Monday, April 15, 2019

3 Big Decisions You Should Make Before Baby

One of the unexpected things about having a baby is the sheer number of decisions you're suddenly faced with. Not just what colour to paint the nursery walls, or which brand of stroller to buy, but serious decisions with far-reaching consequences that can go way beyond the cosy newborn days. A lot of them will need to be agreed with your partner, and it's far better to discuss them in advance, without the crazy postpartum hormones and tiredness that can cloud your judgement during baby's first few weeks. Don't wait until the last minute to make decisions when you may be left with limited options. Get ahead of things by considering the below issues well before your due date…

Childcare Provider?

Maternity leave can seem endless when you're at the top end of it, but those weeks soon race by, and you'll be much better off if you've thought about your childcare arrangements long before they have to become a reality. Most decent nurseries and childminders have a waiting list, and you will want time to visit and meet them before making a commitment. If you are relying on any family help, make sure everyone involved is absolutely clear about what they're doing. Don't make the mistake of assuming grandparents will be willing to step in without having an honest, unpressured conversation and clarifying exactly what you both expect. You may not fully know in the early days whether you're planning to go back to work full or part time, do shared parental leave with a partner or even stay off unpaid for a bit, so it's worth doing a bit of scenario planning and working out what your childcare options and costs will be for each case.

Eco Friendly?

If there's one thing babies come with, it's a lot of accessories, so it's worth taking a moment to consider your values and how environmentally conscious you want to be in your product choices. It's a personal decision, but you may decide to opt for cloth diapers rather than disposables, and you can also source reusable wipes. These all mean extra laundry to do, so make sure you're aware of the implications. You may also decide that you only want to use natural and organic products for your baby's skin as well, or on yourself while you may be breastfeeding. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can to make sure the choice fits your lifestyle.

Bottle Or Breast?

The choice of whether or not to breastfeed your baby can be highly emotive, and many new mothers feel incredible pressure to go in one direction or the other. Put some thought into the benefits, difficulties and requirements for each. Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable to begin with, difficult to establish and you will not be sure how much milk the baby is taking. On the other hand, once you get going you don't need any equipment and can feed anywhere. If you choose to bottle feed, selecting the right formula for your baby is a big consideration, and you will also need a sterilisers, bottles and other things, but it does mean a little more freedom as others can feed your child. Look at the benefits of both and don't be afraid to hedge your bets - even if you choose to try breastfeeding, just knowing that you have a small stock of readymade baby milk stashed in the cupboard can take the pressure off if it's tough at first.

This post is contributed.
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