What an exciting time! You are getting ready to have a baby. There are a lot of details to consider if you are first time parents. When we decided that we would have children, we wanted to (try to) have all our ducks in a row in order to make it a smooth transition. Let me lay out what that looks like (since we went through this again).
The most important thing you need when you are having a baby, is the car seat. Choose one that is in your price range and safe. When it is time to go home as your new family of 3 (or if you have twins, triplets etc…), you will want to ensure safety driving home. If you don’t know how to install it, you can go to your local fire department or police department and someone there who is certified will be able to assist.
At this point in your life, you probably have been trying to pay off debt, build an emergency fund and work towards other financial goals. I recommend that you stop (temporarily) paying off debt and build up as much cash as you can (hence the “Stork Fund”). Once you know that baby is healthy, you can resume your aggressive tactics on the debt snowball (Dave Ramsey 2nd baby step). You don’t want to run into any health complications with the baby and not have enough to cover the medical expenses (if they should arise). Having built up the funds once you know you’re pregnant will offer you peace of mind.
Sleep. You must have a bassinet or crib for the baby to sleep in. If you choose co-sleeping, you will want to have something in your bed that the baby can sleep on. Make sure there aren’t any pillows and remember; back is best.
Go-Bag. When the time is getting closer to the delivery, make sure you have a Go-Bag that has essentials for mom: toothbrush, toothpaste, snacks, comfortable clothes, extra pillow, etc. Not to mention meals for dad since the hospital usually only caters to the mom. Our hospital gave us a nice celebration dinner together.
Communicate Expectations. Make sure your family knows your wishes regarding disclosing information about the birth. People can be very private about the name of the child, having pictures online, or even the measurements. You want to try to avoid a “well, the cat is out of the bag now” discussion, so it is best to talk ahead of time.
There are so many other things that we could go into, but since nobody is truly prepared for having a child, just do what you think is best to ensure a happy, healthy environment. Being intentional shows you are good parents to begin with, and you have a lifetime to become terrific parents.
Good luck on your new adventure!