6 things that make new parents' lives easier | NPNparents.org

6 things that should be on every new parent's checklist.
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Being a new parent is thrilling, emotional, exhausting, joyful, frustrating, exhausting and exhausting. Also, exhausting.

Your list of to-dos likely is a mile long and, yes, we are going to add to it. But all of these suggestions, taken from real Chicago parents who have been through this whole newborn thing, is one that will make your life easier. So, new mom or dad, before you fall asleep on the couch with the phone in your hand (again), read through this quick list of things all Chicago parents should do when they have a newborn.

1. Go out to dinner. With the baby. This seems counter-intuitive: Why should you go to a restaurant when you barely have time to eat, period? Because most babies sleep like angels all tucked in their baby carriers, with the din of the restaurant acting as the best noise machine ever. Enjoy it while you can—soon enough a peacful dinner will require paying a babysitter! 

2. Use apps to get everything delivered. Instacart for groceries; Grub Hub for dinner; Diapers.com for diapers and all other baby needs; Amazon Prime/Prime Now for everything else. Even cutting out one errand run from your day will make you feel like you've accomplished something.

3. Disable your doorbell. Picture it: Your newborn just fell asleep after an eardrum-rattling screaming session. You start thinking you might actually have time to take a shower today. Then a UPS driver rings your buzzer or doorbell and wakes your baby up. Avoid this rage-inducing situation by temporarily disabling your doorbell, or put a laminated sign next to it asking people to knock instead of buzz. 

4. Open a college savings account for your baby. You may be neck-deep in baby wipes but, believe it or not, right now is the time to start contributing to your little one's college fund. With the Bright Start 529 College Savings Plan, the money you save can be used for any college, whether it's in-state, out-of-state, vocational, community, Ivy League or even a school abroad. Bonus for Illinois residents: Contributions are tax-deductible and you pay no taxes on earnings or most withdrawals. 

5. Say yes to used anything. When it comes to your baby, there will be a lot of important things to spend your money on (see No. 4), so don't waste cash on things your friends and family want to give you for free. The 25 newborn onesies your cousin wants to unload? Take them. Your friend's genty used stroller and changing table? Yes and yes. Your nephew's chewed-through pacifiers? Okay, maybe not.

6. Find your support group. Chances are you've wished and dreamed for this baby for a while, but that doesn't mean being a new parent is all puppies and rainbows. It's hard. And you'll need support from people in the same boat as you. Whether it's a group of women who were in your prenatal yoga class or, ahem, the moms you meet at one of NPN's New Moms Groups, a support system is essential for making it through the most rewarding and, yes, exhausting time of your life. 

Bright Start College Savings

Find out more about opening a Bright Start 529 College Savings Plan, including payroll-deduction options and qualified withdrawals, at brightstartsavings.com.


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Posted on April 11, 2016 at 2:26 PM