Bringing Home Baby

Nature. Nurture. And Logistics.

babyWhen baby makes three [or four, or five…] there is so much joy to be found in bringing your bundle home. And there is much to be done in the way of seeing to it that your new addition is a part of the population on paper. So that you can allow yourself to sleep when their sweet, swaddled self sleeps, it should be part of your parenting plan to handle the logistics and push the necessary paperwork. Here are a handful of to-dos that, face it, you just have to do to ensure that the basics are covered from tiny diapers to TriCare® coverage:

Birth Announcements

Pinterest can be an inspiring (or annoying) resource for ways to share the birth of your new baby with the world. Simple cardstock announcements, e-cards or a video are great ways, too—but using social media to introduce your rookie can cover a lot of friends and family in one fell swoop. Tweeting and Facebook-ing are really fun, real-time ways to showcase your plus one!

Big Brother/Sister

Getting used to the idea of a new baby can be the most amazing thing—or the most disappointing thing—to your current crew of kids. Through books and baby dolls, playdates and visits to the nursery, it’s likely you can find a way that works when it comes to prepping everyone under your roof. Talk about the changes, enroll siblings in the local hospital big brother or sister class, take them to meet a friend’s baby and lay out the love you have for them to get a running [or simply slow and steady] start at the big idea before the big reveal!

Taking inventory

From diapers to baby wash, onesies to burp rags be sure that you have enough must-haves on hand to keep you from discount store runs in the middle of the day—or the middle of the night—that could be a hat-trick, and turn into a spending spree. Also be sure to distribute mini-stashes of diapers, wipes, cloths and sleepers in key areas of the house so you can avoid the stairs or jetting from room to room. You can also conserve your energy by having your baby’s siblings serve as your runners, fetching what you need, when you need it, from the room you set it down in!


Your healthcare provider will see to it that you are given an immunization card recording all shots from the first days of life. This card is for safekeeping, but should also be kept in a spot that is easily accessible so that you can tote it to future appointments. And so should band-aids.

Social Security Number

A SSN is necessary for many reasons and can be applied for when you apply for your child’s birth certificate. These digits are a must to receive government services, medical coverage, savings bonds, etc. Visit for information and to apply online.

DEERS Registration and TRICARE® Prime Enrollment

Newborn and Adopted Children in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System [DEERS] must establish TRICARE eligibility for essential well-baby and health care for years to come. Just a few items are necessary to register: an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a record of placement or adoption recognized by an agency or court and an Application for Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment [aka DD Form 1172-2] signed by the sponsor and verifying official from a uniformed services ID card-issuing facility.

Tricare Covers Kids When…

Another family member is enrolled in TRICARE Prime, which ensures newborns are covered for 60 days from date of birth, adopted children for 60 days from effective date of adoption, and children with pending adoptions beginning on the date of placement. Overseas parents have 120 days to enroll their newborn. To ensure coverage past 60 days enroll your child in either TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Prime Remote for Active Duty Family Members within the initial 60-day period. For more information visit

Taking care of these newborn to-dos in short order now may make for longer naps later…


About the author: Heidi Alger

Heidi Alger is the mother of two low-maintenance, high-energy kids under the age of 10. She offers financial guidance, budget tips and lifestyle advice keeping the challenges of modern military families in line, writing alongside an award-winning team at Pioneer Services. Her grandfather, a CW04, served in the Army Security and National Security Agencies during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Follow Heidi on Google+.

Contact: Heidi Alger


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