also given so much information at the hospital! This is where I stored all the pamphlets I thought I might later need. Examples include breastfeeding, pumping and milk storage, formula feeding guidelines, what to expect the first 5 days at home for baby and mommy, and even guidelines for when to call the doctor and when to treat baby at home when she/he seems sick. Guidelines from your doctor are much more accurate than Dr. Google!
The second organizer was for all the items I purchased for her. There was so much to buy! Crib, mattress, sheets, clothes, towels, stroller, car seat, etc, etc. And so much that was bought for her from friends and family.
Purchases Folder Dividers:
This is where I keep all the tags and receipts/gift receipts from clothes. Over the course of the pregnancy when I was gifted or bought duplicates of items, I knew where to find the original receipt for returns or exchanges.
Where I keep all the receipts for items like her crib, accessories, and all her toys. With the receipts, we were able to get a price adjustment on her stroller, which saved a ton of money. We were also able to exchange her rubber ducky bathtub a few months after purchasing when we took it out of the box and discovered it didn’t hold air!
At 3 am in the morning, you might want to know how to make that soother work or how to safely use a sleep swaddle. Or why your breast pump is making a funny sound. Also, I have an engineering degree and a doctorate…and assembling her crib (with my husband doing most the work…) was not self explanatory! In a few years when we disassemble the crib to the toddler bed…I know I’m going to be able to find those instructions again!
Her car seat, pack n play, bath tub, etc all came with product registration cards. By filling out the card and mailing it to the manufacturer, you will be on their list in the event of a safety alert or recall notice. We kept the other half of these cards with the product information for our records. In this section, I also store warranty information.
Organizing things this way worked out SO well for us. Any things I seem to have missed that you would recommend whenever my husband and I have a second child? We are always looking for new ways how to prepare for a baby!
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