A big transition.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting experiences, yet it changes your priorities. A baby requires commitment: It involves lots of hard work from the moment the baby is born. It involves financial costs, time, dedication and will impact you in practically every area of your life.
In fact, children’s’ needs account for a good part of the family budget.
Babies go on needing active care from their parents (or from people who stand in for their parents) for a long time. It is not something momentarily.
In preparing for your baby there is a bewildering array of things you will have to put together. Most of them will cost money. These include:
- Putting together a labour bag. These may include your hospital registration forms and health card; slippers or warm socks; an oversized T-shirt to labour in; a sports bra for the bath or shower; a robe; comforts (music, lotion, lip balm, hand-held fan); your own pillow and birth ball; a list of people to call and a mobile phone or change for the pay phone; and your camera and video camera (both charged!).
- Packing postpartum supplies too: diapers and clothes for the baby, something comfortable to wear home, maxi-pads and a nursing bra.
- Extra care help that you may require in the early days after you and the baby go back home.
- Purchase of newborn essentials including clothing, blankets, feeding equipment, feeding food, diapering, bath time, bedtime.
- Necessities such as crib or cradle, push-chair, baby carrier sling, infant safety seat for your car, reclining stroller, night light, sunshade for cars, playpen, etc.
Some of this stuff you will need to have with you when you go to the hospital, others immediately when you return home with your baby. Others you may not necessarily need them from day one and should be postponed until such time you need them or you know you will use them.
Do not shy back from accepting baby essentials such as above from your family and friends. Borrowing from family or friends can save you lots of cash. However, politely decline an old crib, high chair, care seat, etc. which may not meet safety standards.
Keep note that :
• Having a baby is a big responsibility. If pregnancy happens when you won’t expect it, it can be a difficult and worrying time.
• Never hesitate to ask for help and advise so you can think things through properly.
• Students need to be aware of the realities of having a child.