This is a sponsored guest post.
Welcoming a new baby is a big and exciting step for many parents, and you have plenty of new considerations to keep in mind before you bring your new baby home. To make sure you’re as prepared as possible, get your home and life ready for your new child by reviewing these important issues.
Preparing the Baby Gear
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start looking at all the baby gear available. Before you head out to buy everything in the store, do some research on what you think you’ll need. For example, while you know you’ll require plenty of diapers for those first few months, most babies don’t care if the wipes are cold, so you can skip buying the wipe warmer. If you have friends who have already had babies, ask them what baby gear they couldn’t live without, and start building your shopping list around those suggestions.
Getting the Nursery Ready
While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months, you’ll still need to create a separate sleeping area for them, such as a crib or bassinet. Additionally, you’ll likely want to go ahead and set up the nursery with the other baby gear so everything is ready when your baby makes the switch to his or her own room. This can include putting together the changing table, washing all the new clothes, getting the bathtub set up, and assembling the stroller.
Planning Your New Budget
Adding a new member to the family means adjusting your budget as well. As you’ll quickly learn when you start buying all the gear you need, babies are expensive. While you might have a plan for purchasing immediate needs, such as clothing, diapers, and food, don’t forget about expenses in the future, such as childcare and a college fund. While you might be tempted to postpone these expenses until a later date, it’s better to have a plan now so you can start saving right away.
Adding Supplemental Medical Plans
Once your baby is born, you need to make sure you have a healthcare plan in place to cover him or her. If you already have health insurance, you’ll want to find out when and how you can add your baby to your plan, such as using Medicare supplement plans for extra coverage. Try to have a pediatrician picked out for your baby before he or she is born. If you’re not sure where to begin your search, you can ask your obstetrician, neighbors, friends, or relatives for advice.
Setting Up Childcare
Maternity and paternity leave in the United States is very inconsistent. Depending on where you work, you might get several weeks of paid or unpaid maternity leave. Some jobs don’t offer any type of leave, so you might need to combine sick time, vacation time, and unpaid leave to get the necessary time off.
Along with planning for time off right after your baby is born, you also need to consider your childcare options if you’re going back to work. Planning your budget will help you decide whether you can afford to stay home or not. Also, don’t forget you have other options, such as part-time work or working from home.
Understanding Your Life Changes
No matter how much planning and research you do before your baby arrives, nothing can prepare you for how much your life is going to change. Having a baby brings a variety of financial, emotional, and physical changes.
For example, some mothers have no problem breastfeeding, while others struggle from the start. Some babies will start sleeping through the night after the first few months, while others will wake up throughout the night even when they’re almost a year old. Joining parent support groups will help you get advice from parents who are currently facing the same problems or have already dealt with them with older children.
Before you bring your new baby home, make sure your home and life is ready for the change by taking care of these important considerations.