It is one thing to want a baby –what you may hope for is a mini version of you or your partner– and it is another thing entirely to actually be ready for this bundle of joy. Although many babies come as a result of an unplanned pregnancy, if you have the luxury of deciding when you will conceive, you should do your best to ensure that all aspects of your life are ready.
1. Is your body ready to make a baby?
Some people seem to be able to conceive with little effort and others take some time. This usually has little to do with habits and more with your medical history and genetics, but it does help to ensure that you are physically ready to conceive and carry a child. You should be consuming a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly to ensure the best outcome.
2. Is your home suitable for a child?
It is a little early to start childproofing, but at this point, you should start thinking about the bigger picture. Do you live in a noisy apartment building that may keep you and your baby from sleeping? Is the neighbourhood safe? Do you have enough space for another person? If your place is not suitable for a child, consider moving before you get pregnant, or at least plan a move for when you are pregnant.
3. Are you in a stable relationship or going it alone?
Avoid making the mistake of thinking that a child will fix a problem relationship. If your partner is physically or verbally abusive, it is time to address the issue. Seek counselling to determine whether the problem can be worked on or whether it is time to end the relationship. Remember that the safety of your unborn child is at stake. If you are planning to go it alone, now is a good time to gather your support system.
4. Are you financially ready for this responsibility?
Babies can be bundles of joy or colic, but one thing is for certain: they are expensive! Prepare a baby budget and start saving now for when the baby arrives. Be sure to include things like diapers, clothes, toys and equipment, such as strollers, car seats, bassinettes and more. You may be surprised at how quickly these things can add up, and you do not want to be surprised when the baby arrives and you are out of cash.
5. What type of parent will you be?
Now is a good time to start talking about the parenting style you will employ when your child arrives. Be sure that you and your partner are on the same page by talking about the absolute musts and must-nots of parenting. For example, do you think a swat on a child’s behind is acceptable? If you both are not of the same mindset here, this could be a recipe for disaster.