Many of us eventually reach a stage in our lives and our relationships where we feel ready to bring a baby into the world. Even if you’ve always claimed you don’t want kids, you might find yourself surprised when you suddenly start feeling broody, or imagining what life would be like with little ones in it. Starting a family is a huge life change and commitment but one of the best things you’ll ever do – it’s rewarding and really is nothing short of a miracle. But it’s hard work too! Here are some of the things you can do in preparation to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
Make sure your body is at its best
One of the first things you should do when you’re considering trying for a baby is to get your health and body in check. Stop smoking and give up drinking, and if you’re on any medication for health conditions then speak to your doctor to check that they’re safe if you conceive.
Work on bringing your BMI as close to the ‘ideal’ range as possible, and fill your body with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods that will nourish your body giving it everything it needs.
Women trying for a baby are advised to take a daily folic acid supplement, you can buy conception vitamins to take each day to ensure that along with a healthy diet, you’re getting everything you need.
Spending a number of months getting fit and strong is no bad thing, once your baby arrives you’ll need strength and energy. The intensity of the exercise you can do throughout your pregnancy depends on your fitness levels before conceiving. So this is something well worth working on.
Prepare your home
Your home might be perfect for your current situation, but what about when the baby comes along? If you’re thinking about starting a family, is it accessible with a pram or are there lots of steps? Do you have a bedroom for them, and what’s the general area like?
When you’re starting a family it makes sense that you’ll want to live in a place that’s safe and suitable, so have a think about where you live at the moment. If it’s already fine to bring a baby into, all you might need to do is decorate the room which will become their nursery. If your place isn’t appropriate for a child then you will need to consider moving, start early as finding the perfect place can take time- especially if you’re buying somewhere. With a bit of luck you’ll be in your new home and settled by the time the baby arrives.
Decide if you’ll need a new car
When you become a parent, your priorities definitely shift. The way a car looks probably won’t be your number one concern, instead you’ll want something that’s proven to be very safe in crash tests, and has plenty of space. Babies come with a lot of stuff, so a vehicle that allows you to fit their pram and everything else they need will make your life much easier once they arrive. Chances are you’ll also want something that’s economical on fuel, as starting a family is already very expensive. Do some research and figure out the best model fot you and your growing family.
Think about your finances
Speaking of finances, this is definitely something you need to sit and think about before starting a family. First of all, it can be helpful to write an extensive list of everything you’ll need – from nappies to nursery furniture, pram, clothes, toys and more. That way, you can get something each week which allows you to spread the cost and ensures you’re all sorted by the time your baby comes.
If you have a baby shower, you can show friends and family the list to ensure they’re buying things you genuinely need and you’re not ending up with any repeats. Paying down debts where possible and automating your bill paying are both smart ideas before having a baby, many families find money tight so having a clear budget and a plan in place can help things to run smoothly.
Consider your career
Linked to finances is of course your career. There are lots of decisions to make here, so give yourself time to ponder the options. If you’re in a career you loved and are a little higher on the career ladder it makes sense that you’ll want to return to your previous job. Work out how much time you’ll want to take off, and if the job will be waiting for you once you’re back.
On the other hand, you might not want to return to your old job once you have a baby, perhaps something more flexible would be better suited to your new lifestyle. A part time job that allows you to earn some cash and that’s not too challenging is one option. Otherwise you could consider working for yourself – freelancing, blogging or starting your own business are examples of ways you can earn cash right from your home.
It makes sense to try and get this set up and established before starting a family – that way you can return to it a little later on when you’re in more of a routine. Set up an office room, declare as self employed and look into things like how to stay cyber secure in 2019. That way you’re all set and ready to go when the time is right.
Lean on your support network
Having a baby is one of the most challenging things you’ll do in your adult life, but you don’t have to feel like it’s you and your little family against the world. Spend time with friends and family, accept any help they’re willing to give you and listen to their advice – even if you choose not to take it on board. Spending time with people you love, especially if they’ve been through it all before can be invaluable during a time where everything is changing and chaotic in your lives.
Are you thinking about starting a family? What do you think about the wisdom above? Or perhaps you have you own tips to add to the above? Do leave a comment and share.
*This is a collaborative post