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NYS Parent Guide

Prenatal: Growth and Development

Baby On the Way

Guiding Your Child

Guiding Your Child

Because you are so important to him, your baby will pay attention to and imitate or copy things you say and do. You can start guiding his behavior—even before you meet—by setting a good example as you make thoughtful decisions and get information and help from others.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Think about any changes you want to make in how you act and talk. Start making them now. Someone sweet and dear will soon be watching, listening and copying you.
  • Go to class. Look for a class with information you need. There are classes about childbirth, being a foster or adoptive parent, the basics of baby care (changing diapers, feeding, bathing, clipping tiny nails…) and keeping babies safe and healthy. It’s also a chance to meet other parents and have questions answered.
  • Find and use healthcare. For yourself and your family. There are many different health plans out there. Health insurance options too. To find one that works for you, ask questions to be sure your family needs are met. Does someone listen? Seem to respect you? Explain things in a way you understand? Is there an interpreter available?
  • Begin thinking about childcare. Even before baby is born. Will you stay home with your baby? For how long? If you are going back to school or work, then what? Who will take care of your new bundle of joy? What are the options and which are affordable? Grandparents? A friend? Nanny? A family child care provider in your neighborhood who cares for children in her home? A center with spaces for an infant? Finding the right child care can take time. Start by talking to a trusted friend, relative or colleague who has a child care provider they trust. Contact the nearest Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Center to learn about choices including financial help with paying for childcare.
  • Start to prepare siblings for the family’s new addition. If you already have other children, invite them to help get ready, for example, draw the baby a welcome sign or practice reading the baby’s books.

Useful Resources:

Affordable Health Insurance

For help finding affordable health insurance for you and your family, call New York State of Health.

855-355-5777 TTY ACCESS

Finding Childcare

To find your local Child Care Resource and Referral Center call the NYS Office of Children and Family Services at:


Parenting Class

State Resources on finding classes and what is available for parents. Contact the NYS Parenting Education Partnership


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