I remember everyone saying to me, there is no “good time” to plan to have a baby, no right time. You simply have to make it work when the time comes. We had lots of advice from family and friends, professionals and websites. There is a wealth of information out there on pregnancy. However, there is so much that is not discussed and I had to find out for myself. I am hoping these tips will help planning for a baby a little easier.
Budget for your baby
This might seem obvious but it’s not something I thought about. Budgeting for your baby is definitely something I wish I had sorted before I had my babies. Set yourself targets for each month during pregnancy to save a particular amount. Because as you get closer to the labour you will: a) not want to worry about the money as you will have more important things to think about and b) you get that nesting feeling when you want to set up the cot and make it all perfect. If you save each month of the pregnancy larger items will not be so much of a hit on your bank balance.
Set a gift list
We were so lucky to have family help us with everything for our babies. We had some beautiful and generous gifts. It was quite a meticulous plan to make sure that people didn’t buy us the same thing though. Setting a gift list of the things you would like will help family to understand what to focus on. It also means people can see when someone has got something.
This isn’t being rude or greedy, as I felt at the time. But something I realised after having Noah – people wanted to buy him something. From a new outfit, to the bedding in his cot. From his high chair to a food processor (perfect for weaning).
Everyone told me I wouldn’t need to worry about maternity clothes. So I didn’t get a lot – it turns out I wore maternity jeans for about 5 years! I had 2 pregnancies quite close together mind you – but they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever worn. There are clever ways to make your normal jeans stretch too!
Also, I didn’t buy too many breastfeeding items either – I just used to put a muslin over my shoulder when I breastfed and that’s all I needed.
You probably will not need to buy anything in this area – these are the perfect little things that friends, work colleagues and family will buy as a gift. Creams, lotions, baby bath, talc (oh I love the smell of talc) and baby brushes – we had so much of them. They lasted us for about a year. Which was fabulous.
Planning for a baby
The one big piece of advice I didn’t get told when we were expecting. Is the period after you give birth. The way your milk comes in, the way your body gets rid of all the pregnancy, the way your hormones go on a rollercoaster. Everyone is different mind you – but it’s definitely something to prepare for. I used disposable mattress sheets, pregnancy sanitary towels and breast pads for a good couple of weeks. You may need to stock up on these items!
Planning for a baby is tricky when you have no idea what you are planning for. Just take each day as it comes. Observe what the other parents are doing to – if in doubt Google it. But, stick to your gut instincts. You will know what is best for your child overall!
In collaboration with Louise Wood.