An Actionable Guide to Preparing for a Newborn

So you have been blessed with the miracle of life. In less than 9 months you will be bringing someone into this world and you will be guiding this person in life until their adulthood. But don't let these wonderful tears of joy you’re shedding now turn into tears of desperation during postpartum. Plan ahead!

1. The Medical Safety Net
You already know you need to choose an obstetrician and also to start looking for a pediatrician. Moreover, you have to evaluate your health insurance and get informed about hospital costs. However,  you should also consider an extras cover. Medicare does not include dental check-ups, chiropractic treatments or physiotherapy. You might need one of these types of professional help during or post-pregnancy and the last thing you need you need is a pile of medical bills to burden your already stretched budget.

2. Your Living Premises
Do you have enough space for a baby? A crib will soon arrive at your home, along with a feeding table and maybe a changing table, plus lots of diapers, clothes, and toys. The baby also needs a quiet space if you want to have any chance at sleeping for five hours in a row during the first weeks. 

If you arrive at the conclusion that your current home isn’t enough for all these changes, start evaluating your options as soon as possible. Moving after the first trimester wouldn’t be wise, so you have very little time to sort things out.

3. A Financial Scheme
Experienced parents can help you estimate the costs of raising a child. Further on, take into account your future living and medical expenses and decide on your short-term and long-term financial needs.

This will help you plan your spendings, your workplace arrangements, and your parental leave. Also, you will be able to ask for help in time from parents or other siblings if you can’t manage things by yourself.

4. Parent Decisions
Unless you are a single mother, you should approach early several subjects with your partner. Does he prefer any baby names? Does he have an opinion on circumcision? Does he want your kid to go through any religious initiation? Also, you should inform the other parent about how to help during labor and breastfeeding.

Further on, don’t forget to discuss home chores and baby duties. You don’t want to deal with different expectations during postpartum, when both your body and mind are being put to test.

5. Family Involvement
I know what you’re thinking: what other people want is the last on your worry list. But often, leaving out of the newborn experience grandparents and close siblings might hurt your relationship with them for a long time. So think about who you want close during labor and who is allowed to visit during your hospital stay.

Also, if you are lucky enough to have more grandparents eager to help, plan their involvement for the first weeks. People coming and going out of your home might drive you crazy if you are used to a private couple life.

All thing considered, there are a lot of decisions to be made in the following 9 months, so use this time wisely.  But even if you cautiously plan for the future, don’t forget to stay open to new possibilities and experiences: babies have their own idea about how and when to enter the world and all you can do is adapt to their wishes.

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