Man, newborns sure do poop a lot.  I always knew that a lot of diaper changes would be required, but they go through diapers like they own stock in “Pampers“.  Anyways, poop is not the topic of this post, it’s the financial business that must be carried out after a baby is welcomed into the world.

After speaking with a bunch of new parents and doing my own due diligence, here is a cheat sheet, step by step, for new parents.  The list will help make sure the child gets their medical coverage, child benefits, and RESP account.

1. Apply for MCP/OHIP/Provincial Medical Plan

  • You’ll need to fill out your provincial medical plan application form.  In NL, this will require the MCP number from one parent.

2. Pick up their Birth Certificate

  • Your local provincial government will have a local building for you to apply/pick up your child’s birth certificate.  The child should be in their system but you’ll require photo ID.  In NL, a birth certificate costs $20.

3. Apply for Child Benefits

  • Upon being discharged from the hospital, they will probably provide you with some paper work to apply for child benefits.  If not, you can find the paper work online.  You’ll need a photocopy of the child’s birth certificate (front and back) to mail in with the application.

4. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • This is a federal program, so you’ll need to find your local federal office that handles SIN numbers.  To obtain your child’s SIN, you’ll need to bring the child’s original birth certificate to the federal office, and complete the application there.

5. Open an Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Account

  • Your child’s SIN will be required for the account application.  We’re still waiting for the SIN number, but we will be opening a TD e-Funds account when the time comes.

Back to changing diapers..

Photograph by Raphael Goetter


  1. Mike on April 15, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I’m stuck on step 1 ;)

    What’s an MCP?

    • FrugalTrader on April 15, 2008 at 9:41 am

      Hey Mike,

      Sorry, MCP is the required Canadian medical card.


  2. Four Pillars on April 15, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I don’t think the MCP is country-wide. It appears to be the medical care plan number for NF. In Ontario it’s called the “OHIP” number.

    Birth certificate procedures are different for different provinces. Here in Ontario, we had to mail the “statement of live birth”, which we got from our doctor, to city hall.

    I have a post written for getting a passport for an infant which covers some of these procedures. Of course, it will only be useful for a segment of the population since the rules are different depending on where you live.

    Canada is very efficient – NOT!


    • FrugalTrader on April 15, 2008 at 9:51 am

      Mike’s, I stand corrected! Sorry about that, I have always thought that MCP was a national thing, but it is in fact a NL thing. My post is inadvertently tilted towards the NL population.

  3. Four Pillars on April 15, 2008 at 9:57 am

    No biggie – the basic steps are sort of similar regardless of the province/terr.

    Bottom line is that you have to go to your provincial gov’t website and research the procedure there.

  4. Chief Family Officer on April 15, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I’m not sure if I ever congratulated you so … Congratulations!

    And yes, you’ll go through an unbelievable number of diapers. Don’t forget to sign up with the manufacturers to receive coupons in the mail.

    Out of curiosity, how long does it take to get a birth certificate? Here in Los Angeles County, we have to wait until four months after the birth before we can request it.

    • FrugalTrader on April 15, 2008 at 10:08 am

      Hey CFO, thanks for the kind words. Around here, you can get the birth certificate approximately 1 week after birth! :)

  5. Chief Family Officer on April 15, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Thanks, FT. I realize that LA County is huge, but wow, what a difference in the wait!

  6. Four Pillars on April 15, 2008 at 10:20 am

    One week for the birth certificate? Wow, in Ontario it takes about three months.

  7. Geoff on April 15, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Have you done the research into disposable versus cloth?

    If my memory serves me right – cloth is way better for the pocketbook…

  8. Geoff on April 15, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Sweet, thanks FT !

  9. abcstocks on April 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Hi MDJ,

    I would appreciate if you share your plan with RESP for new born. How you going to set up and which funds you going to invest ? Thanks a lot in advance.

    • FrugalTrader on April 15, 2008 at 1:13 pm

      ABC, I will slap together something and post it soon.

  10. Al on April 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Congratulations on joining the daddy club. I got a two’fer on my first try. Talk about busy…

    The wife and I are buying diapers at costco, which seems to be relatively inexpensive. Occassionally they have sales, so we stock up big time.

    RESPs. We had an RESP seller call to set up an appointment. I can’t remember the name, but my wife booked it. The info provided was complicated, but all good if you could believe the salesperson. When I asked tougher questions, she seemed to get a little confused. It suggested to me that she didn’t fully understand what she was selling and was following a sales script.

    I dug into the printed material after she left, and it looked like a pretty major rip off. They took a hefty commission off the top BEFORE the govt match. Their trick was that if you drop out of their plan they return the principal and keep any earnings to distribute to other plan holders as “scholarships”. In other words, you only win if other people bail. It was also disguised as an NPO, but it was controlled by a for-profit sales company.

    Bottom line, be careful when shopping for RESPs.

  11. Sarlock on April 15, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Congrats on joining the club :)

    In Alberta, it took me only 8 weeks after my daughter’s birth to have the birth certificate in my hand, SIN applied for and received and have her RESP all set up and deposited in to. She was born on Oct 31 and I had it done before the end of the year in order to take advantage of the first year’s RESP cap. I went with Royal Bank for the RESPs.

    We went the reusable diaper route… cost us about $300 for diapers in total which has last us 2 1/2 years (and will be free for our next child when he/she arrives since the diapers are still in great condition). I am hoping my daughter learns to use the potty real soon so that I don’t have to buy the large size of reusable diaper…she barely fits in the mediums now!

  12. Telly on April 16, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Hey…I didn’t know you were already a new dad! Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. FT! :)

  13. Victor on April 16, 2008 at 10:40 am


  14. Rachel @ Master Your Card on April 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    They say that a child costs about $200,000 until they are 18!! Wow it doesn’t bear thinking about does it – especially as I have twins!

  15. AndyS on April 17, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Thanks – great information. I can relate as I have a 2yr old and wish I had the above checklist beforehand!

    Congrats on making the FT best finance blogs list as well.

  16. paulette on June 8, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Congratulations to your newborn child.

  17. komodo dragon on June 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    yes, newborns will hamper the finances quite a bit ….

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