Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Things To Consider When Having A Baby

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Things To Consider When Having A Baby



So you've got those two little lines on a pregnancy test indicating that your whole universe is about to change - it's one of the most exciting moments of your life but also one of the most terrifying!

A million thoughts race through your mind at a thousand miles per hour, your mind is full of questions - where do you start with getting yourself organised for the changes to come?!

Here's my rundown on what you'll need to think about and how to get yourself started!

What Will You Need?

Babies DO tend to require a lot of "stuff" but don't let yourself become too overwhelmed by all the things that baby websites tell you to buy! A lot of it is optional and unnecessary.

How much you buy for baby is really up to you - if you choose to go wild in the aisles that's completely up to you and if you have the cash to splash it can be a lot of fun!

However if you're keen to stick to a budget, what are the essentials that you'll need?

*Car seat (If you have a car!)
*Somewhere for baby to sleep - this may be a moses basket, crib, co-sleeper or cot.
*Things for babies to wear - Vests, sleepsuits, some bibs, and a little hat are the essentials
*Nappies and wipes (or cotton wool and water, which is advised for babies first few weeks)
*A pram/pushchair or baby sling for transporting baby when you're out and about
*A changing bag
*Blankets and cot sheets
*A baby monitor
*2/3 blankets and cot sheets
*Room thermometer/ Bath thermometer (You can buy one that covers each of these)
*Medical thermometer

If you're worried about having to spend a lot of money, then you can always consider buying second hand or nearly new items from local Facebook selling sites, ebay, Gumtree or nearly new sales/stores.

Cribs and cots can be purchased second hand but it's recommended that a new mattress should always be purchased for each new baby, and it is also recommended that car seats should also not be purchased second hand as you cannot be certain that they haven't been in a collision which would render them unsafe.

Maternity Leave

You'll want to make your employer aware of your pregnancy as soon as possible, particularly if your job poses any risks to your pregnancy as changes will need to be put in place to allow you to continue your work safely where possible.

Look up your employers maternity policy, and your rights on the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/overview

There's also an interesting article here from Bobatoo on income protection insurance covering maternity

Childcare

This can be one of the biggest issues surrounding having a new baby - if you're planning to return to work then the sooner you can start thinking about childcare arrangements, the less stressed you're going to be when the time comes.

If you have family members close by who are willing to help make full use of that and divide up duties between them - this can make the transition back to work a far more pleasant experience for you and allows baby that all important bonding time with relatives too.

Alternatively you may want to start looking at local day nurseries or childminders, as their spaces often tend to fill up months in advance and it's important that you find one you feel suited to.

Finances

In all honesty, I think very few people ever feel 100% financially ready to commit to becoming parents - it's a daunting prospect! But there are things you can do to ease the burden and ensure everything is going as smoothly as possible.

I would recommend writing out a list of all of your expenditures, and creating a family budget to stick within each month to ensure that all of your important bills are being paid and any leftover money is being used wisely.

Allow yourself a leisure money allowance, and set aside anything you can into a savings account - these are so handy for those unexpected bills that crop up, childrens birthdays, christmas or family holidays!

Making a will and setting up life insurance policies are also important things to consider when having a child.

Dietary Changes

Now that you're expecting, there is a whole host of dietary changes that need to be made! Of course the obvious things such as alcohol and smoking should be ceased as soon as possible, and it's recommended that pregnant women start to take folic acid daily for the first trimester of pregnancy.

It's also important to make sure you're taking in enough iron, calcium and vitamin D and fibre is important too.

It's recommended that caffiene is avoided or at least kept to a minimum during pregnancy, and other foods to be avoided include: runny or undercooked eggs (mousses, home made ice creams and homemade mayonaisse should also be avoided), mold-ripened or unpastuerised cheeses, raw fish, undercooked/rare meats, pate and liver.

Good luck with your new arrival and enjoy every precious moment...you're in for an amazing journey!



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