From going back to work to financial planning (and everything in between), here’s your guide to getting your life under control during your baby’s first year.
Delivery day has come and gone, the number of baby visitors has died down, and you’re beginning to get the hang of this baby care thing. Dirty diapers? No problem! Breastfeeding? You’re a pro! Adjusting to a brand-new parents-with-baby lifestyle? Well…it’s a work in progress.
You’re not the first to do a double take when it comes to the logistics of combining your new baby duties and your old life. From big-deal issues like deciding whether to go back to work after having a baby to more everyday concerns like eating out with a baby in tow, you’ll find that you have new questions and strategies to consider. For those big issues, it helps to break down the decision into manageable bites and then consider what is best for you and your family. And doing some advance prep (like finding a baby-friendly dining spot and bringing along a few extra toys and just-for-baby snacks as you head out to eat) will help navigate those day-to-day dilemmas.
One everyday issue that threatens to overwhelm even the most-together parent is staying organized. In a few weeks your house (and car!) has probably been invaded by a plethora of baby paraphernalia (the tiny sock under your nursing chair, the baby swing permanently parked by the sofa, and those jumbo packs of diapers everywhere you look). But again, a little advance planning can help manage all that stuff. Find some bins or baskets to corral those toys and books (and put a couple of those containers away so you can rotate the toys every so often), put some shelves in the baby’s closet to store extra supplies, and consider making one room in the house a baby-free zone.
No matter how many more little ones you’re thinking of having in the future, you need a sound financial family plan for the family you have now. Setting up a budget and separating items you need (diapers) from items you think you want (itty-bitty Uggs) will keep you grounded and help stop that urge to splurge on baby items. Although planning things in advance may seem daunting (do you really have the energy to tackle this?), it’ll actually create less work for you in the long run and help you enjoy your baby (and your life) more.