Names of the Week
Fact of the Week

Preparing For Baby

Whether you are having your first child or your third, there is often much to do, before your new baby arrives.

Your Well Being,

Your Financial Well Being,

Baby's Arrival ,

All That Baby Gear

are just some of the many things that you should keep in mind while preparing for your new baby.

CribsStrollersNewborn EssentialsBaby Proofing
Your Well Being

Even though not yet in the world, a happy, healthy and content mom helps to make for a happy, healthy and content baby.

Since the symptoms of pregnancy can often be stressful and uncomfortable on their own, now is a good time to try and minimize stress in other parts of your life.

  • Just feelin' generally stressed.

    Regular excercise will help you feel more relaxed.

    A proper diet will help too. Try to minimize sugary sweets and eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

  • Do you already have other children?

    Don't play the martyr.

    Ask for help from others when you need it, especially in the earlier months when you may be feeling sick or the later months when you may tire more easily or find it difficult to move freely.

  • Having difficulty sleeping?

    Consider herbal tea before bed.

    Regular excercise and keeping dinner to a light meal will also help.

    Lying on your side should create the least stress on your body.

    If you are still uncomfortable, consider a pregnancy pillow.

  • Pressure at work?

    Take the road of least resistence even if it isn't what you would normally do.

    Your focus now is on your well being and that of your developing child.

  • Crazed at work?

    Pregnancy, parenting and work are always a juggling act.

    Although you may want to give 100% at your job, you must be realistic if you are feeling greatly fatigued.

    See if you can work out an alternate arrangement, like working from home one or two days a week.

    If you have a good work history and relationship with your employer, discuss what options might be available in order to help keep you working at your best throughout your pregnancy.

  • Is there stress in your relationship?

    This is an unfortunate time for that.

    Try to convey to your partner how much better it would be for everyone if you could work to resolve some of your issues.

    If you can afford it, and you are both willing, seek out the advice of a counselor.

  • Feeling like your partner isn't doing their fair share of the work?

    Try to make them aware of your feelings in a calm and constructive way. For example, "it would be a great help to me if you...".

    Try to discuss this before you become totally aggravated with the situation.

  • Pregnancy symptoms got you down and feeling poorly?

    Discuss this with your physician and see if anything can be done to relieve some of your worst symptoms.

    Proper diet and regular excercise will also help.

  • Having more difficulty focusing?

    Try keeping a pregnancy diary or journal. There are quite a few cute ones on the market.

    Years from now, it will prove to be quite the keepsake.

Your Financial Well Being

Another way to minimize stress as well as just prepare for baby's future, is to do some financial planning.

Whether you have alot of money or a little, there are a number of steps you can take to help to ensure that your baby will always be provided for.

  • Bring down your debt.

    If you are tight on funds, that big screen TV will have to wait.

    Try to pay off as much of your bills as possible in order to avoid finance fees.

    Avoid paying the minimum amount when you can, because due to interest, you will end up paying more money in the long run.

  • Don't create more debt.

    Again, if money is tight, you're going to have to put off purchasing luxury items. It is better to be financially secure. Especially with a new dependent on the way.

  • Save for the future.

    Even if you can only spare a little money, time is on your side.

    The earlier you start saving for college the more money you will have because of compounded interest.

    In a common example used to illustrate this, people are asked if they would rather have a million dollars or a penny that doubles in value each day for a month.

    Most people say, the million. But in fact, you would be much better off if you take the penny, which would be worth over 5 million dollars after 30 days.

    Although interest rates are not great at the moment, you are still much better off taking advantage of time.

  • Open up a 529 College Savings Plan for your child.

    This is a great way to save for your child's college education as the money put into this account is federally tax deferred and tax free if qualified withdrawals (the money is used for education) are made.

    Family and friends can also contribute to the account.

  • Consider getting life insurance.

    Although, many people have life insurance through their employers, it is often a small policy, and would not cover all expenses if something should happen to you while your kids are young.

    Policies for younger parents are relatively inexpensive and would provide you with a certain peace of mind.

    Make sure the policy is large enough to cover your mortgage if you have one.

    Life insurance for a stay at home parent should also be considered while the kids are young, as it can cover child care expenses if it should become necessary.

  • Consider having a will prepared.

    Even if you don't have many assets, a will clearly defines what your wishes are in case something should happen to you while your kids are still young. In your will, you can specify who would get custody of your children, and how your assets should be divided.

Baby's Arrival

Having a plan in place for when you go into labor, will make things easier when the big day arrives.

  • Get that bag packed.

    As your due date gets closer, pack the bag you will be taking to the hospital.

  • Put important numbers in an easy to find place.

    Putting the numbers in your cell phone is great, but doesn't allow everyone easy access to them.

    Make two lists of important numbers, your doctor, hospital, car service, etc. Put one list on your fridge, and the other in the bag you packed for the hospital.

  • Insurance carrier.

    Find out what your insurance carrier needs you to do, if anything, well before your due date. Contact your insurance carrier and or physician.

  • Figure out who will be watching your other kids.

    If there are a number of people depending on when you go into labor, make sure you add all of them and their numbers to your important numbers list, and write down who should be called, when.

  • You'll want to capture the moment.

    Cameras, videos, smart phones, tablets, with all of the current technology, there won't be a shortage of devices on which to capture the big day.

    Just in case though, you might want to buy a disposable digital camera and pack it with your hospital to go bag.

  • Contacts.

    Determine how and when you will contact your significant other, and other family members.

    If the numbers are not in your phone or your memory, don't forget to add them to your important numbers list.

  • Cord Blood. Give some thought as to whether you might want to bank your child's cord blood.

All That Baby Gear

From car seats to baby cribs, there's alot of gear that comes with a new baby.

If this is not your first child, then you will only need to add to your collection.

If it is your first, you may be able to borrow much of what you need from family and friends.

The list could be a bit endless. We have chosen to cover just a few of the essentials here.

  • Freshly paint the baby's room.

    Children respond well to bright and happy colors. You might even consider creating a scene such as a tree with animals, by painting one of the walls or using some of the many creative decals which are on the market.

  • You will need a car seat.

    Do your homework to find the one that is right for you. Many sites, like amazon, offer customer reviews.

    If you are unsure as to how to secure the seat, drop by your local fire department and they will be happy to help you out.

  • Minimally you will need a crib and a changing table.

    Again, do your homework in order to find something that you will feel comfortable with.

    If you have no cultural restrictions, setup the crib and changing table, comfortably before your due date.

  • A musical swing often comes in handy.

    Many babies are often lulled to sleep when put into one of these wonderful inventions.

  • Choose between cloth diapers and disposable.

    Many diaper services have recently opened up, allowing parents to now make this choice.

  • Bottles and formula.

    Formula can be quite expensive, but provides a well balanced diet and allows you to more easily see how much your newborn is eating. It also allows others to easily feed your new little one.

    Choosing to breast feed? Talk to your doctor about whether you should supplement your child's diet with formula.

    Breast pumps are a little expensive, but can come in quite handy. If you are going to breast feed, consider an investment in a pump.

  • Stroller.

    Yep, you're going to want one of these too. Some parents like to carry their children in slings, but there is always a use for a carriage.

    If you are a jogger, you will probably want to get a jogging stroller.

  • Glider or Rocking Chair.

    Another great way to bond with your baby, and rock that little one off to sleep.

  • Toy chest.

    If you want to try and avoid becoming ankle deep in toys, get a toy chest to store all of those great new toys.

  • Bibs, burp cloths, etc.

    Bibs, burp cloths, after bath clothes, and season appropriate clothes are always fun for loved ones to buy. Don't forget to add them to your registry.

  • Powders and lotions.

    Baby powders and lotions also often come in gift baskets.

  • This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Don't forget to sign up for a registry. Many of the established retailers (Amazon, Babies R Us) make it easy.

    Your family and friends will love buying for baby and it will help to defray some of the expenses.