Two lines on a pregnancy test and life is changed forever. For most, finding out you’re expecting a baby is one of the most exciting and incredible feelings in the world- but that’s not the only emotion that will be running through you. Fear, doubt and anxiety will probably be right behind, even if your baby was planned and is very much wanted. It’s a scary time as everything you’ve ever known changes and there are some huge alterations you’ll need to make to your life. If you’re expecting a baby or planning to start trying in the near future, here are some of the ways you can ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
There are lots of reasons you might want to move house before your baby is born. First of all, the place you’re in now might not be suitable for a child. Perhaps it’s only one bedroom or maybe there are lots of stairs leading up to your home which you wouldn’t be able to tackle with a pram. Perhaps your tenancy agreement states that you can’t rent with children. Maybe you just want something larger, with a garden or close to good amenities like schools, parks and play areas. You might want to move somewhere more rural and with less crime and pollution. Whatever your reasons are, when you find out you’re expecting your first thought might be to move if where you are now is unsuitable. It won’t always be possible, but getting this done and out of the way early is always going to be your best bet.
Get yourself moved into your new home with time to spare, you’ve got a few months to get settled and get the place in order then, and set up your baby’s nursery. They won’t be needing it for a while, but knowing it’s sorted can give you peace of mind. If you plan on staying in the place you’re in now, you might need to make some changes or upgrades before little one arrives. Perhaps you need to add an extension, or sort out some repairs. You might need a bigger kitchen to accommodate your growing family, or you might just want to redecorate and get the place organized. Either way, you life will change forever once they arrive, so your home needs to be ready.
Another thing you might need to change when you have a baby is your car. The model you have right now might be completely impractical- perhaps it’s a sporty model that’s low to the ground and hard to get in and out of. Maybe it only has two seats or is lacking storage space? You might want a car that has four doors rather than two making it easy to get your child in and out of their carseat. You’ll probably want to choose a vehicle that has excellent safety ratings since you’re going to be driving round such a tiny and fragile little person. It’s not to say you need to go out and buy the most boring model out there, but practicality rather than just style does need to come into it when you have a baby. You need space for their pram and all of the things a baby comes along with. You’ll probably want space for things like groceries and other essentials too. Take a look at some reviews for the best family cars and choose something that suits your style, budget and life.
Having a child is one of the most expensive things you will ever do. Over the course of eighteen years you will spend hundreds of thousands investing in the things they need to grow up happy and healthy. The early years especially are expensive, and so it’s important to get your finances in order. Set a budget and stick to it, ideally you’ll have some savings in place before getting pregnant to make the first year that bit easier. Since you’ll be taking time out for maternity leave you won’t be getting full pay, so you’ll need to work out how much that will affect your budgeting and spending. If you can, try and set up a side hustle. If you have a blog, monetise it- or you could do some freelancing work. This can be done from home with no upfront expense and is something you could continue with pretty much right up until your baby arrives.
Once you’re in a routine again, a few months down the line, it’s something you can pick right up again without having to go back to a job with set hours. If you have things in your life that you probably won’t need or use when your baby arrives, you could consider selling them to raise funds and put towards your savings. You should also see what help you’re entitled to from the government, depending on where you live and what your financial situation is, you might be entitled to grants or benefits to help you out. Another thing to consider when it comes to finances is a savings account. You can do this by opening it in your own name before your baby is born and then transferring ownership to them when they’re registered. Just putting a little away each month means by the time they’re eighteen or twenty-one, they have a good chunk of money that can really help them out in their lives. It could be towards a mortgage deposit, or towards the cost of learning to drive and buying their first car. It could be towards education or whatever else is important at the time.
Baby Equipment and Essentials
Buying baby equipment and essentials will be some of the main costs you need to cover when you’re expecting. A pram, a carseat, a cot, baby clothes, toiletries, toys, nappies and more are all things you’ll need. A good tip is to write a list and tick off things as you buy them or receive them as gifts. Friends and family are likely to want to help, so this way you can show them the list and they can buy you something you don’t already have to prevent you ending up with lots of repeats. Amazon wishlists is a good way to do this, especially if you’re having a baby shower. Since there will be plenty of items, all at different price points it makes it easy for people to choose a gift that they know you need and is within their budget. If you already have a young child and are pregnant again then you’ll need to consider a double stroller, here is a good article on this that will help you to find the right one for you. There are lots of items a baby needs, do some research and compile a list of essentials. You can then work on getting these throughout your pregnancy to spread the cost.
Your Nutrition and Health
When you have a baby, you’re always going to prioritize them. But it’s not to say you should overlook your own needs- you need to be happy and healthy to be the best parent that you can be. Before your baby arrives, you could batch cook and freeze meals so you have access to healthy, home-cooked meals every evening without having to worry about cooking.
Make sure you attend all of your follow-up health visits, you’ll need to make sure you’re healing well and also get on the right contraception since after giving birth you will be very fertile. So unless you plan on having another right away then this is something to think about! If you’re not yet pregnant, but are planning to try for a baby, there are some lifestyle changes to start making. Stop drinking, smoking or taking recreational drugs if you have any of these habits. If you take prescribed medication, discuss this with your doctor and let them know you’re planning on starting your family. Improve your diet, getting plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in will give your health a boost and improve your chances of conception. If you’re over or underweight, getting within a normal BMI for your height is a very good idea. Start taking prenatal vitamins and discuss with your partner their lifestyle habits too. You could both go on a health kick and spend a few months getting into shape, eating right and generally getting your health into the best shape possible. You are the one that will be carrying the baby, but it’s both of you that are responsible for its creation, and so being as health as you can be is a smart move.
There are so many things to think about when you’re expecting a baby, life really does change forever. But in the very best way possible, so enjoy the journey! Plan on getting Mommy Me Time now because if you don’t plan it you won’t take it. Utilize those that want to help you and get away from it all once in a while even if you don’t leave your home.