Doctor’s visits, learning how to care for a baby, planning for childcare, juggling new family routines, and just doing the day-to-day with your new baby–there’s never a dull moment that’s for sure.

Having a baby is a huge milestone for many reasons: there’s lots going on with the arrival of a new, littlest member of the family. And having a baby in Singapore? It’s actually pretty great, with loads of maternity benefits and subsidies to help reduce the monetary burden in the early years.

Do yourself a favour and keep this quick list of what you can expect as a parent in Singapore, so you can plan ahead! Doing the mental prep work beforehand goes a long way in readying yourself for the exhausting yet fulfilling marathon that is parenthood.

1. Reduce your out-of-pocket cash payments with the Medisave Maternity Package

All the doctor’s bills to ensure that your pregnancy is going smoothly, as well as delivery fees and hospital fees thereafter, can really add up. The Medisave Maternity Package is a scheme for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, to help alleviate the cost of delivering your baby–by allowing you to tap on your or your husband’s Medisave funds to co-pay for delivery fees, hospital bills, and even pre-natal expenses at both public and private hospitals.

2. Maximise your maternity and paternity leave

If you’re a working mum, you’ll definitely want to know how much time you have to recover, rest, and bond with your new bouncing bundle of joy before you have to return to work. The great news is that whether you are employed or self-employed, you can enjoy paid time off during this precious postpartum period. You can find out what kinds of maternity leave you’re entitled to here, by using this handy checklist.

Working dads are entitled to paid paternal leave too. For babies born from this year onwards, dads can enjoy up to 4 weeks of paid paternal leave, depending on their employers.

Mums, you can also share your maternity leave days (up to 4 weeks) with your husbands, to spread the load of parenting more equally between both parents in the early days and weeks of having a baby.

There’s lots to take in, so we suggest planning your maternity and paternity leave in advance with this guide.

3. Look forward to the Baby Bonus Scheme

The Baby Bonus scheme has transformed over the years, but the intention has always been to lighten the financial burden of raising a child. The scheme now provides parents even more support in government funding, in the form of cash gifts, grants, and co-matching contributions. First time parents can look forward to receiving a maximum of $24,000, while parents of subsequent children will receive more.

Cash gifts can be used in any way, while co-matching contributions by the government will be made to the Child Development Account and must be used for medical appointments, school fees, buying essentials for your baby at pharmacies, or other child-related purchases.

4. Get free compulsory vaccinations and milestone checks

First-time mums, this one's for you! All Singapore Citizen babies can get free vaccinations and developmental milestone checks at any polyclinic in Singapore. That’s right, you don’t have to fork out a single cent for compulsory vaccinations or developmental checks on the national schedule, because they are fully subsidised by the Singapore government. All you need to do is to make an appointment at any polyclinic or CHAS GP clinic.

5. Enjoy infant and childcare subsidies

Looking slightly further ahead after your maternity period ends and planning for childcare arrangements when you have to head back to work? Thankfully, full and half-day infantcare and childcare programmes for Singaporean babies are subsidised by the government, with additional subsidies available if your household income is below $12,000 a month. That’s less money you have to fork out for your child in the early years, so you can save for a rainy day in the future.

Have more questions about welcoming your baby later this year? Link up with parenting groups in the neighbourhood, or on social media platforms, to support each other through the exciting newborn days and beyond. You can also consider joining a Families for Life parenting programme, such as Purposeful Play, for parents of young children aged 0 to 6 years to learn how to play with their children meaningfully.