Expecting a baby? Congratulations!
You are probably trying to figure out what you need for your new baby. A quickly Google search will show you lots of posts, with comprehensive lists: breast pump, prim, formula, diapers, cot, stroller, bouncy seats, pacifiers, play mat…
Let me save you some money and time. You don’t need half of them! Instead you should be focusing on the following things:
- Work on yourself and your relationship
Having a baby won’t solve your issues. It will magnify them. So, pregnancy is a good moment for both parents to work on themselves and their relationship. If you have any issues, start working on them. Seek professional help if needed.
Also try to find out why your arguments start. What triggers you? Does your partner know when they are pushing your buttons? Is there a way you can help them recognize them? How do you solve your disagreements?
We all have too much stuff. Before going on a baby shopping spree, please consider going through your belongings and getting rid off any your old things. Think about this, once you have a baby, you won’t have much time to go through your wardrobe to get your winter coat.
If you (or your partner) have clothes you don’t wear, donate them. Be sincere with yourself and keep only the pieces you really love (wink, wink to Marie Kondo).
Were you really into mountain bike a few years ago? Are your ukulele and old TV accumulating dust in the basement? Sell them!
Go through your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Get rid of expired products.
Most importantly, organize all your important documents ( car insurance, I.D., etc) Try to prepare in advance all the documents you need for the hospital and also for registering your baby according to your country’s law.
Having a uncluttered house will help you immensely once you are sleep deprived and looking for a clean shirt.
- Establish a cleaning and cooking system
Cleaning and organizing meals will be a big part of your lifes as parents. Seat together and go through all houshold chores. Set up a system that works for both of you. Prioritaze: What’s the minimum that needs to be done daily? What can be done only once a week? If you feel that the distribution of household chores is currently unfair, this is a good moment to address it. Perhaps learning new and more efficient cleaning techniques will make these mundane tasks more doable. If you are at loss, visit Clean My Space. I find Melissa’s tips really useful.
With regards to food. Do you have any staple recipe? Do any of you know how to quickly prepare a conforting and nutritious meal? You don’t need to be a chef, just know how to cook a couple of meals and stock up accordingly. I’ve written about meal planning here.
- Revise your finances
Having kids can be expensive. Go through your bank account and see what you are spending your money on. Can you pay off any of your debts?
- Educate yourself on parenting
This is really important. Read different parenting books, play with your friend’s kids or with your little cousins. I try to read as many books as possible. I don’t always agree with everything is said. Nor do I think that what they say is a sacred tool. But I do keep their advice in hand, note down their tips and tricks and use them if needed.
Thank you for reading this lengthy post! Please feel free to add more to this discussion in the comment section. I’ve written a continuation to this post where I do talk about material things you can find it here.
Best of luck!