The first thing you need to know – DON’T DO IT! Just kidding friends!
Having children will be one of the most important decisions that anyone can make. While many people are naturally driven to want children (my sons wanted children before they were done being children) and there is more to having a child than just simply wanting your own human to love and care for. There is a multitude of things you should consider FIRST.
What Do I Need to Know Before Having a Baby?
Have you spent more than a few hours with a baby – ever? I’m talking 24/7 for at least 48 to 72 hours non-stop. If you have not, you are not prepared to have a baby. Find a friend who is willing to let you babysit their newborn – or even have them stay at your house for the weekend – and allow you to take care of the child on your own with their guidance.
There were many times I wanted to rent out my kids for the weekend – they would have been the perfect poster kids for birth control. Unfortunately, that practice was frowned upon and most of the people who knew my kids weren’t gullible enough to take the bait!
I digress though – seriously. All jokes aside, having a baby is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. It is also one of the best joys you will ever know in your lifetime, bringing a child into this world. It’s an indescribable feeling that just fills you with all the “warm and fuzzies” you could imagine.
And then you go home. Just you and the baby. Your parent training begins in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
For those of us that had younger siblings growing up, it is a little easier to manage. You have firsthand experience on what to expect based on your interactions with younger brothers and sisters. If you are an only child, however, you definitely need to read this article before having a child.
Many of these should be looked after before you’ve gotten pregnant. That’s primarily because it will give you more time to plan in advance. If that’s not possible, however, then there’s no need to worry. You and your partner can still get things done before the baby arrives.
When Should You Have A Baby?
Anyone who wants to have a baby often finds themselves asking, ‘when is the best time to get pregnant?’ There can be more to answering this than you’d expect. In terms of your relationship, there’s no right or wrong time.
Instead, this depends significantly on where you are in the relationship and multiple other factors. That’s best discussed with your partner, as the only people who can answer it are you and your partner. You also need to determine if you are both in a place where – should the relationship fail – you are in a position to care for a child solely on your own – financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. That is for another post. Let’s discuss the actual timing to get pregnant.
The largest of these decisions is what is the best time of the month to get pregnant. For most women, it’s recommended that they try to get pregnant the day before they ovulate.
A woman will be at her most fertile within the five-day window leading up to ovulation, including ovulation day itself. Anytime within that time frame is a good time to try to get pregnant. In addition, it has been shown that frequent intercourse for men results in more sperm, further increasing your odds to get pregnant.
So if you’re planning in advance, you need to know your ovulation schedule and base your baby-making plan on that time period. Sounds like an excellent time to take a mini-vacation and get away for a few days! It might be the last chance you get to do so as a couple!
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby?
True fact – babies are EXPENSIVE. You need to make sure you are prepared ahead of time before the baby comes and have a nest egg built up to get everything your child needs for the first few months of life. You will definitely need to learn to budget properly for your pregnancy and your child’s care.
While this varies significantly from state to state (but shouldn’t) the cost for a standard natural birth delivery can be between $5,000 and $11,000. For a C-section, you should expect to pay noticeably more. Naturally, that makes having medical insurance a TOP PRIORITY. There may be additional expenses if your baby has complications, needs to be in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) for health reasons, is born special-needs, has jaundice, etc. Some of these costs are going to last well into their teenage years or can be lifelong expenses you need to be prepared for.
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Then there are the likes of furniture and other baby decorations. While this will naturally depend on the exact products themselves, these can easily cost several thousand dollars. Thankfully, your baby’s food costs shouldn’t be too high, although your grocery costs will go up noticeably in the weeks after their birth.
All this means that you’ll need to budget effectively before your child is born. Can you afford everything already, or do you need to save for a while? If possible, it’s worth spending several months saving up for the typical baby-related costs before getting pregnant.
How To Financially Prepare For A Baby
Most people wondering how to prepare for a baby financially can easily become overwhelmed. With all of the pregnancy and birth-related costs, plus baby cots and more, it may seem unaffordable. That shouldn’t be the case.
Proper budgeting will help you quite a lot. That makes it worth doing as early as possible. It’s recommended that you:
- Sign up for health insurance as soon as possible;
- Know your workplace’s family leave policy;
- If possible, look for financial aid, and;
- Research what your potential costs will be.
It’s worth doing all of the above as early as you can, preferably before you get pregnant. This approach will help you figure out when the best financial time would be for you to have the baby. In some cases, it might lead to you postponing getting pregnant for a little while.
How To Babyproof Your Home
If you’re preparing for kids, then you’ll need to babyproof your home once they reach the age where they can crawl or push themselves around in a walker. For most this is about 6 months of semi-freedom before you have to become the babyproof maniac. If you plan to allow natural attachment with your newborn – the babyproofing starts the minute you walk into the house with your child.
As obvious as that is, it could be more confusing than you’d think. While you’ll naturally think to babyproof certain areas, others could be easier to overlook.
How do you babyproof your home properly? There are a few steps involved, including:
- Ensure your baby cannot roll off the bed, couch, chair, etc. and fall to the floor.
- Hide electrical cords and other wires around the home.
- Place lamps and other freestanding decor behind furniture to stop it falling over.
- Put safety covers over electrical outlets.
- Keep your medicine cabinet stocked but out of reach of your child.
- Put non-slip mats under your rug.
- Put padding on any sharp edges, especially on furniture corners.
- Put latches on any cupboards or drawers that will be in the baby’s reach.
- Store purses and other valuables out of the baby’s reach.
Following each of the above steps should prevent the majority of accidents from happening. It’s worth noting, though, that your baby is likely to have a few bumps as they grow. The key is to make sure these are minor and don’t leave anything worse than a bruise. The above babyproofing steps should help with that.
Having a child isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Once you have one, you’ll be responsible for a new person. That’s a heavy responsibility that you should be sure that you want to take on, alongside ensuring that you’re in a position to do so.
Thankfully, there are multiple resources to take advantage of when you’re pregnant and afterward. Spending as much time researching and planning will help you identify and take advantage of these.
While you can get through parenthood without them, these resources can be more than welcome. Outside of that, making sure that you’ve planned for all of the above will make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Have a Great Week!
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