Author Topic: Baby prep  (Read 661 times)

dhc

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Baby prep
« on: December 02, 2018, 09:49:30 PM »
We're expecting our first, and I've read the various registry-type threads, but what are the preparation things we should be thinking about that don't involve purchasing stuff? We don't have wills; seems like it's time for that. That can't be the only thing, though...

mavendrill

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 11:51:18 PM »
You are right on wills - its time to have that ironed out (but more important than your actual will is figuring out who will care for your new kid) IMO.  I highly advise looking into life insurance as well.  Depending on your situation it could be really useful (though I recommend only using term coverage that you can cancel at any time).  As my spouses and my careers have changed partially due to kids, we have at times over the last few years had no insurance and also had quite a bit of coverage.  Term coverage for the young is cheap, and no one can control other drivers, natural disasters, and plenty of other things.  Don't let any insurance salesman sell you nonsense on needing to cover college costs, your home, and a 100k funeral etc, but figure out something appropriate and see if it makes sense (for us, we went with about 4 years of income worth of insurance - we had planned on only a 100k policy, but we were able to double our coverage for only 25% increased premium.

I have two young kids, and if I could go back, I think the biggest thing I would do differently is to take the few months before baby to try and sell, simplify, and organize everything possible.  Kids come with new stuff (obviously), and there is a lot of stuff here about the cost and logistics, most of which I second.  However, you will not only want less time with your hobbies/toys/games, you also will have new kids stuff to store as well.  I wish I'd finished two home improvement projects, a woodworking project, cleaned out my closet, and board game cabinet, etc.


I'm a red panda

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 06:58:13 AM »
Wills is a good one.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant the first time, I started putting the equivalent of a daycare payment ($1,200 a month for us) into VTSAX.  It moved it out of the budget so we could see if there would be much impact.  That pregnancy, we sadly had a 29 week loss, but had an excellent addition to our savings, we kept it up, and we had adjusted our budget so well that by the time our take home baby arrived, we actually didn't need "that" money for daycare and kept the payment up.  I'm pregnant again, so another $1,200 has been going to VTSAX throughout the pregnancy. It will be re-routed to daycare once this baby arrives though.

We also did life insurance for me, as I wanted a higher policy than what work provides (1.5x salary).  DH already had insurance.  I'm glad I did it early in the pregnancy, as I later got gestational diabetes, and despite not being diabetic in normal life (or in my first or third pregnancy), that would have raised my rates!

The other big thing I'd say is to resist buying stuff.  Babies just really don't need it.  I returned nearly everything I got at my showers, and figured I could rebuy it if we came across the need. We never rebought the bouncer, swing, rock n play, exersaucer, bumbo, diaper genie, video monitor, or nearly any clothes.  We just didn't need any of that (clothes seemed to appear like magic through size 2T).  And I used the returns gift cards to buy diapers.   The things I couldn't live without are some things people tell you you don't need: a glider and a changing table (both were free hand me downs from a neighbor).  So people's styles vary, and I wouldn't get something just because it is on a list!

I agree with taking the time to organize YOUR stuff. I never nested with organizing baby stuff (mostly because we barely bought any), but it was good to declutter OUR stuff. 

nereo

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 07:28:57 AM »
New parents here.

Beyond the responses listed above (which are good) one of the most useful things we did was prep a few dozen meals and have them in the freezer.  Hopefully you will have an easy baby, but we didn't and it's been difficult.  Having home-cooked meals we could just pop in the oven has really helped. Google 'meal-prep' and you'll find dozens of ideas for every type of diet.

Like mavendrill & red panda said, paring down, simplifying and completing (or canceling) uncompleted projects will also help you out. We bough almost nothing for our baby as we had a nice network of friends who have gifted or lent hand-me-downs, but it's still shocking to me how much ***space*** everything takes up.  The stroller, the play mat, the sleeping crib, burp clothes and baby clothes.  In the kitchen there's hte bottles and breast pump and storage containers. All of it has to go somewhere, which meant we had to move our stuff somewhere else. Downsize as much as possible before the baby comes.   I'd resist buying most stuff until you find you really need or want it.

Finally try to think about where you are going to be sitting, walking, sleeping etc.  Sounds obvious but we quickly learned that we didn't have a great spot to comfortably nurse, and that it was hard to walk around with a colicky baby in our apartment without disrupting the other parent.  We added one chair and got rid of three others. Night-time nursing/bottle feeding had to be re-thought so the sound of the crying baby wouldn't wake the other parent.

Lower your expectations on what you can accomplish with a newborn - even if you are fortunate enough to have two parents, one will be occupied with feeding, burping, changing etc. while the other is left trying to do everything else (including unwinding, sleeping and working). Unless you have a third caregiver to help our its unlikely you'll get to spend hours doing any personal projects.
g'luck



dhc

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 05:49:42 PM »
Thanks, all - good point about life insurance, although that part we already figured out about a year ago. Because of the flexibility of both of our jobs, we're not worried about childcare expenses at this point, plus it'd be easy to take out of excess savings if necessary. Meal prep goes on the list, and I hear you loud and clear on the "don't buy anything not completely essential" front!


Keep 'em coming!

Cranky

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 06:21:55 AM »
Deep clean your house. If you've been thinking something needs fixed or painted, do that *now*. Get your hair cut, your teeth cleaned, new glasses.

Millennialworkerbee

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 11:38:45 AM »
Would strongly encourage the meal prep. And not just dinners but breakfast and lunches too for mom to eat. One handed things like burritos, muffins, etc are crucial.

If youíre on this forum, youíve got the money thing figured out. You/ your SO will buy a couple of impulse items the first few months and donít sweat those. Little babies are hard, especially when it is your first one.

Prepare your relationship with your SO. Moms AND Dads get postpartum depression. Watch out for each other, plan regular dates to check in. Even nursing moms can get an hour or two break once the baby is a couple weeks old. I read somewhere recently that the first 18 months of the first childís life is usually the most stressful time in marriage. That was certainly true for us.

Mom is going to have lots of strong Momma bear feelings (Dad might too). Honor those feelings and donít overload visitors or feel obligated to share your baby with all extended family and friends right away.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 11:47:40 AM »
Deep clean your house. If you've been thinking something needs fixed or painted, do that *now*. Get your hair cut, your teeth cleaned, new glasses.

I wouldn't recommend new glasses while currently expecting with hopes of not having to do it again. 
Your prescription can often change while pregnant, so if you get new glasses when pregnant, they recommend going back again when you are no longer pregnant. 

Cranky

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 12:52:32 PM »
Well, I was thinking about the half of the adults involved who isnít actually pregnant!

I couldnít ever wear contacts again after pregnancy, but my glasses were fine - but I sure as heck didnít have time to go to the ophthalmologist very soon after having a baby. Itís appointments like that that weíre so hard. After the first kid I made sure Iíd been to the dentist etc.ahead of time.

CNM

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 01:53:15 PM »
If you have the space, I would recommend putting a bed or a very comfortable recliner in the baby's room.  We did this with our first child, and it was so nice.  Then the parent on baby duty could do their thing without disturbing the other parent.

Somewhat related is I recommend having things ready at least a month in advance.  You never know if baby will show up early!

nereo

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Re: Baby prep
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 04:57:06 PM »

Somewhat related is I recommend having things ready at least a month in advance.  You never know if baby will show up early!

Yup.  Ours decided to show up almost a full month early. We literally had a weekend of tasks to prepare for the baby planned the day before she was born.
You plan, the universe laughs...