Congratulations on expecting a new baby! With your little one arriving soon, now is the perfect time to start preparing your home and your budget. Of course, raising a child is expensive. Much like trying to determine how much an average wedding should cost, estimates vary on how much babies cost.
For instance, CBS News reports that housing and childcare costs have risen. Meanwhile, the USDA recently found that parents spend around $10,000 annually on children during their first two years of life.
These extra expenses can be manageable. With the right budgeting and planning, money doesn’t need to add to your list of worries for your child’s future. Here are some budget-conscious ways you can start preparing for the arrival of your little one:
Baby showers are nothing new. According to Flo.health, baby showers date back to the ancient Greeks. Another popular type of party is a gender reveal, where friends and family announce and celebrate the gender of an unborn baby.
Not all parents want to have a baby shower or gender reveal party. However, if you do want to celebrate with your loved ones, you don’t have to break the bank. For instance, you might arrange a unique gender reveal party without spending a lot of money.
Get creative with budget-friendly options, rather than shelling out money on expensive, elaborate decorations. You could even skip the party altogether and creatively announce your baby’s gender through customized T-shirts or sharing photos on social media, complete with a backdrop with one of VWAQ’s vinyl wall quotes! With options that include “Daddy’s girl and Mommy’s world,” “Frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of,” and so many more, VWAQ makes it easy and affordable to reveal your baby’s gender to the world. Plus, they offer a 60-day money-back guarantee from the time you receive your product; this is a no-questions-asked return policy, so if you’re not completely satisfied with your order, you have plenty of time to request a refund.
Another crucial consideration is birth planning. Although labor and delivery hardly ever go as planned, many expectant mothers create a birth plan, so they feel more in control of the big day. For instance, do you want a natural birth at home? A water birth? Will you have an epidural in a hospital? Would you like to have a doula?
To help reduce the need for expensive epidurals, some mothers-to-be choose hypnobirthing. According to Parents.com, hypnobirthing is a type of hypnosis to ease labor pain. Unfortunately, the results are mixed, so some hypnobirthing mothers still need an epidural.
When it comes to cost, many parents might expect a home birth to be cheaper. However, NPR reports that insurance covers hospital deliveries, while home births are entirely out of pocket. If you add midwifery and doula fees to that expense, you’re looking at upwards of $8,000. Ultimately, saving money on childbirth depends on your personal preferences and insurance coverage.
Hospital Bag Essentials
If there’s a chance you’ll be giving birth at the hospital, prepare your hospital bag in advance for one less thing to worry about the day of. Include these budget-friendly items:
- Delivery gown. A comfortable delivery gown that allows for easy access for monitoring your baby, ultrasounds, and medical procedures is ideal.
- Comfortable underwear. A high-waisted pair that’s made of soft, stretchy, breathable fabric will be comfy before and after delivery.
- Breastfeeding pillow. Hospital beds and pillows are thin and uncomfortable. Consider bringing your favorite pillow or comfy blanket. A breastfeeding pillow can benefit new mothers who feel sore after childbirth.
- Nightgowns and slippers. After childbirth, you won’t feel like putting on jeans or sneakers. Instead, bring a nursing nightgown and a cozy pair of slippers or flip-flops. For added comfort, try to find slip-on shoes with memory foam soles.
- According to BabyCenter, most parents stay at the hospital for at least 24 to 48 hours. Most of that time will involve giving birth, recovering from labor, and bonding with your baby. However, you might also want to bring some comforts from home, like your favorite books, music, or a tablet with some pre-downloaded movies.
It’s also crucial to recognize that, for most of us, there will never be a perfect time or financial situation for having children. Don’t let the expense prevent you from realizing your dreams of parenthood. You can save money through online deals, local sales, and consignment stores. Your child doesn’t need top-of-the-line items, and it’s okay to borrow baby gear from friends or reuse clothing an older child has outgrown. The efforts you make today will pay off in the long run, so it’s never too soon to start planning for your baby.
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