Starting a family can be a daunting prospect. Suddenly, you’re not just responsible for yourselves; you’re responsible for one or more children as well. That’s a big responsibility, particularly when you’re just starting out.
So, what should every new family know? The short answer is that every family is different, and all have different needs. The longer answer is that there are several things you can do for yourself, your partner, and your child in order to set the foundation for a successful life.
Here are seven helpful tips to starting your family out on the right foot.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
When you’ve just welcomed a new baby, it can feel overwhelming at first. This is especially true if you have concerns about lactation, or even about basic childcare. Use your time in the hospital to ask the nurses and other experts any concerns you may have. A maternity nurse will happily show you how to change your child’s diaper and perform other basic childcare tasks.
Even after you get home, it can be nice to have some help. There’s no shame in hiring a nurse or a doula to help you through the first challenging weeks. Another way to get help is to hire a neighborhood teenager to take care of basic household chores. While they do the dishes, run the laundry, and mop the floors, you can take care of your newborn.
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and relatives. If there are grandparents in the area, they can be a valuable resource, not just now but as your child gets older.
Get Plenty of Sleep
When your baby is waking you up at all hours, this advice might seem absurd. How are you supposed to get any sleep when you’re getting woken up two or three times a night. One tip is to maintain a healthy diet, and to take plenty of supplements, such as the best probiotic for sleep.
That said, no matter what you do, those first several weeks are going to be rough. But once your baby starts sleeping through the night, things will get easier. If your baby is having trouble sleeping, consider a more comfortable place to nap, such as the SNOO smart sleeper. The better sleep they get, the better sleep you’ll get.
Upsize Your Home
One undeniable thing about starting a family is that you’re going to need more space. The same is true if your family is expecting a new member. You’ll need a bedroom for the baby, and more closet space for all your supplies.
If you’re a renter, this means putting together a deposit for a new home. If you’re a homeowner, on the other hand, you can simply sell your house and use that money for your large home.
Another thing to consider is your home security. Now that you have a family, it’s more important than ever to make sure your home is safe. Cameras, door sensors, and other home security devices are a great way to achieve this.
Get Better Nutrition
When you’re raising a new infant, or buying a home, you’re under a lot of extra stress. You’re also busy, which can make it hard to find time to eat right. Even if you usually drink kale shakes for breakfast and make a gourmet dinner every night, you can suddenly find yourself gorging on McDonald’s and delivery pizza.
Maybe you can’t fix everything, but you’ll have more energy if you eat a protein-rich, low sodium breakfast. And if you prepare larger portions for dinner, you’ll have enough for leftovers. Then, when you’re in a hurry, you’ll have something homemade to heat up.
At the same time, you don’t want to neglect your pets. If you’re feeling stressed, there’s a good chance they’re feeling stressed as well. CBD for pets is a safe, natural way to keep your pets calm and happy. It’s also good for joint pain and other aches.
Raising a new baby is hard enough under the best of circumstances. The least you can do is wear something comfortable that helps you relax. It also helps if the clothing is casual, since it’s inevitably going to end up with vomit and/or poop on it. This is no time to be walking around in formalware.
Mallary by Matthew produces high-quality, sustainable clothes for kids and adults alike. If you want some comfortable underwear or a relaxing robe, they’re a great source. And of course, nothing beats a pair of workout shorts for lounging around the house, or chasing down a toddler as the case may be.
Plan Your Budget Ahead of Time
A new baby means new expenses, which means your budget is going to change. You need to invest in a number of expenses, some of which are one-off payments. In all likelihood, you’re only ever going to need to buy one car seat, high chair, stroller, and crib. Outlet covers, walkers, and toys are also one-time expenses.
But there are other expenses you’re going to have to pay for the foreseeable future. Until the child is potty trained, you’ll be adding diapers and wipes to your weekly shopping list for the foreseeable future. You’ll need bottles and formulas or breast pumping supplies. You’ll need to pay for a series of doctor visits, as well as the never-ending task of buying new clothes as your baby outgrows them. And if both parents work, there’s the granddaddy of all childcare expenses: day care.
So, break out that spreadsheet, and start working on your new budget. The bad news is that you may have to sacrifice fun activities for a while. The good news is that at least for the first few months, you can forget about going to a restaurant or the movies to begin with. You’re going to be too busy.
When you work on your new budget, start with a two-year time horizon. By that point, your child will be eating solid foods, and your budgetary needs will have changed. You’ll also want to think about education expenses, which can be different depending on your financial situation.
If you need assistance with your Education Planning Grand Rapids, or education planning wherever you are located, professionals in your area can help you plan for the rising costs of college.
Whether it’s for covering college education expenses for a child or grandchild, it’s important to start the education planning process early. Experienced planners will help you implement a variety of tools and strategies to create a custom college savings plan and minimize taxes and maximize your funds.
Update Your Insurance Policy
With everything else that’s going on, it can be easy to let long-term planning slip through the cracks. Specifically, what happens if the unthinkable happens and you or your partner dies prematurely? It’s not something most people like to consider, but planning for contingencies is part of being the responsible parent you want to be.
If you already carry a life insurance policy, this will be easy. Simply talk to your insurance agent about increasing your coverage, so the money will not just be enough for your partner, but also to support your child. If you don’t have life insurance, now is the time to sign up.
In most states, your spouse will automatically inherit your possessions upon your demise. However, different states have different rules, so it’s worth consulting an attorney to see if you need to draw up a will. This is especially important if you and your partner aren’t legally married, since a domestic partnership can complicate the inheritance process.