The day you discover that you’re pregnant is one of the happiest for many women. However, you don’t have much time to celebrate. All of a sudden, you have a to-do list a mile long.
Please relax — you can get everything done by the time your little bundle of joy arrives. Tackle the following five things to do to get ready for baby, and you’ll look forward to your delivery day feeling serene.
1. Find the Right Providers
Right now, you see your OB/GYN for your medical needs. However, the dynamic changes once you give birth. You need to line up specialists for your bundle of joy.
Your OB/GYN is your best referral source for a pediatrician if this child is your first and you don’t have someone else. If possible, see if they can recommend a group practice where you can request another doctor if you don’t feel comfortable or compatible with their original referral.
Your little one also needs to see the dentist before their first birthday. Research by calling your insurance provider and talking to people in your network. Seek those with specialized training in dealing with infants and toddlers, as they know how to make little ones feel comfortable in stressful situations.
Finally, you’ll eventually need a trustworthy babysitter. You might have relatives who can’t wait to watch your little one, but you can’t always rely on family. Look for individuals trained in first aid and CPR — or better yet, those who have completed a babysitting certification course.
2. Stock Up on Supplies
If you love to shop, your pregnancy provides the perfect excuse to scour stores for ages, seeking the ideal purchase. You probably spend countless hours preparing your baby registry and researching brands for safety records and sustainability.
You’ll need to ensure you have certain essentials before your delivery date. Create or download a checklist to make your job easier:
- Feeding supplies: You’ll need a breast pump and nursing bras, plenty of bibs and burp cloths, bottles for storing milk and lots of formula if you don’t intend to breastfeed.
- Changing supplies: One rule of parenting is that you can never have enough diapers. You’ll also need a place to dispose of dirty ones, plenty of wipes and creams to prevent diaper rash.
- Furnishings: You’ll need a crib for your baby to sleep in, a high chair and a changing table. It also helps to have a playpen, a play swing or bouncer and a rocking chair for midnight feedings.
- Clothing: Here’s the fun part. Your baby will need plenty of onesies, a swaddle or two, caps, hand coverings and socks, special outfits for dressing up and warm winter gear.
- Bathtime essentials: Your baby will need a washing tub or large, clean dishpan for bath time, specialty soap that won’t hurt delicate infant skin and absorbent washcloths and towels.
- Safety equipment: Every baby needs a car seat — rear-facing models are necessary for infants. You’ll also want to purchase supplies like outlet covers to baby-proof your home before your little one starts to crawl.
3. Talk to Your Employers
It’s a shame, but the United States is the only one out of 41 leading nations to lack paid parental leave. If your company doesn’t have a defined family leave policy in your handbook, you’ll need to make individual arrangements with your employer.
Fortunately, you have more leverage now than ever before to request flexible working arrangements, depending on your industry. Fully 40% of working adults responding to a recent survey indicated that they would rather quit than return to the office full-time. While telecommuting doesn’t mean you won’t need a sitter, it will save you valuable commuting hours that you can instead spend with your infant.
4. Decorate the Nursery
It’s a toss-up as to whether preparing your registry or decorating the nursery qualifies as the most enjoyable thing to do to get ready for a baby. Here’s where you can let your creativity soar.
Gender-neutral themes are all the rage, and you have dozens of ideas from which to choose. You can go with a beloved cartoon character theme, like Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh. You could also decide on a science-based theme, such as dinosaurs or outer space.
5. Save for Your Baby’s Future Needs
Higher education prices continue to soar, and you can’t count on legislative changes granting relief anytime soon. If you don’t want your child to start their adult life in debt, now is the time to start saving for their college education.
One option you have is opening a 529 savings plan. These accounts feature substantial tax benefits. As long as you use the money for qualified educational expenses, you can stock it away tax-free and avoid paying when you withdraw.
Also, talk to your life insurance carrier. While you might need a term policy for affordability, seek one that you can convert to a whole version when your finances improve. Such coverage accumulates a cash value you can borrow against to pay for future expenses, often at lower rates than you’d find elsewhere.
Finally, consider buying a home if you haven’t already. Rent prices continue to outpace inflation, meaning you could find yourself paying more for less living space if you hesitate. Your mortgage payments accumulate equity in your home that you can likewise borrow against to fund future educational needs.
Do These 5 Things to Get Ready for Baby
Finding out that you’re expecting adds a whole new to-do list to your agenda. Please tackle the above five things to get ready for baby.