I’m pregnant with my first child (just found out yesterday) and I really don’t know the next step. What do I need to eat, when to start buying clothes, diapers for the baby to save money, how to prepare for the baby, child care, what are the essential things to have for the baby, how much will a baby cost, how many clothes does a baby need, how many diapers they need, etc. I’m overwhelmed. Can you please help me find answers? -Uma
Congratulations, Uma! What an exciting time!
One wonderful thing about pregnancy is that it’s nine months long (give or take a few days or weeks). While sometimes it seems like a very long time — especially during the last few months! — it can also be a blessing because it gives you time to prepare for having a baby.
Take a Deep Breath
So my biggest piece of advice would be to take a deep breath and don’t stress over things in the future. You can only live this moment right now, today. Worrying about tomorrow or eight months from now (or three years from now!) won’t change or help anything.
Find a Good Care Provider
Find a good care provider, be that a midwife or doctor. They will be able to answer many of your questions on what you should be eating and all your other pregnancy-related questions. I’d encourage you to look for a care provider who you feel like really cares about you, listens to you, and connects with you. This can make such a huge difference during your pregnancy and delivery!
What Baby Really Needs
Since I’m all about keeping it simple, we didn’t have a lot of non-necessities. In fact, here’s my list of baby must-haves:
–Clothes (For starting out, I think you can get by just fine with around six onesies, six sleepers, a few pair of socks, a few hats, and 4-6 blankets.)
–Diapers/wipes (either cloth or disposable)
(And if you are unable to nurse–as I know happens on occasion, or if you are adopting, you would also need to add formula to this list.)
**For more on baby essentials, read this post.
If someone is planning a baby shower for you, there’s a good chance that you’ll get most of these things on this list. We were blessed to be given three different baby showers with our first. As a result, we didn’t even up buying anything but one or two items!
I’d recommend starting to watch for diaper and wipe sales now — especially if you’re not planning to cloth diaper. If you find a great deal ($5 per package or less) and you have the wiggle room in your budget, go ahead and buy them. (For a good gauge on how many diapers to buy in which sizes, read this post.)
However, be sure to tape the receipt to the outside of the package. Not all brands work for all babies and all babies grow a different rates, so you may need to return some of the packages and if they have the receipts taped to the outside, it makes it extremely easy to make the return/exchange!
The Best Gift You Can Give Your Baby
Each and every baby is different, but the best gift you can give every child is love and nurturing. When I was pregnant with our first daughter, Kathrynne, we didn’t have money to buy basically anything since we were living on our beans and rice law school budget.
Even though Kathrynne had a very simple wardrobe and few things, it didn’t seem to hurt her in the least. We loved her, cherished her, talked to her, spent time with her, read to her, laughed with her, listened to her… and she’s now grown into a very active, athletic 8-year-old who excels in school (especially history, science, math, and reading) and can engineer all sorts of amazing things with a simple set of LEGOs.
I don’t know what the future holds for her, but her humble beginnings haven’t seemed to hold her back at all. And I think it truly exemplifies the truth that love and nurturing go far, even when your pocketbook is nearly empty. 🙂
For more advice and ideas, be sure to read my series on Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank.
What advice, suggestions, tips, and encouragement do the rest of you have for Uma?