Author Topic: Baby Blind Spots  (Read 5805 times)

RSG89

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Baby Blind Spots
« on: January 15, 2020, 03:41:23 PM »
Hey everyone,

Happy new year! I hope yours is off to a great start.

My wife and I are expecting our first baby in April. We are really excited! We are in somewhat of a groove financially - no debt, solid incomes, and on the same page with expenses/goals/expectations.

My wife is planning on staying home from her job in education to be with and raise our child, which I'm happy we are able to manage. She has several side-hustle skills and interests which she will likely pursue at some point if/when we get used to our new baby.

My questions:

1. Are there any financial "baby blind spots" that were particularly surprising to you (i.e. - wow, wasn't expecting X to cost so much, etc.). Any solutions?

2. Any advice for the likely shock of going down to just one income? Even though we are in a great spot, I'm not naive enough to think we won't notice :)

3. What are some of your methods for saving for children's education/college?

I'd appreciate the advice. Thanks!

reeshau

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 02:31:35 AM »
Regarding #2, how is your emergency fund?  If you have not thought about it in terms of a single wage, you should do so.  What to do about it is individual, but many people would beef it up vs. what they were comfortable with having 2 jobs to depend on.  If you lost your job, it wouldn't just be the lost wages you would have to replace for a time, but you would also need health insurance.

chemistk

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 06:10:34 AM »
Congratulations! Good to hear that you are preparing for it and seem to have a plan of sorts in place.

Everything everyone tells you about babies (having them, caring for them, things babies need) is all correct and also all wrong. The best thing you can do is expect to not have much of anything go exactly how you planned it.

That was my biggest blind spot - thinking that the plan my wife and I had would work even remotely close to what we expected. We thought we'd have nights to ourselves and then our oldest son never wanted to sleep in his crib and always wanted to be held. She thought she would BF him and he never latched. Our second had croup 3 times and all needed steroids. Etc, etc.

Plan for the best case scenario, but anticipate the worst. Kids can be super cheap and you need way fewer things than you actually think you do but at the same time, formula, diapers, doctor visits, ER visits all add up silently. Generally the good news is that raising kids (especially young kids) costs far, far, far less than most 'articles' citing the current cost of raising a child.

We have always lived off one income, so I can't advise on #2 other than you really need to make sure you have an adequate emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

We have 529 plans, which is by far the most common education savings vehicle in the US.

DadJokes

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2020, 06:20:43 AM »
I agree with reeshau. You'll need a more robust emergency fund/plan. A loss of income when you are the only wage earner is a lot more devastating than when both spouses are working.

As for unexpected expenses, every baby is seemingly different. Outside of health issues, childcare is usually the biggest. With your wife staying home, you are mitigating that. Baby food and diapers really add up. Some people use cloth diapers; the upfront cost is more, as is the work involved, but they result in less garbage going into landfills and long-term savings. Making your own baby food is easy, way cheaper, and provides peace of mind (since you know exactly what's in the food).

529s are a good option for college, especially if college is going to be an expectation in your household. Since I plan to be retired by the time my kid goes to college, I'm just going to pay out of retirement accounts (whatever amount we decide to pay).

Freedomin5

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2020, 06:35:08 AM »
Prepare to be completely exhausted for the first several months. Just because your wife is staying home with baby, do not expect that to mean that she can get the grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, and cleaning done. When baby is waking up every two hours to be fed, any time baby is sleeping, mommy will likely also be napping or just vegging out in a semi-comatose fashion. That means you may be spending more the first few months on frozen meals or ordering in.

You will also likely be exhausted for the first few months. I still remember waking DH up every two hours when DD cried because I couldn’t get out of bed myself (slicing through stomach muscles due to a C-section meant that I had no core muscle strength and couldn’t pull myself from a lying down to a sitting position, so DH had to help me up into a sitting position so I could get out of bed to feed DD.) And then DH had to spend the whole day at work.

If you’re not already living on one income, I’d practice doing that until baby arrives, just to get used to it, plus the extra savings can go towards the emergency fund or investments. It really helped that we were already living off of half of one income way before DD arrived.

We aren’t really saving for education. Grandma has already offered to fund university. We do have DD in a top private school. We “fund” that by having one parent work at the school since employees’ children attend for free. Since your wife is in education, that might be an option.

Laura33

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2020, 06:55:23 AM »
What other people have said so far: 

1.  Be prepared for absolutely nothing to turn out like you planned.  The sooner you can wrap your head around that and go with the flow of what your baby and your family actually need, the happier everyone will be.

2.  Higher EF.  With two working partners, the second job provides a level of insurance against bad stuff that happens in the first job.  You have just lost that safety net, so increase the EF to compensate.

Financially, and this is a little thing but annoying, I was NOT prepared for all of the kid parties once they hit preschool and up.  There's this period of maybe a decade when the rule is invite the whole class -- and when you go to 20 birthday parties, the gifts add up! 

Along with that is just managing peer pressure and expectations.  E.g., I was always happy with $5 birthday gifts for little kids (because let's be real, all the kids in our area have more than they need anyway).  But it turns out everyone else was spending $15-25.  !!!  I didn't want to be the cheap one, and it didn't feel right to receive $25 gifts for my kid's birthday and return $5 for theirs, so I upped my birthday gift budget.

There are all sorts of little things like that -- do you want to join the PTA, support this club, sell cookie dough to fund this trip, sell wrapping paper for this after-school activity, this school field trip requires $18, etc. etc. etc.  If you're not paying attention, it can really nickle-and-dime you to death.  So figure out what you're willing to do, and then say no to the rest (e.g., we make a lump-sum donation to the PTA every year and pay for field trips/after-school club dues, but we do NOT sell anything on pain of death).

Oh, and expect a lot of that "peer pressure" to come from your kid.  When all of their friends want $300 birthday parties at Chuck-E-Cheese or Dave & Buster's, I can guarantee they'll want one too.  By the time you're a parent, if you're paying attention (and on this board!), you've managed to somewhat inure yourself to the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses in general.  But stuff your kid wants is on a whole different level, so you need to be ready with a clear rule and a reason for it.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 06:59:17 AM »
We find cloth diapers to be well worth the time investment.

Do you budget together?  We have changed incomes with every child and having strong budgeting habits (monthly review) we haven't had any difficulty adjusting.  If your not going through your budget together each month now, I would suggest you develop that habit.  With variable income from your wife you might want to practice the kind of budget where you list the things that need to be paid first and then have items for what you would do with any side hustle income.

It is not easy being a SAHP to a young child and your family may want to pay for your wife to have time away from the child.
 

BabyShark

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 07:25:42 AM »
I was not prepared for the hospital bill. I thought I had great insurance (and I guess I do? It covered the vast majority of it?) but it was still $4300 OOP for me and another $1,600 OOP for my son.

Marley09

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 07:57:59 AM »
I was not prepared for the hospital bill. I thought I had great insurance (and I guess I do? It covered the vast majority of it?) but it was still $4300 OOP for me and another $1,600 OOP for my son.

This!! I am a planner, but I went into pregnancy/birth knowing that things may now go exactly how I had planned; I was not prepared or could I have planned for the whirlwind of what actually occurred. I think my son wanted to make it abundantly clear that I was no longer in charge. LOL  We are lucky because we had enough in our HSA to cover the deductible, but when our son had to spend 8 days in the NICU, we ended up hitting our max out of pocket which was $11k!!  I was NOT prepared for that and feel that this would have bankrupt a "typical" couple.

Also, your wife may expect to breastfeed, pump, cloth diaper, stay at home, ______ (fill in the blank) to save money, but sometimes that is just not a reality for you and your baby.  I don't want to say not to have some expectations, but getting caught up on something that seems huge at the time, like not being able to breastfeed, is really not that big of a deal when your kid is out of the baby stage.

-Marley

RSG89

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 08:32:03 AM »
Thank you everyone for the wisdom, advice, and thoughtful responses! All great things to consider!

Seems like the main points are:
1. Boost the EF. We have a Dave Ramsey background and are more conservative by nature, so we have the full 6 months of expenses, but may consider boosting it a tad more until we feel like we are in somewhat of a groove. We've also started saving into a baby sinking fund that we can tap into for excess labor & delivery/baby health "surprises" and any other unforeseen changes we have to make (see #2 below)

2. Be prepared to change our plans. Like many of you said, we have great ambitions to continue living frugally, cloth diaper, get plenty of sleep and "us time" - but we've already talked about not letting pride or anything else get in the way from us choosing to or having to change course. We will have to work on our flexibility.

I really like the suggestion of starting to budget with just the one income now! We'll start that this month.

Want2BFIandRE

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 08:34:06 AM »
I second the hospital bill remark.  All said, it's not *that* much but it is more than I have available to pay. 

Also, formula.  I intended to breastfeed and tried for a few weeks but ultimately it wasn't in the cards.  Early on, little one had jaundice that required two forms of bili-lights (a bilirubin light box and a light pad to lay on) when we were discharged to home and making sure she ate enough to help get it cleared out was more important than being hung up on exclusively breastfeeding like I'd intended.  Once that was cleared up we were never able to get back to BF only.  I chose a formula that was "the closest to breastmilk", probably because of guilt at not being able to BF, and so now I pay $35 every. damn. week. for a 34 oz container of formula.  Had a terrible time when we tried to switch to the Sam's Club version of it and gave up, though we may be able to try the switch again.  And this $35 number is the best $ per oz. I've found for this formula at $1.03/oz.  At the grocery stores, Target, etc., it tends to run $1.20/oz.

Nearly everything else about having a baby has been cheaper than I expected.  As it says elsewhere in the forum, infants don't need much as far as "stuff" and a baby shower can often set you up well for the first several months.  I didn't have to buy diapers until LO was over 12 weeks old. 

BostonBrit

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 10:43:40 AM »
Thank you everyone for the wisdom, advice, and thoughtful responses! All great things to consider!

Seems like the main points are:
1. Boost the EF. We have a Dave Ramsey background and are more conservative by nature, so we have the full 6 months of expenses, but may consider boosting it a tad more until we feel like we are in somewhat of a groove. We've also started saving into a baby sinking fund that we can tap into for excess labor & delivery/baby health "surprises" and any other unforeseen changes we have to make (see #2 below)

2. Be prepared to change our plans. Like many of you said, we have great ambitions to continue living frugally, cloth diaper, get plenty of sleep and "us time" - but we've already talked about not letting pride or anything else get in the way from us choosing to or having to change course. We will have to work on our flexibility.

I really like the suggestion of starting to budget with just the one income now! We'll start that this month.

A lot will depend on your set up with regards how easy it would be to get another job of similar pay in your City should the worst happen.

I work in an industry where the above would be a challenge and once the kids get a little older, it would be important to provide a stability buffer. In that context, I was shocked at how expenses rose and so the expenses side of the 6m x expenses EF increased and Personally i wanted to take the 6m to 9m and so all in all my EF fund more than doubled.

We have 3 kids and I would say that under age 3 they are pretty cheap and don't make much impact but from 3+ (especially if more come along) then the costs do materially increase.

Truly baby formula and diapers are a rounding error vs everything else.

BabyShark

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 11:52:25 AM »
Oh also, this may be face-punchy but I wouldn't be so strict in your mustachianism once the baby's here.  Yes you should cook your own meals, search sales for the best deals, and opt for savings vs convenience but for the first few weeks especially, you're just in survival mode. You need to be fed, your wife needs to be fed, you need to take all the chances you can to sleep.  That maybe means pay for food delivery or take out when you otherwise wouldn't.  That maybe means outsourcing home maintenance (cleaning, yardwork) when you otherwise wouldn't.  That maybe means hiring a babysitter for a few hours so you can take a shower or get some rest. 

Eventually you can get back to it when your wife finds a good routine with the baby and all but this is not the time to save a dollar at the expense of y'all's sanity.

BostonBrit

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 12:02:15 PM »
Oh also, this may be face-punchy but I wouldn't be so strict in your mustachianism once the baby's here.  Yes you should cook your own meals, search sales for the best deals, and opt for savings vs convenience but for the first few weeks especially, you're just in survival mode. You need to be fed, your wife needs to be fed, you need to take all the chances you can to sleep.  That maybe means pay for food delivery or take out when you otherwise wouldn't.  That maybe means outsourcing home maintenance (cleaning, yardwork) when you otherwise wouldn't.  That maybe means hiring a babysitter for a few hours so you can take a shower or get some rest. 

Eventually you can get back to it when your wife finds a good routine with the baby and all but this is not the time to save a dollar at the expense of y'all's sanity.

I think that this is a great point and ultimately isn't something I think is appreciated by non-parents.

Kids are basically taking on another full time job and so the absolute quantum of spare time is going to go down. Our kids are all under 6 and so best case scenario, you're "off" from 8pm by the time you do a bit of tidying etc.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2020, 11:39:18 PM »
Semi-unexpected expenses:
1. The possibility that cloth napkins will be The Thing That Is Too Much and you will end up shelling out on disposables as well as sitting there looking guiltily at all the cloth nappy stuff that you bought.
2. The possibility that breastfeeding won't work out and you'll have to buy formula.
3. Babies don't have to be expensive, but new parents are! Unless you can freezer cook a year's worth of meals, expect your food budget to double in the first month and still be up significantly for several months thereafter. Plan for maybe getting a cleaner for the first six months. Plan on buying a lot of chocolate and coffee. Also plan on whoever's with the baby spending money to get out of the house - baby class fees, lattes, whatever. Expect some level of increased spending until baby sleeps through the night, at which point your energy and brain power will be sufficient to resume normal frugal operations.
4. In order to facilitate sleeping through the night, check out the book "Precious Little Sleep". It's literally the only baby book I ever recommend to anyone, and I read A LOT.
5. A baby is a full-time job, 24/7. Expect that, and then any housework achieved while caring for baby is a bonus.

bogart

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2020, 10:59:04 AM »
I was surprised by how much it cost to set up wills.  In fairness, this partly reflected the reality that DH has 2 adult kids who were still in their early 20s when our son was born, so when our LO came along there were various complicated decisions about who should get what, and the fact that we also took advantage of that moment to review POAs, advance directives, and such.  Still...

I was also surprised by how grateful I was to be able to return to work fairly promptly after our baby was born, and how grateful I've been not to be a SAHP.  Of course, others feel exactly the opposite.  Still, this is an area where reactions can be very strong and may be unexpected, so just something to know.  Looking back, if I did one thing differently for our kid's early years it would have been to use more paid childcare and do less schedule juggling (unsurprisingly, this reflects the fact that we live in an area where great quality childcare is available; the fact that we have a social only child also plays into it).

Many people will swear that you simply must have X piece of equipment or type of clothing or whatever before the baby arrives.  As long as you have some very basic basics (I'd say, breast pump, diapers, car seat, seasonally appropriate clothes, safe place for baby to sleep), this is not actually true.  However, you will have moments when you realize you absolutely cannot live a moment more without piece of equipment Z.  When that happens, you should just buy it (assuming you are not an hair-on-fire debt payoff situation or whatever, which the OP is not).  And that is why Amazon and similar are so wonderful -- don't stock up in advance, just get what you need when you suddenly discover you need it.  For me, though it sounds silly in hindsight, a battery-powered mobile that would keep the LO happy in his crib for ~12 minutes while I took a shower became suddenly essential.  And wonderful.

Sibley

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2020, 12:12:26 PM »
Regarding formula - my understanding is that in the US at least, baby formula is extremely tightly regulated. No one wants a scandal of bad baby formula. Which means that in general, it's all pretty similar. You're not buying the expensive one because it's closer to breastmilk, you're buying whichever one the baby digests the easiest. Start with the cheapest one.

As for the breastmilk vs formula - fed is best. They're always trying to improve formula, but in the entirety of human history, we have the best non-breastmilk options ever. So don't sweat it too much.

(and yes, I realize that this goes against all the marketing and hype and the emotional stuff. doesn't mean it's wrong)

shelivesthedream

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2020, 01:24:23 PM »
The problem is, everyone will have different opinions about the basic basics. I don't think a breast pump is basic equipment at all.

But Bogart's general point Is very very sound. Buy the absolute barest of bare minimums and Amazon Prime anything you find you actually WANT afterwards. I would just go a little further and say put all the maybes on a dedicated Amazon wishlist so that you don't even need to think or discuss options with your spouse. "We should buy an X." And you get the pre-agreed one on the wishlist.

Eta: genuine basics are that baby will need to sleep (safely), be warm/cool as appropriate (awake and asleep), eat, wee and poo, be toted from A to B, be put down somewhere safe on every floor of the house (if not every room).

I highly recommend strategically placed folded towels/blankets for the last one until you work out where you want to be able to put them down and what kind of thing soothes/entertains your particular baby...and if they will even let you put them down or if you need a sling instead.

Also, get in an instant read thermometer and some infant Calpol. You'll want them someday and won't want to wait one second when you do.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 01:27:28 PM by shelivesthedream »

BostonBrit

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2020, 02:44:56 PM »
The problem is, everyone will have different opinions about the basic basics. I don't think a breast pump is basic equipment at all.

But Bogart's general point Is very very sound. Buy the absolute barest of bare minimums and Amazon Prime anything you find you actually WANT afterwards. I would just go a little further and say put all the maybes on a dedicated Amazon wishlist so that you don't even need to think or discuss options with your spouse. "We should buy an X." And you get the pre-agreed one on the wishlist.

Eta: genuine basics are that baby will need to sleep (safely), be warm/cool as appropriate (awake and asleep), eat, wee and poo, be toted from A to B, be put down somewhere safe on every floor of the house (if not every room).

I highly recommend strategically placed folded towels/blankets for the last one until you work out where you want to be able to put them down and what kind of thing soothes/entertains your particular baby...and if they will even let you put them down or if you need a sling instead.

Also, get in an instant read thermometer and some infant Calpol. You'll want them someday and won't want to wait one second when you do.

I completely agree with the comments above.

Just in terms of finances however, personally, I'd reiterate that all the stuff in the first 12-months is small fry and you'll look back upon as a rounding error.

We didn't have to pay for a birth and so I can't speak to that but after that the most (and I would strongly suggest cheaper options) you'd be in for would be:

Stroller: $1,000 (Bugaboo)
Car seat: $200
Crib: $200
Bottles/sterilizers: $200
Formula: $30 x 60 = $1,800pa
Diapers: 0.15 x 6 x 365 = $328pa
Clothes: $750 (assuming you need some type of winter onzie)
Other paraphernalia = $1,000
Other random costs $2,000
Some random baby class (one a week): $25 x 52 = $1,300

So in total you're looking at Fixed costs of ~$3,000 which can be used on other kids, and then $6,000-8,000 of other costs.

From age 2+ you can be spending just that amount on day care/pre-schools before considering anything else.

Rather than be focusing on prepping for the costs associated with those first 24-months, instead be prepping yourselves for the costs associated beyond that.

Cranky

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2020, 06:58:07 AM »
I think a breast pump is free with your insurance now?

As soon as the weather warms up, hit the yard sale circuit. Baby stuff is pennies on the dollar. And put the word out that you will take hand me downs, because everybody has a garage full of stuff to give away to a good home.

Honestly, we didn't spend anything extra the first year - grandma bought a crib, a stroller and a carseat, per family tradition. We ate at home and did what ever cleaning got done ourselves, because we actually didn't have any extra money. LOL

BostonBrit

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2020, 08:53:16 AM »
I think a breast pump is free with your insurance now?

As soon as the weather warms up, hit the yard sale circuit. Baby stuff is pennies on the dollar. And put the word out that you will take hand me downs, because everybody has a garage full of stuff to give away to a good home.

Honestly, we didn't spend anything extra the first year - grandma bought a crib, a stroller and a carseat, per family tradition. We ate at home and did what ever cleaning got done ourselves, because we actually didn't have any extra money. LOL

I completely agree with this. My post above was illustrative of top end costs if you went out and bought the best stuff new. Realistically aged under 1, they sleep half the time, can't move until they're about 6-9 months old so their ability to destroy your house is pretty low.. hence additional cleaning costs are pretty low (with the exception of endless laundry).

Really, don't be stressing about this first year, but I would recommend to start thinking about potential plans for when the baby becomes 2+.

Questions to be thinking of:

What size family might you want? (you will have different opinions on this in both directions over the coming years I'm sure)
What city do we want our kids to grow up in? Is work portable to that city? Does having family close by change work options for you and your wife?
What are costs and incomes like in that city? (the answer to these may well be stay where you are).
What neighbourhood and schools do you want your kids to go to? What i the vibe you want for where you live - "you are who your friends are" is very true I'd suggest aged 7-21.
What do houses look like and cost in those areas/region - is that what you want/can afford to spend?
Start thinking about childcare options and costs for ages 2-5.

These are all slow burn questions, but truly you probably don't need any material changes to your living arrangement and costs for the next 2.5 years so focus on enjoying life as you want it to look like and stashing away the cash.

One thing that may be a surprise is that at the moment, you may be happy living in a less desirable area that is cheaper and lets you stash as realistically, you leave in the morning and come back late and can always get to "nicer" areas of a weekend with ease. Your wife's view on this may change once she is at home all the time and her "release" is going for a walk and meeting other new parents in the area. In no way am I saying this will happen, but it's just a factor that may come into play - and talks to your question, how may I be surprised?

This may sound like lifestyle creep, and in some ways it is, but the realities of having to spend 24/7 in an area may be different to passing through it on the way to work. Equally, it may be an irrelevant point.

Good luck! .. but dont worry!

RSG89

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2020, 07:28:01 AM »
Thanks again, everyone!! We are getting very excited and know it'll all work out!

AliEli

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2020, 07:38:16 AM »
1 - both of our kids looked like they had hip dysplasia at different points. They didn't, but we had to pay for radiology for both of them (US & XR) to rule it out. Also, plan to spend way more on food and to make mistakes with your spending due to exhaustion. I accidentally paid our car registration to the wrong payee shortly after having our second baby... that was several hundred dollars.

Also expect your financial priorities to change after having kids, and don't make big decisions until the kid has given you both a few full night's sleep.

Cassie

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2020, 12:56:00 PM »
We got a ton of baby stuff from friends and garage sales. Plus I had a baby shower. They outgrow clothes super fast. I stayed home and used cloth diapers but disposable when going out. I was lucky enough to have regular births so no surgery.   I made sure I had some meals in the freezer and convenience food for the first week but after that I resumed all normal chores. Each kid you have gets more tiring because you are adding to the load. My husband worked 2 jobs and did all the home, yard and car maintenance so I couldn’t expect anything else. However, we were young and I am sure that helped with the energy level.  We got hit with some big medical bills but luckily we had a emergency fund.  I really feel for people that have to go back to work after 6 weeks.  I loved being a mom and it was lots of fun but also draining.  One thing we found valuable was a baby swing.  Great entertainment so you can get things done.

tyrannostache

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2020, 05:01:50 PM »
My #1 financial tip is secondhand clothes and gear. My community has a local facebook group for buying/selling/trading baby gear. The only thing you really need new is a carseat.

You didn't ask this, but my main tips for surviving the first year are these:
1) Be prepared to face post-partum depression. Line up a counselor or mom group now--it will be infinitely harder to manage in the exhaustion after the newborn arrives. If you don't need them for PPD, that's great. I was willfully blind to PPD when my first was born, and it hit me hard. I thought that I was OK because I wasn't like those people who wanted to hurt their babies; I was just angry all the time. I was so focused on the baby that I didn't realize how much I was struggling. I wish I'd had a professional to talk to.

2) Be prepared for your wife's recovery to take longer than you expect. I expected to breeze through recovery as I was super fit and super healthy. I didn't. It took 4 weeks before I could sit down properly or go for long walks.

I'm not trying to scare you; I just want to help people avoid the mistakes I made.

Id rather be outside

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2020, 09:44:25 PM »
We used grocery delivery for almost the whole first year.  We went from one store to the next and used all the free trials.  It really helped to have stuff like frozen stir fry veggies and easy protein options (like marinated tofu or chicken sausages) on hand to put with pasta/miso broth/your grain of choice.  I also needed so many snacks in the first few months!  Every time the baby nursed I was hungry after and in the wee hours of the morning you do not feel like doing anything but grabbing a pre-made snack.

My other tip is to see if you can borrow some newborn size clothes and some of the side snap shirts if possible.  I was so happy we only got 2 newborn size things at our baby shower since our baby was projected to be large.  Whelp, baby was totally average and size 0-3 was too big and would end up covering her mouth for the first month.  We were too tired to find a solution besides ordering new ones on Amazon.  I even turned down newborn hand me downs when visiting family because the whole internet said not to bother with them - sigh.  The side snap shirts are great for before the cord stump falls off and we just had baby in those shirts with a diaper most of the time the first month.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2020, 03:41:27 AM »
If your wife breastfeeds be prepared for high food bills.  I lost tons of weight while breastfeeding each time and ate a ton to keep up.  It was good to have high calorie foods that are easy to eat with one hand around like muffins, cookies, glasses of milk, pieces of cheese, chocolate etc. 

Also keep in mind that you don't necessarily need an electric breast pump in your wife stays home the baby.  I was home until each of my kids was 10 months old so I only used a medela hand pump.  I just needed to pump a bit of extra milk for the occasional times when I went out and left the baby with my husband or a babysitter.

cacaoheart

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2020, 01:21:27 PM »
1. Budget for staying home with your wife and kid for as long as you can after the delivery, ideally at least 6 weeks. 

Even with a stay at home parent at least some daycare/babysitting can be important for maintaining sanity and a personal identity, plus time for parents to be alone together. Budget for an occasional babysitter and realize that if/when formal daycare is desired there may be a 6+ month waitlist. The daycare we use now has people sign up once they know they're pregnant. 

Budget for a housekeeper indefinitely. It's hard to do serious cleaning unless the kids are in daycare or at school ;-) If meal/grocery delivery is an option, budget for it. Any help you can get in the first several months, budget for it. We used instacart to have groceries delivered for several months.

Until my wife went back to work full time and our daughter was two I was only saving enough to get the company % match for retirement. I was thankful to at least not be going into debt during that time.

It's also not a bad idea to budget for marriage counseling. I feel our marriage improved after my wife went back to work full time as we were both more able to appreciate each others' efforts when on a more equal footing. Full time daycare also helped, and has been worth the $1000+ per month expense.

2. Start living on one income now and save the rest. This will help with beefing up savings and make it less of a transition.

3. Create a 529 and share the info with family/friends that want to help out. I put a little in it each month while prioritizing retirement savings right now, but mostly created the account for if/when family wants to put something into it. If you're able to live on a fairly small income when your kids go to college their expected financial contribution will be lower, so you'd be helping them pay less in that way. My parents had no mortgage and no car payments with a fairly low income, so my need based scholarships covered everything.  My brother and I were always told by our parents we were expected to go to college but that they had no money to help so we needed to do well enough for scholarships. Thankfully that worked out.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2020, 01:49:20 PM »
Also, don't be too scared by all this stuff! You basically asked for the financial worst case scenario. The odds of you getting hit with everything listed in this thread are slim - but equally if you prepare for the worst and don't spend it then yay! Extra money! Whereas if you reckon you'll carry on 100% as normal and can't then you might get into serious trouble. Our son is nearly two and we've been back at pre-parenthood spending levels for some time now (the extra expense of having him has been offset by some further optimisations to our lifestyle since then). I'm due with #2 in six weeks and expecting a short-term spending catastrophe but to settle down again by the end of the year.

MrsSpendyPants

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2020, 07:18:00 PM »
DH and I made a 40k mistake.  I didn't realize PPD hit me about 9 months after DS was born and DH was trying to be supportive so didn't say anything despite noticing the personality shift.  I suddenly was very angry all of the time, enough that I yelled at my boss at a meeting.  Next day I got taken off a project that would have meant a 40k bonus.  At that time I realized something was wrong and saw a professional.  $10 prescription later and a few therapy appointments and I felt much better.  I wish I was more aware PPD could start that late and I wish DH had spoken up as soon as he saw a change.

ysette9

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2020, 04:08:16 PM »
DH and I made a 40k mistake.  I didn't realize PPD hit me about 9 months after DS was born and DH was trying to be supportive so didn't say anything despite noticing the personality shift.  I suddenly was very angry all of the time, enough that I yelled at my boss at a meeting.  Next day I got taken off a project that would have meant a 40k bonus.  At that time I realized something was wrong and saw a professional.  $10 prescription later and a few therapy appointments and I felt much better.  I wish I was more aware PPD could start that late and I wish DH had spoken up as soon as he saw a change.

Ouch! I'm sorry you went through this.

**
5.5 months postpartum with my third I'm beginning to realize that it probably was PPD all along with all three babies. I just thought that babies suck and having them and caring for them was awful. Well, it is awful, but it probably doesn't have to be as awful as it is/was for me. Sleep deprivation is BRUTAL and my babies sleep like crap. I was also low on iron and realized after the fact that after my first one I tapered too quickly off of a steroid I was taking during pregnancy. All of this hindsight stuff....

After my third I did say "yes" to the social worker who stopped by our NICU room before my baby went home. Meeting and talking with her has been a lifesaver. She got me into a postpartum depression support group among other things. I'm still resisting whether I truly am struggling or not or if I am wasting their time or not, but the truth is that having that mental and emotional support has been really beneficial to me. I suppose what i am saying is: be prepared to say "I'm not okay" and accept the resources that are around you to help you be okay. This stuff is really hard but it can be easier.

and +1 to all the comments about putting Mustachianism on hold for a bit and paying for cleaning, grocery delivery, whatever to get you through the first few months. And no guilt about not breastfeeding or cloth diapering or having your kid clean and dressed in cute outfits or whatever.

Mrs. D.

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2020, 08:22:11 PM »
Lots of good advice already listed so I'll try not to repeat. I read something on this forum years ago that said "always try the cheapest/easiest thing first." So, the cheapest formula (if DW doesn't breastfeed), serving bottles at room temperature, cheapest diapers and wipes (NO wipe warmer!). Babies also have hedonic adaptation. Once they're used to warm wipes on their little tushies, they may never settle for a cold one!

For example with my son - he was a terrible sleeper and we tried all the "calming nighttime rituals" to help settle him for sleep (which didn't work, BTW). This led to a long bedtime routine that has become a PITA now that we have two kids and is hard to dial back. We learned from it and our daughter gets 2 books, 2 lullabies and is deposited into bed.

Getting a crib is my biggest baby gear regret. We have used a $50 Graco Pak n play for our daughter and it is WAY better than the wooden slat crib we had with our son. In the wooden crib, our son 1) teethed on the wooden rails and probably ingested paint chips, 2) fell backwards while he was learning to stand and hit his head on the rails, and 3) got his leg stuck in the slats (twice!).  None of those are concerns with the pak n play. Plus the Pak n play is portable so baby will have his/her familiar comfy bed if you ever travel. We did buy an extra play yard mattress for about $30.

My son had a monstrous time teething and I spent an obscene amount of money on infant and children's ibuprofen. We quickly switched to store brand which cost about half as much. Now we have daily supplements that I hadn't anticipated - gummy vitamins, gummy probiotics, melatonin (which has been a lifesaver).

Until our son was about 2.5 he went through a pretty constant cycle of alternating diarrhea and constipation. We finally took him to see a pediatric GI specialist who said it is completely normal and mentioned eating bananas to help with diarrhea. That was the stupidest waste of time and $220. From that point we adopted the policy that as long as our kids are gaining weight, hitting developmental milestones, and generally happy, we will not be taking them to any specialists.

My daughter got a couple ear infections back to back and I was blindsided by the cost of the antibiotics. The first round was amoxicillin which was a $5 copay. The second round our pedi prescribed a different antibiotic and it was $65. In general, illnesses are expensive. We don't take our kids in unless we have good reason to believe it's bacterial.

A bit rambling as advice goes, but all things I would have liked to know 4.5 years ago. Good luck on this adventure!

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2020, 05:15:51 PM »
Hey everyone,

Happy new year! I hope yours is off to a great start.

My wife and I are expecting our first baby in April. We are really excited! We are in somewhat of a groove financially - no debt, solid incomes, and on the same page with expenses/goals/expectations.

My wife is planning on staying home from her job in education to be with and raise our child, which I'm happy we are able to manage. She has several side-hustle skills and interests which she will likely pursue at some point if/when we get used to our new baby.

My questions:

1. Are there any financial "baby blind spots" that were particularly surprising to you (i.e. - wow, wasn't expecting X to cost so much, etc.). Any solutions?

2. Any advice for the likely shock of going down to just one income? Even though we are in a great spot, I'm not naive enough to think we won't notice :)

3. What are some of your methods for saving for children's education/college?

I'd appreciate the advice. Thanks!

This thread scared me and I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old - lol

1. Diapers are expensive as are wipes at the volume you use them.  (I am an environmentalist at heart but my wife is not by nature.  She is usually on board with my crazy environmental side but I couldn't sell the cloth diapers - I have to pick my battles). Be smart and buy for value - we find Costco as well as the Target brand to be a good match of cost/quality.  My wife has MS so we had a limited breastfeeding cycle and it took us some time to find the right formula - my daughter liked the cheap stuff and my son liked (or could only keep down) the expensive stuff.  We have bought 90% of our clothes/toys second hand off facebook - I am sure we have saved $1000's of dollars thanks to second hand strollers/cribs/bouncy things/toys/etc.  We had a baby shower for number 1 and not for number 2.  For some reason people are REALLY generous for the first baby and we returned most of the items we received and focused on the fundamental needs - clothes/diapers/cribs/monitor/strollers/car seats/bottles/breast pump (which we got for free from our insurance provider)/etc.  Our kids have not had any major health issues/difficulties yet but I was caught off guard by the amount of the delivery that our insurance didn't cover.

2. Can't really comment - my wife quit working but I generated 95% of our household income.

3. We are putting $6K a year towards each kids 529 plan. 15 and 18 years from now they should be good for four year state school education (I hope)

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2020, 05:27:11 PM »

Getting a crib is my biggest baby gear regret. We have used a $50 Graco Pak n play for our daughter and it is WAY better than the wooden slat crib we had with our son. In the wooden crib, our son 1) teethed on the wooden rails and probably ingested paint chips, 2) fell backwards while he was learning to stand and hit his head on the rails, and 3) got his leg stuck in the slats (twice!).  None of those are concerns with the pak n play. Plus the Pak n play is portable so baby will have his/her familiar comfy bed if you ever travel. We did buy an extra play yard mattress for about $30.


Exactly the same experience. lol

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2020, 11:51:02 AM »
We have had an insane number of beds and cribs in the past three years.  Our latest is a King size mattress for the whole family to sleep together.  Our third bedroom now has two cribs, a full matress and frame, and two twins, all unused because everyone sleeps in the king sized mattress now.  We think it might be helping.  Two kids now sleep much better.

Do not buy or take in a used mattress unless you are very familiar with it.  We got bed bugs with a todler bed we took in that had a mattress with it and ended up cooking the whole house and spraying DE in the walls to escape the terror/stigma that comes with bed bugs.  It was an expensive todler bed.


marble_faun

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2020, 08:46:02 PM »
You can do all the planning in the world, but when you come back from the hospital, you will feel like your life just got hit by a Mac truck.  It's okay to do yourself a kindness and just spend some money to make this period of life easier.

For us, one big surprise was dealing with breast milk. Before giving birth, I thought I would just be breastfeeding and put zero effort into figuring out any other system. Well, it turns out I need to pump 100% of my baby's food, which meant my life instantly began revolving around cleaning a bunch of plastic pump parts.  We ended up rush-ordering a bunch more pump sets and a whole bottling/sterilizing apparatus.

I had meticulously researched all of our equipment, sought out good deals, etc. ahead of time, but just had this HUGE blind spot, which we had to figure out in a sleep-deprived state and pay a premium for.  But there's no way I could have predicted it, and I don't really have regrets.

Your situation might be different.  Maybe you'll decide cloth diapers are too much trouble.  Or your Montessori sleeping arrangements won't work and suddenly you need a crib.  Or you just want to order pizza every day.  Whatever it is.  Having a newborn is one of those times when it's okay to spend a little money to reduce stress.  You don't want to be fussing over nickels and dimes if you can pay a little money to make problems go away. 

Enjoy the small and beautiful moments of those first few months!  It was hard, but I'm already nostalgic for that time.


Edited to add: regarding the Montessori sleeping, sorry, I was getting this mixed up with the other thread on saving money with a newborn! 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 02:11:20 PM by marble_faun »

MayDay

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2020, 06:13:10 AM »
I didn't read all the responses so this may be a repeat.

-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

-we nursed one kid so the cost of formula for #2 was quite shocking although even 100$ a month isn't that much

-the biggest thing is the wild card of medical/special needs. We have an autistic kiddo and he has needed various special things since ~6 months- physical therapy, orthotics, special testing at 2000 not covered by insurance, more expensive by a lot childcare situations, etc.

Everything else is in the couple hundred dollars range and not worth stressing about in the big scheme of things but when you have to hire help so you don't lose your fucking mind, or when you run into any kind of medical problems, it suddenly spikes from a couple hundred to thousands.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2020, 01:36:30 PM »
My biggest blind spot was that kids might change my priorities and long held beliefs about money/time/stuff tradeoffs in ways I didn't expect.

I was 1000% team "kids in a tiny condo is a great arrangement" right up until I wasn't.  It wasn't the space and the storage that did me in, although having more of those things has been very nice.  Ultimately we moved for two reasons - our local school options weren't great (although if everything else had been fine we could have worked it out) and managing our condo became the kind of administrative nightmare I had ZERO patience for once I became a parent.  Dealing with people who have no sense that my time is a limited resource is an absolute no go for me now.

Ultimately, I value ease over money much more than I did before I became a parent, and it took me some time and soul searching to come to terms with that.  Sometimes I feel like MMM oversimplifies the nature of tradeoffs inherent in making life decisions.  I absolutely value my short commute, that we can walk the kids to school, and that we are surrounded by a great community for raising kids.  Those things are of great value to me, but they were not free.  They cost quite a bit of money and set our FIRE plans back some.

I am very okay with the choices we have made (most of the time) but it is a big mental shift because it's not just about me or my wife anymore, it's about what is best for our family.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 01:54:36 PM by SimpleCycle »

TVRodriguez

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2020, 01:50:03 PM »
Maybe you'll decide cloth diapers are too much trouble. 

This jumped out at me b/c I went ahead and put together a whole stash of cloth diapers for our oldest when he was born, and I fully intended to go with cloth once the disposable diapers that we got as gifts ran out.  And then no matter how often I changed them or what cream I used, both my older two kids developed horrible diaper rash with cloth diapers.  I tried different kinds and different detergents and different butt creams and all sorts of things, and it was just a no go.  And my daughter continued to rash with any kind of disposable diaper but one (I think it was Seventh Generation, but it's so long ago now it doesn't matter), which was more expensive.  I finally gave away the stash of cloths and went with disposable from the outset for our third, but I held onto it for way too long--wasting room in the closet for years.

MayDay

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2020, 05:37:47 AM »
Same here- we used them for quite a while with kid 1, but with kid 2 it just wasn't working.  Part of it was my kids were frequent pee-ers who were unhappy being wet.  In the summer this was manageable (EC, naked time outside, etc) but in the winter I was like EFF THAT PAMPERS FOR LYFE (actually target brand but anyway). 

Youngest is 10 and just last year we finally destroyed the last cloth diaper we had been using as a cleaning rag, so I guess we got some good mileage out of them :)  (I sold the fancier ones but kept the prefolds for rags).

BabyShark

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2020, 07:43:37 AM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt. 

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2020, 11:44:18 AM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

MayDay

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2020, 06:24:26 PM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

Also:

You know that device that helps your baby sleep so you don't lose your mind?

It's dangerous, stop using it. As an alternative just live without sleep. Hope that helps!  Also enjoy being back at work after little to know paid leave!

DadJokes

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2020, 07:06:31 PM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

Also:

You know that device that helps your baby sleep so you don't lose your mind?

It's dangerous, stop using it. As an alternative just live without sleep. Hope that helps!  Also enjoy being back at work after little to know paid leave!

What device is that? A sound machine?

MayDay

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2020, 05:22:04 AM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

Also:

You know that device that helps your baby sleep so you don't lose your mind?

It's dangerous, stop using it. As an alternative just live without sleep. Hope that helps!  Also enjoy being back at work after little to know paid leave!

What device is that? A sound machine?

There have been many over time. The most recent one is the rock and play. You are also not supposed to let baby sleep: in bed with you*, on their stomach, in a carseat, in a swing, etc etc. Anything we invent to help babies sleep kills them because sleeping is dangerous for babies.

*I'd argue this is actually safer if done correctly but people don't always do it safely in the US.

reeshau

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2020, 02:50:09 PM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

Also:

You know that device that helps your baby sleep so you don't lose your mind?

It's dangerous, stop using it. As an alternative just live without sleep. Hope that helps!  Also enjoy being back at work after little to know paid leave!

What device is that? A sound machine?

There have been many over time. The most recent one is the rock and play. You are also not supposed to let baby sleep: in bed with you*, on their stomach, in a carseat, in a swing, etc etc. Anything we invent to help babies sleep kills them because sleeping is dangerous for babies.

*I'd argue this is actually safer if done correctly but people don't always do it safely in the US.

You don't even need motion.  This worked so well, it's now our gift for every baby shower.

https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Shusher-Babies-Miracle-Soother/dp/B00D2JN87I/

MayDay

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2020, 04:19:09 PM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

Also:

You know that device that helps your baby sleep so you don't lose your mind?

It's dangerous, stop using it. As an alternative just live without sleep. Hope that helps!  Also enjoy being back at work after little to know paid leave!

What device is that? A sound machine?

There have been many over time. The most recent one is the rock and play. You are also not supposed to let baby sleep: in bed with you*, on their stomach, in a carseat, in a swing, etc etc. Anything we invent to help babies sleep kills them because sleeping is dangerous for babies.

*I'd argue this is actually safer if done correctly but people don't always do it safely in the US.

You don't even need motion.  This worked so well, it's now our gift for every baby shower.

https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Shusher-Babies-Miracle-Soother/dp/B00D2JN87I/

Hahaha that would not have worked for either of my kids. Trust me I shushed them plenty and if we weren't rocking they didn't care. That is very clever for babies who don't want motion.

DadJokes

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Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2020, 06:25:25 PM »
-depending on the baby you cannot imagine the extreme sleep deprivation. This is something we should have paid more to deal with because it seriously affected our mental health

My husband's friend described the inability to imagine the sleep deprivation with a baby as like trying to imagine what it's like to be shot.  You know it's really going to hurt to get shot, but until you've been shot, you don't know how bad it's going to hurt.

Sleep deprivation is torture.  It is fucked that it is part of raising a child.

Society: "Hey, I think it is a good idea to tortue you while you try to raise a decent human being that doesn't cost us all too much."
Me: "Sounds reasonable."

Also:

You know that device that helps your baby sleep so you don't lose your mind?

It's dangerous, stop using it. As an alternative just live without sleep. Hope that helps!  Also enjoy being back at work after little to know paid leave!

What device is that? A sound machine?

There have been many over time. The most recent one is the rock and play. You are also not supposed to let baby sleep: in bed with you*, on their stomach, in a carseat, in a swing, etc etc. Anything we invent to help babies sleep kills them because sleeping is dangerous for babies.

*I'd argue this is actually safer if done correctly but people don't always do it safely in the US.

You don't even need motion.  This worked so well, it's now our gift for every baby shower.

https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Shusher-Babies-Miracle-Soother/dp/B00D2JN87I/

Hahaha that would not have worked for either of my kids. Trust me I shushed them plenty and if we weren't rocking they didn't care. That is very clever for babies who don't want motion.

We have been so lucky with our baby. He has slept through the night since he was 1 month old. At 14 months now, he sleeps about 16 hours per day (12 @ night plus a couple 2 hour naps), without any fuss.

debittogether

  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 350
Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2020, 01:00:46 PM »
I have a son who will be 10 weeks tomorrow.

For affordable postpartum help, you can find online/phone support here: https://www.postpartum.net/

Aldi has the best costs on formula and diapers.  Even if breastfeeding, many families including mine choose to supplement because exclusively pumping or nursing is a LOT and sometimes it's hard to produce that much milk.  I did get a pump free through insurance.  Rather than buy a pumping bra I do this https://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/hands-free-pumping/ I transfer the milk straight to the bottles (We use Dr. Brown's bottles) or to a glass mason jar if there are no clean bottles around.  We sterilize either in boiling water or wash parts in the dishwasher which we run daily anyways because my husband cooks a lot.  So I've found pumping to be pretty affordable.

The costs that BostonBrit outlined are so astronomically above what we've had to spend it's comical.  Everything has cost less than I anticipated.

For sleeping, this is a splurge but I DO recommend it.  Perhaps you could register for it: https://takingcarababies.com/newborn-class/ My kid sleeps like a champ at night now thanks to this.

I do have a pack and play but haven't even busted it out yet.  Maybe I should.  We have a used crib and mattress and it works just fine for us.

shelivesthedream

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5268
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Baby Blind Spots
« Reply #49 on: February 28, 2020, 02:06:55 PM »
We are the proud owners of a one week old. Here's something that I don't think has been mentioned: we've turned our heating up to make it easier to dress her and keep her warm at night. 17 degrees to 20. Solar gain makes a big difference in this house so we prefer to keep it at the higher end even on cloudy days than have to faff around with clothes and thinking.