So you’re having your first baby! Toronto is a wonderful place to start a family. No longer known as ‘The Big Smoke’, Toronto’s air and water are very clean, and so are the streets. There are wonderful resources for children, including a plethora of options for education, recreation, green spaces and child care; the medical care is excellent, no private insurance required; and the sheer size of this incredibly multicultural city ensures your child will be exposed to a wide variety of lifestyle options, whether you, his parents, are into exotic foods or organic living or tribal dance.
Now that you have conceived, you probably want to find out all you can about your pregnancy, delivery, and the bundle of joy at the end of the rainbow. However, the amount of information out there is staggering: online, in parenting books and magazines, and of course the advice you will get from everyone you meet, whether they have children or not. It can be hard to know what or who to listen to. Many parents feel it’s best to select a few trusted resources and stick with those, rather than reading every random article off the internet and trying to balance it all with old wives’ tales!
The most important thing to remember is that you will have your own experience with your pregnancy, delivery, and baby. Advice from experts and other parents is indispensable, but take what you can use, what makes sense to you, and leave the rest.
First Two Trimesters
- Choosing Your Doctor and Health Care Team: Who will help you with the baby?
- The Top 5 Places You MUST GO in the First 6 Months - You’re pregnant, but not so pregnant that you can’t see your feet or get up off a couch without some kind of leverage. Now is the time to prepare as much as you can for baby’s arrival.
- Preparing a Birthing Plan: While you may be focused on all the fun parts now, the fact is that soon you’re going to have to push a baby out.
- Pre-natal Classes in Toronto: Pre-natal classes – in which you learn to breathe/pant through contractions, what to expect during labour, how to make the process easier.
- Checklist To Get Ready For Baby: A list of what you shouldn’t be caught without when the baby comes home – some of it goes without saying, but we are going to say it anyway.
Labour & Delivery
- Toronto Hospitals – Cutting Edge Infant Care: Hopefully you have already registered with the hospital you plan to deliver at, so it won’t come as a surprise to them when you show up ready to have the baby!
- Important Forms and Documents: From Baby Bonus to OHIP: You’ve just had your baby, and already the Government of Canada is stepping in to make sure he or she turns out to be a dutiful citizen:
- Ongoing Help & Support for Toronto parents: If your family is not in Toronto, if you are a single parent, or if your spouse works long hours. Here’s where to turn when professional help seems warranted.
- Eating and Sleeping - Establishing Routines: In the first weeks it will seem like all your baby does is eat, sleep and eliminate!
- Where You, the Grownups, Fit In: Everyone agrees that you need to set aside time for yourself, and for your relationship, as soon as possible.
- Going Back to Work: Managing Your Feelings: In Toronto, both new parents have the right to take parental leave of up to 35 or 37 weeks of unpaid time off work.
- Toronto Daycares: If you want a good child daycare in Toronto, you want to be thinking about it as early as possible, not when your mat leave runs out.
- Nannies, Sitters, and Live-ins in Toronto: While you may dream of a well-trained au pair who will teach your baby a foreign language while whipping up nutritious meals and singing restful lullabies, it’s good to have a reality check.
- Resources For Future & Fresh Moms: Collection of the most important information resources for future and brand new Toronto moms.
You have embarked on a huge adventure – having your first baby is a big deal! Congratulations and welcome to the best club on earth. You’re not the first person to have a baby in Toronto, so when you feel alone or overwhelmed, remember there are many resources to help you succeed as a new parent. At the end of the day, though you can draw parenting help and support from many sources, you will have your own unique and wonderful experience with your baby. We wish you well!