Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

A Checklist For Your Life

Right after birth:

Also see: Babies

FATHER/COACH:

  • Ask if you can cut the umbilical cord
  • Take pictures and/or video

Soon after birth:

FATHER/COACH:

  • Call family and friends to advise of health of mother and baby, sex, name, weight, APGAR, etc.
  • Buy things to pass out (e.g., chocolate or bubble gum cigars, candy bars, peppermint sticks) in appropriate color

PARENTS:

  • Have people wash their hands before touching or holding the baby (for approx. first month)
  • Be aware that the lips and inside of mouth are one of the best indications of a baby's health
  • Discuss the following with your pediatrician:
    • Baby's health
    • When baby should be seen at pediatrician's office (weight checks, well visits, etc.)
  • Try to put your other children first (let baby wait a few minutes if possible)

Right after getting home:

  • If not too sleepy, husband and wife get in bed with baby for awhile, then put baby in crib/bassinet and get some rest - see info about cribs in Babies checklist
  • Put bathrobe by front door...if anyone comes to the door, put the robe on, answer the door, tell them: "This is the closest I've been to death...I don't know when I'll ever get some sleep."
  • Even if you feel like having visitors soon...don't

Soon after getting home:

  • Call pediatrician for appointments for:
    • Weight check(s)
    • Wellness visits: 2-3 weeks after birth, 2 mths, 4 mths, 6 mths, 9 mths, etc.
  • Be aware that after having a baby, you'll probably lose some friends (especially those without kids) but you'll gain other friends (especially those with kids)
  • Notify newspapers, newsletters, etc. of the birth
  • Adjust life insurance, will, etc.
  • Establish trust fund (or savings account) for infant - to demonstrate the power of saving money
  • Add your new baby as an exemption on your tax return
  • Notify people (e.g., alumni associations) - so they can put it in their publications
  • Notify employer, etc. of new dependent/family member

One week or more after birth:

  • To pediatrician for weight check
  • Be aware that babies usually lose weight during first week

PARENTS:

Regularly:

  • Ensure your baby gets plenty of stimulation from, and interaction with, other people e.g., touching, sounds (e.g., talking, music), visual, smells (until they are several years old) - to stimulate the growth of nerve cells in your baby's brain - stimulation at an early age is much more effective in encouraging learning than at a later age
  • Provide consistent and predictable nuturing, especially during first few years
  • Talk to your baby
  • Massage your baby's body
  • Provide a stable situation for your child, e.g., stable relationships with loving people, especially you - so your baby can develop trust
  • Realize that your baby is especially receptive to learning language during their first year
  • Ensure your baby can't reach small objects which might cause choking (until they are at least approx. 3 years old)
  • Provide plenty of guidance
  • Ask local health department if water contains fluoride. If not, check with your doctor about giving your child a fluoride supplement through age 13
  • Fill out and send birth announcements
  • Avoid public places (malls, church, nurseries, etc.) for 6-8 weeks
  • Don't use sunscreen with pava until at least 6 months
  • If go to the beach, go early in the day (before the sun gets too hot)
  • Don't use non-hypoallergenic products until at least 2 months
  • If you use a baby carrier (carrying baby in front of you), avoid their head bouncing, especially fore and aft
  • Establish a relationship with your child which ensures they know that you care about them, their feelings and their well-being
  • Play with your child
  • Show your child the things you think are important
  • Look your child in the eyes a lot
  • Read to your child, preferably with them on your lap, including reading some of the same books over and over, and, reading a variety of things (e.g., menus) - reading a variety of things helps your child understand how things work
  • Expose your child to lots of different types of music
  • Create music with your child
  • Consider choosing a second language to introduce to your child
  • Get a social security number for your child - go to Social Security Administration
  • Adjust your income tax withholding form (W-2)
  • On your tax return, take dependent care tax credit, especially if you have lower income
  • Use a flexible spending account to have pre-tax dollars directed from your paycheck to reimburse yourself for child care expenses

If you suspect your baby has a high temperature:

  • Take temperature rectally

When you start rolling over:

PARENTS:

  • Don't leave baby on a bed, sofa, etc. unattended

When you start crawling:

PARENTS:

  • Childproof your house:
    • Put a gate at the top and bottom of all stairs
    • Keep balloons (inflated and uninflated) out of reach
    • See Childproofing

Age 6 months:

  • Get introduced to swimming - so you won't have a fear of water which might prevent you from trying to swim if you fall into water
  • Learn to roll onto your back in water and float

Age 9 months:

PARENTS:

  • Be aware that a child can lose consciousness within approx. 2 minutes in water and drown within approx. 6 minutes

Age 1:

Regularly:

  • Play with cups, etc. under running faucet

PARENTS:

  • Be aware that children need to be watched much more closely once they learn to walk
  • Make a game out of learning to read
  • Consider controlling what your child watches on TV by:
    • Deleting certain channels on your TV (see your owner's manual) or DVR
    • Asking your cable TV company to block certain channels

Once your child has learned to walk:

  • Double check your house for hazards to children (see Childproofing)

Age 2:

  • Start reducing fat in diet to same as for adults (e.g., no more than approx. 30% of calories from fat)
  • Avoid eating too much:
    • Butter/margarine
    • Fried food
    • Meat
  • Learn:
    • If you get lost (e.g., separated from your parents in a crowd or forest), stay where you are (e.g., hug a tree) and let them find you
    • Don't look directly at the sun except possibly momentarily at sunrise or sunset
    • If someone asks you to go somewhere (e.g., to look for a pet), don't go unless it's okay with your parents
    • If someone (especially if it's a stranger) tries to take you somewhere without your parents' permission, scream (e.g., "you're not my Daddy/Mommy")
    • To ride a bike, when you're ready
  • Dictate a story to one of your parents and then have them read it back to you

PARENTS:

Regularly (at least daily):

  • Tell your child:
    • You love them
    • You're proud of them
  • Ask your child:
    • How they are doing
    • If they have anything they want to talk about
    • If they have any questions they'd like to ask you
    • What they did that day

APPROACHING BEDTIME

If you notice that your child is getting cranky or irrational, or, starts crying:

  • Start getting them ready for bed

BEDTIME

If you have trouble getting your child to go to sleep:

  • Don't give your child too many choices, e.g.:
    • Which book(s) to read
    • Bedclothes to wear
  • Don't negotiate with your child, e.g., don't promise to read one more story if your child promises to go right to sleep
  • Establish a routine
  • Consider having your child pick out bed clothes earlier in evening
  • Stimulate your child's imagination while you lull them to sleep, e.g., read or tell a story

Age 3:

  • Start attending preschool - to develop learning skills
  • Consider taking music lessons
  • Consider joining a league (e.g., soccer, T-ball)
  • Learn:
    • That electrical things can be very dangerous, especially near water
    • That you should always try to do the right thing
    • If you make people play by your rules, they probably won't want to play with you
    • Doctors can't fix everything
    • Importance of crossing street properly
    • To not ask other kids if you can play at their house until your parents ask their parents
    • To say "I would like..." instead of "I want..."
    • To say "please" and "thank you" a lot - a person probably can't say "please" or "thank you" too much
    • To not invite other kids over to your house until you ask your parents
    • To not put things in your ears
    • That you can't jump off from a high place with an umbrella, blanket, etc. (like a parachute) without getting hurt badly
    • To take only what you can eat and to eat what you take
    • How to blow nose
    • To say "yes" instead of "yeah"
    • That there are some bad grown-ups who could try to take you somewhere
    • How to recognize bad grown-ups who could try to take you somewhere
    • How to avoid being taken somewhere by bad grown-ups
    • Agree on a code word that your parents would give to someone if they want them to pick you up
    • To swim
    • How to cross the street safely
    • To not eat too much bad food and to eat a variety of good foods in moderation

PARENTS:

  • Give your child a codeword that you would use if you need to have someone your child doesn't know pick them up
  • Talk to the other parent about how you should respond when your child asks about sensitive subjects, e.g., sex
  • Ensure your child knows they can always come to you if they have questions
  • Consider controlling what your child watches on TV:
    • Ask your cable TV company for passwords to use when ordering pay-per-view programming
    • Avoid shows with violence
    • Avoid shows with adult themes (unless an adult is present to explain the situation(s))
    • Avoid shows with commercials
    • Encourage watching educational shows, e.g., on public television

Age 4:

  • Start learning a second language - easier to learn at early age
  • Ask your parents to talk to you about being wary of peer pressure and group think
  • Be aware that only 3 out of 4 children achieve night-time dryness by age of 5
  • Consider joining the Cub Scouts after you start kindergarten
  • Learn:
    • Most TV shows do not reflect real life
    • Phone etiquette
    • If you go into a public rest room while your parent waits outside and someone bothers you, to run away and/or scream (e.g., "you're not my Daddy/Mommy")

PARENTS:

  • Explain to your child that how a person looks is not important, how they treat other people is important
  • Buy (or borrow from a library) books which will help you to talk to your child about sex

As often as feasible:

  • Try to take your child to things they can do rather than things they would just observe
  • Give your child lots of love and support - so they won't seek it from bad friends, gangs, etc.
  • Keep your child busy with interesting and beneficial activities - so they won't be tempted by undesirable activities (e.g., trying illegal drugs, vandalism) due to boredom
  • Ensure you are aware of, and understand, what your child is going through, e.g.:
    • Go to the places they go to
    • Listen to the music they listen to
    • Check the movies they see and the video games they play
    • Volunteer to help in their classroom

Age 5:

  • Consider having sealants put on applicable teeth - to help prevent cavities
  • Be aware that only 3 out of 4 children achieve night-time dryness by age of 5
  • Consider joining a YMCA Adventure Guides and Princesses program
  • Learn:
    • To be kind
    • To be trustworthy
    • To be respectful towards others
    • To be responsible for your actions
    • To be fair
    • To be caring
    • To be a good citizen (doing your share, obeying the law, etc.)
    • To treat others the way you would like for others to treat you
    • To walk, not ride, your bike across intersections, especially those with traffic lights
    • While riding a bike, to not turn sharply on surface with sand, dirt, water, etc. on it

Regularly:

  • Ask your parents if there are any chores you can do, either just to help out or for money

PARENTS:

  • Encourage your child to ask if there are any chores they can do, either just to help out or for money
  • Even if your child has learned to swim, don't leave them unsupervised near water, even very shallow water
  • Start thinking about when your child should have a pre-paid credit or debit card
  • Start thinking about when your child should have their own cell phone - one study indicated the average age a child gets a cell phone is 6

If you haven't started saving for your child's college education:

  • Consider investing money in a regular growth fund - less risk than an aggressive growth fund

Age 6:

  • Learn:
    • You shouldn't even try smoking, because:
      • It kills many people
      • It is very hard to quit - it is believed that over 85% of those who try to quit, fail
      • It harms and offends other people
      • It is very expensive

PARENTS:

  • Ensure your child would feel comfortable telling you if they were exposed to, or tried, alcohol, smoking or illegal drugs
  • Buy or check out from a library books to help you talk to your child about sex
  • Talk to your child about sex, perhaps using books, Internet educational video's, etc.
  • Explain to your child what is involved in a good relationship between partners, e.g.:
    • Communication
    • Respect
    • Mutual interests

Age 7:

  • Be aware that child abductors:
    • Most often target boys and girls 10-12 years old - just reaching puberty and anxious to demonstrate their independence from their parents
    • Usually target their victims early in the day, then approach/attack between 3-6 p.m.
    • Usually use a 2-door sedan - harder for someone to escape from

PARENTS:

  • Tell your child about the dangers of drugs - tell them that you know it's difficult to say "no" to friends who offer them drugs
  • Be aware, and warn your child, that child abductors:
    • Most often target boys and girls 10-12 years old - just reaching puberty and anxious to demonstrate their independence from their parents
    • Usually target their victims early in the day, then approach/attack between 3-6 p.m.
    • Usually use a 2-door sedan - harder for someone to escape from
  • Talk to your child about the following (perhaps using books from the library or a store, and/or, Internet videos):
    • Puberty
    • Sex (in general terms, e.g., a man and a woman have to get together to have a baby)
    • Reproduction

PARENTS OF A BOY:

  • Explain to your son that erections are normal, even while you're sleeping, and that sometimes there is a discharge ("wet dream")

Age 8:

  • Talk to your parents about why you shouldn't try illegal drugs
  • Know that choosing whether to participate in a religion is a very personal decision and that you should explore your options

PARENTS:

  • Explain that very few people (especially women) look the way they are often portrayed on TV, in magazines, on billboards, in video games, etc.
  • Remind your child that it is more important to treat others based on how they treat others than on their appearance
  • Talk to your child about:
    • Sex in general terms, including:
    • Masturbation (e.g., not unhealthy)
    • AIDS/HIV
    • Venereal diseases
    • Homosexuality and LGBTQ people

PARENTS OF A GIRL:

  • Talk to your daughter about menstruation

Age 9:

PARENTS:

  • Be aware that girls and boys 10-12 years old are the prime target of child molesters/abducters - because they're just reaching puberty and they tend to be anxious to demonstrate some independence
  • Be aware that children, especially boys, may be reluctant to tell you about someone trying to molest or abduct them because they're afraid you'll restrict their freedom

Age 10:

  • Ask your parents if you can offer to do chores (e.g., mow the yard) for money
  • Write and sign a promise to your parents to never try illegal drugs
  • Promise to tell your parents if you ever see, or are offered, illegal drugs
  • Realize that you have reached the age at which you are especially susceptible to the temptation to try illegal drugs

GIRLS

  • Expect your first menstrual period within the next few years (many girls have cramping shortly before their first period)
  • Start carrying sanitary napkins with you

PARENTS

If you haven't started saving for your child's college education:

  • Consider investing money, e.g., in an equity income fund

Age 11:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items

Age 12:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items
  • Learn CPR (contact American Heart Association, American Red Cross, National Safety Council, etc.)

GIRLS:

  • Delay the start of sexual activity - girls who start sexual activity before age of 18 are more likely to develop cervical cancer from an human papilloma virus (HPV))

Age 13:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items

PARENTS:

  • Be aware that approx. 4 of 5 people try smoking cigarettes before they are 18

Age 14:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items
  • Develop and/or find a system (e.g., on smart phone or computer) to keep track of a prioritized list of things to do, upcoming commitments and events
  • Explore part-time jobs you can do, e.g., walk dogs, mow yards, deliver papers
  • Start thinking about what you'd like to do for a living and where you'd like to live

PARENTS:

  • Consider helping your child open a checking account with one of you as a legal guardian co-owner

Age 15:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items
  • Develop a way (e.g., on smart phone or computer) to keep track of people you know and information about them
  • Consider asking your parents to apply for you to be an authorized user on one of their credit cards - be aware that the primary account holder's actions can affect your credit, for better or worse
  • Explore opportunities for driver education in preparation for applying for a learner's permit
  • Consider applying for a driver's learner's permit

PARENTS:

    • Don't put undue pressure on your child to pursue a specific career, e.g., don't try to live vicariously through your child - your child most likely has different talents and interests than you
    • Expose your child to a wide variety of career options, e.g., introduce them to people you know in different careers
    • Encourage your child to take tests to determine their aptitude and preferred career choices
    • Encourage your child to explore internship and volunteer opportunities to help them determine what they might like to do for their career(s)
    • Encourage, but don't control, your child in their search for part-time jobs and for career fields to consider
    • Encourage your child to consider the various benefits and costs of college versus vocational schools
    • Suggest that your child consider national service, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, etc. in the future
    • Talk to your daughter about birth control or have her talk to a doctor about it - it's common for girls to start birth control about age 16

If you haven't started saving for your child's college education:

  • Consider investing money, e.g., 25% in equities and 75% in a fixed income fund

Age 16:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items
  • Look for opportunities to volunteer in your community, e.g., American Red Cross
  • Explore part-time jobs you can do, e.g., fast food restaurants

Age 17:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've considered completing applicable items
  • Register to vote when able and plan to vote in elections after you turn 18

Age 18:

  • Register to vote and then vote in elections
  • Consider applying for a credit card - until you're 21, it will probably need to be a student credit card, secured credit card or other starter credit card
  • Consider signing up for a Venmo account - so you and your family, friends, etc. can transfer money between your accounts
  • Consider joining a time bank to help others and get help without exchanging money - TimeBanks.org

If you're a U.S. citizen:

  • Within 30 days before or after your 18th birthday:
    • Determine if you need to register with the Selective Service System (go to sss.gov)

PARENTS:

  • Let your child move out (if they want to)

Age 21:

  • Review sections for earlier ages to ensure you've completed applicable items
  • Consider applying for a credit card - at age 21, you might qualify for a regular credit card instead of a student credit card, secured credit card or other starter credit card

Age 30:

  • Consider taking DHEA
  • Review the symptoms of a heart attack

Age 35:

MEN:

  • Get a rectal exam - can help detect rectal cancer
  • Consider getting a blood test to check for elevated levels of prostatic-specific antagens

WOMEN:

If you have any of the following risk factors for breast cancer (family history of breast cancer, having non-cancerous breast disease, prior breast cancer, have especially dense breast tissue, had first child after you were 30 years old):

  • Ask your doctor about getting your first mammogram and getting annual mammograms for the rest of your life (see Mammograms)

Age 40:

WOMEN:

  • Prepare for menopause (see Menopause)
  • Ask your doctor about getting your first mammogram and getting annual mammograms for the rest of your life (see Mammograms)

After menopause:

  • Ask your doctor about taking estrogren replacement therapy and/or the herb rosemary - may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease

Age 50:

  • Be careful to not fall, especially when carrying things - as you get older, it's easier to get hurt and takes much longer to recover from injuries
  • Start eating smaller meals more often during the day - to help burn fat faster
  • Watch out for people who might try to take advantage of seniors, e.g., scams

Age 59:

  • Consider taking funds out of your Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

Age 65:

Regularly:

  • Ask for senior citizen discounts for events, lodging, transportation, meals, etc.

Well before you die:

  • Advise family and friends of your desires in the event that you can only be kept alive by life support systems and there is no hope of recovery
  • Establish a living will to dictate what you would like done in the event you become no longer able to speak for yourself
  • Consider appointing someone to act as your decision-maker in the event you become no longer able to speak for yourself
  • Advise members of your family that you want your organs made available for transplanting - your organs can save many lives - if organs become more available, there will be less incentive for countries to execute prisoners to sell their organs
  • Warn relatives, etc. to be wary of strangers' offers right after you die - con artists often check obituaries and contact relatives soon afterwards

Comments


  1. On October 7th, 2010, jason said:

    The cable company can’t block individual channels for you. Besides violating their contracts with the networks in question, it’s not how the technology works. Blocking channels is and likely always will be up to the subscriber via options in their digital cable box or parental controls in the tv. And in any event these things are poor disuassion compared to simple parental involvement in the child’s life…

  2. On February 27th, 2016, Lena said:

    “Avoid eating too much:
    Butter
    Meat”

    If you do, make sure you have saved up enough money to put your child on antidepressants, since you’ve deliberately robbed them of healthy, natural building blocks for the majority of all major signal substances needed to keep a stable moood, and keep the blood vessles smooth and properly greased. (After all, they are made of fat.)

    The margarine part is correct though. Don’t feed your child margarine at any time!
    Unless you badly want those arteries clogged from artificial fat.

    However!
    Make sure your child eats meat from HEALTHY animals. Not some large-scale-industrial-meat-factory.

    If you still want to feed your child low fat;
    Make sure to accept that children on low-fat diet might develop hormonal disturbances, which might affect not only their mood, but their sexual identity, body, and self image as well.

    Save up money to pay for therapy following any depression or suicide attempts.

    • Concerned neurochemist.

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