Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Suggestions

Planning for baby is quite intimidating. Between maternity leave coverage, unexpected costs that will become the norm, how many hours to work after baby's arrival.....the list is never ending. Some of you have given advice on how to plan for baby, that I have to say, they are fabulous! So here's my list of all your favorites!

1. Save up sick, vacation and personal time, and spread them out during maternity leave.
Get paid for 3 days a week instead of 5 while on leave, so you could potentially double your weeks off.

Thankfully I have 10 vacation days, 8 sick days, and 3 personal days I will be using. Hopefully work will allow me to spread them out so that I can get paid 3 days a week, for a longer span.

2. Start buying Walmart/Target/BabiesRUs gift cards every week, and stash them away.
That way the money is put aside, and spaced out over months, instead of being hit all at one time when baby arrives.

I'll probably start just stashing $20-40 a week, seeing as I  don't really have an ideal place I'll be shopping. Cash is just as good!

3. Purchase necessities ahead of time like diapers, wipes, soap, detergents, etc.

Most likely I'll start purchasing a cloth diaper every other week, along with wipes, soaps, and detergents. All the things that we normally don't purchase that would hit once baby arrives.

4. Create a monthly budget, including the expected new costs that come with baby.
Include any salary cuts that will be effected, and plan out how to combat the new gap.

Already done. We've been using the spreadsheet to determine how long to take off, and how many hours to work once I return. I've been using a spreadsheet for bills for years now, definitely helps in planning ahead. We've also set up a "bills" checking account, and a weekly "spending" account so that we never eat into our bills money on things we want.

5. Start saving now, no matter how far along you might be.
Build up your savings so that if you have to take some weeks unpaid, you have a cushion account.

Done. Hubby has been doing extra contract work on the side that we've been stashing away, along with any extra funds each month. Should have a nice little cushion come July. (Good thing since STD will only pay for 3 weeks.)

6. Buy used furniture.
Reach out to family and friends and see if anyone is looking to donate their crib, changing table, glider, etc.

We ended up purchasing a used crib and changing table from an extended family member for only $140 all together, in pretty much perfect condition. We also found a free Dutalier Glider, and a second changing table we'll be putting in the downstairs bathroom. The glider needs a new cushion that I'll either make, or purchase from the manufacturer.

7. Start a hidden registry on Amazon. 
That way you can take as much time as you need to organize your thoughts without looking like an over eager maniac. It also allows you to research, read reviews and change your mind on things, well before the baby comes. Shower or no shower, you have a running list of everything you might need.

I started one a couple weeks ago to organize everything that we'll need to purchase. It's definitely helped to narrow down our choices, and determine products based on reviews.

8. Take a mini-babymoon.
Cant afford to take off a full week away? Take a long weekend instead, and drive somewhere local for a mini getaway just the 2 of you. 

My in-laws gave us a 2 night stay in Lincoln, NH for Christmas, so we'll be using that to have a mini-babymoon sometime in March or April. Half day of work, and a couple nights away will be perfect!

9. Clean your house.
Whether nesting kicks in, or you hire someone, give your home a deep clean and start donating things that are just collecting dust around the place. Baby will take up more room than you think.

I'm usually really on top of cleaning our place, giving it a deep clean once a month, and light cleaning every week or so. Although I hate washing windows.... Nesting has slightly kicked in, and I've found myself cleaning things up when I have a moment, or trashing things we don't use/need. I'm considering having a professional come in right before baby arrives though to be sure everything is spotless.

10. Enjoy your alone time!
Whether alone, with your spouse or with friends, cherish every moment you have to yourself. Once baby arrives, all that will change.

Definitely trying to enjoy all the time I have to myself right now. Spending time with hubby has become more cherished as well. Thoroughly looking forward to all my Girl's Nights, game nights, and gatherings before July!


  1. Let me know if you need help with the cushion!I'm a pro! If it has an existing cushion, it would be super easy to make a new cover for it. If not, I might be able to get the cushion foam from the company I work for at wholesale for you.

    You should put the cleaning service on your wish list for your baby shower! There's no way you're going to want to do (or be able to bend so low) to do all the deep cleaning at 8 or 9 months.

    1. Thanks Leanne! I will definitely keep the cushion in mind. I have a feeling I might just order one from the manufacturer. The cushion it came with isn't the original.

      Great idea on the cleaning for wish list! Thanks!