This is a collaborative post.
Planning for parenthood is stressful. Having a baby changes your entire world. Everything you do in the future will be affected by your want and need to look after this little person. It can be overwhelming to think of the changes you’ll need to make in your life. If you have yet to get pregnancy check out these tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
If you break it down into smaller steps and make adjustments over the course of your pregnancy, by the time your little one arrives you’ll be well prepared and ready to go. You can throw yourself into planning for parenthood without having to worry about anything else, it will all be taken care of. Here are some things to consider when you’re planning for your baby’s arrival.
Babies might be tiny to begin with, but they require a whole lot of space. Baby equipment from prams to their nursery furniture, toys, clothes and everything else can quickly take over your home.
If you’re already living in fairly cramped conditions then bringing your baby home can add a lot of stress to the situation. If you’re in a position where you can make changes to your home, an extension could add space both upstairs and downstairs. Or renovating the loft could provide a bedroom for you, or for an older child so you could turn that room into a nursery.
Otherwise, you might need to move. Companies like Redrow offer lots of first time buyer benefits and help to buy schemes if you’re able to get onto the property ladder, otherwise look for available properties to rent that fit your criteria. Once you’re in a home that’s big enough for your family, you’ll of course need to get prepped for your new arrival!
While the baby won’t be in their room for a while, having their nursery painted, the furniture put up and everything put away can make you feel really organised and on top of things. There are lots of ideas on places like Pinterest that can get you started if you’re stuck for colours or a theme. It saves you from having to do it later down the line, and is something you can do while you’re on maternity leave and have the luxury of having a little time on your hands.
Planning for parenthood, your car
If this is your first baby, your car might not be suitable for a child. Maybe it’s a sporty number with only two seats? Perhaps it only has two doors at the front meaning you’d have to pull the seat back every time you wanted to get the baby in and out. If you already have children, you might be in a position where you don’t have any more space to put a car seat.
Either way, with a new baby on the way you might well be in the market for a new vehicle. As well as enough space for the car and booster seats that you need, consider room in the back for a pram and things like groceries and other essentials.
One of the main things you’ll want to look at, of course, is the safety and crash ratings. When it’s a vehicle that’s going to be carrying your children around you’ll want it to be safe and efficient.
Selling your car and purchasing a new one can take a bit of time. It’s something to consider getting done reasonably early on if you plan on doing this. If you want a smooth and easy transaction you could always part exchange. Although you’ll never get quite as much for your existing vehicle if you do this, compared with selling it privately.
Work and finances
One of the trickiest things about having a baby is working out how you’re going to afford it all. Not only do you have lots of things to buy which can be really expensive, but taking time off work means a huge loss to your monthly income. Work out how much you’ll be able to claim in maternity pay and benefits. From there you can come up with a new budget.
During the nine months of pregnancy it’s worth taking a look at where you can be making cutbacks, and slimming down your outgoings in preparation. If you have lots of luxuries that you don’t really need then cancel them or cut them out- things like digital subscriptions, takeaways, beauty salon treatments and other non-essentials can save you hundreds over the course of the year if you find alternatives. For example, if you love having your nails done but they cost you £25 a time, maybe you could purchase some gel nails polishes and UV dryer.
It would cost a little more upfront, but from there you save money every month. Instead of paying £8 a month on Netflix, see if you can switch your TV provider to another company who would offer it for free, or just give you more channels than you currently get for the same price (or less!).
Start stockpiling baby items like nappies, Sudocrem, wipes and baby toiletries for the first year, it means you’re not running out and having to spend any money later on when you’ve got less of it coming in. If you can start putting some money away. Even just a small amount a week into an emergency savings account means you always have this to dip into if you need it.
Tying into work and finances but really a separate category of its own is childcare. This is only really relevant if you want or need to return to work after having your baby, but it’s something to think about early on.
Work out how much childcare would cost each day so you can adjust your budget. Decide what kind of childcare will you go for. Will you use a nanny, childminder or a nursery? Will you pay a friend or family member to care for them? Planning for parenthood is full of these decisions!
One idea might be to see if you can work from home, or find a flexible job when it comes to returning to work. That way you may be able to get the best of both worlds. Earn some money and keep your experience up without forking out too much on childcare.
If you want to start something up yourself, doing so when you’re pregnant is ideal. You could build up a blog, start as a freelancer or start a home based business. Perfect for in the months running up to your baby’s arrival.
By the time you’re ready to start earning some money, you already have the foundations in place. You can then build upon and start monetising. These are great options as they’re really flexible. You’re in control and it’s a way to earn money without even leaving the house.
We all need a support system in life; people who care about us, who we can chat to when things aren’t going well. Not only that but those who will celebrate with us when they are. Even if you’re usually quite independent, when you have a baby you will likely really crave that support.
One great option is to join Facebook parenting groups. Then you have other people to chat to at any time who totally understand your situation. Friends are also there to give advice when you need it.
Although you’re busy with your new baby, try and make time to spend with loved ones when you can. Not only will the adult company be much appreciated but they will get to know your baby and might also offer to help out.
Even if it’s just watching them for half an hour while you get a bath! It’s a time in your life where you may really need to rely on the help and kindness of others. While incredibly rewarding it’s also difficult at first. Especially while you establish a routine and are trying to muddle through on no sleep!
Are you planning for your new arrival? What kinds of adjustments have you made in your life so far? Are there any others you want to get done before your baby is born? If you wonder whether you need prenatal vitamins check out this post.
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