Are We Ready For a Baby

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Are We Ready For a Baby?

It’s all you can think about. You feel like you’ve reached a time in your life and a point in your relationship where you want a baby but are we ready for a baby? You know that holding your baby in your arms would be the most amazing feeling in the world, but you still have your anxieties about timing. Can we handle a baby right now? Do we know enough about babies? Will it be better if we wait a little longer?

While it’s normal for every future mother and father to feel nervous about bringing a baby into the world, it’s also important to be realistic when making your decision.

Only you and your partner know when you’re ready, but here are some points to contemplate and discuss when making the big decision.

Financial Stability

One of the first things a couple thinks about before they start trying is their financial situation. Everyone knows that having and raising a child is expensive, but how expensive exactly?

The average cost of raising a child until age 18 is $243,660 CAD, according to MoneySense.ca. That cost doesn’t even include college or university tuition.

Obviously, you don’t need to have all that money in the bank right now, but even getting ready and bringing the baby home may be a financial strain if you don’t plan ahead.

While the thought of having a baby can be very exciting, it’s important to look at the new expenses you will incur.

Let’s take a look at the expenses you’d have right now if you were to have a baby.

  • Pampers Swaddlers Diapers (100) – $38
  • Pampers Baby Wipes (1,024) – $24
  • Nestle Infant Formula (900g) – $25
  • Nursing Bra – $28
  • Crib – $200+
  • Crib Mattress – $60+
  • Crib Bedding – $60+
  • Infant Seat – $110+
  • Stroller – $120+

 

To calculate the cost of a baby according to your preferences, you can use this baby cost calculator.

It will be easier for you to afford the baby expenses if both you and your partner are in good financial standing. When you both feel secure in your career and have a stable source of income, you will feel less stressed during pregnancy as well. If you’re stressing to make ends meet every month, that will only amplify once you have a child.

If you’re not in a financial position to have a baby, sit down with your partner and discuss what you need to have before you start trying. Create a budget and brainstorm ideas on how you can start saving. The sooner you develop a plan, the sooner you’ll be financially prepared for a baby.

Ready to Settle Down

This may sound obvious, but some couples don’t realize exactly how much a baby will change their lives. Sit down and contemplate what you’re giving up and what you’re gaining and if you’re willing to make those sacrifices at the moment.

If you’re into clubbing every weekend and having wild nights, realize that your lifestyle will need to change. When you’re pregnant, you’ll need to stop drinking and smoking and you may feel too fatigued to go out altogether. Once you have your baby, your entire focus will be on your bundle of joy. Because your social life will change, you may notice a change in your friendships. The childless friends who you used to party with every weekend may slowly drift away. While you need to be ready for this, also realize the good news: Your real friends will stick with you and you may develop new “mother” friends who can better relate to you.

You should also realize that some of your dreams would need to be put on hold for a while. If you’ve dreamed of reaching a certain height in your career and you’re not there yet, realize you’ll have to pick that up again if you’re taking maternity leave. If your dream is to backpack around the world, realize that you probably won’t have time for that for at least a few years.

Here are a few lifestyle changes that may occur when you have your baby:

  • Fewer nights out/social events
  • Fewer vacations
  • Less time for your partner/date nights
  • Less frivolous spending if you need to save for your baby
  • Changing sleeping patterns because you’ll have to attend to your baby
  • Less time for hobbies and for yourself
  • Stopping smoking and drinking habits (at least while pregnant)
  • A health conscious mindset while pregnant (such as taking vitamins)

 

While the sacrifices will seem worth it when your baby is born, it’s important to sit down with your partner and discuss your expectations and the necessary changes. If both of you agree on the lifestyle changes and feel ready to settle down, then you can feel comfortable knowing that you’re both starting on the same page.

Relationship Stability

If you’re thinking about having a child with your partner, you should evaluate the stability of your relationship before you start trying.

If you and your partner have a generally harmonious relationship, bringing a baby into this world will be a lot easier. Decisions will be made with ease and you will feel comfortable knowing that you have your partner’s support both in pregnancy and while raising your bundle of joy.

However, if you and your partner frequently argue, don’t expect that to change once you get pregnant or once your baby is born. When there’s a baby involved, there’s many extra decisions to be made and discussions you will need to have. If you frequently disagree and aren’t skilled in conflict resolution, you will have added stress, which may negatively affect your chances of getting pregnant and your pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, your hormones will change, which could make frequent arguments more intense and could cause emotional instability. You want to be sure that your partner will understand these changes and will support you through the pregnancy.

Once the baby is born, you will also have less time to nurture your relationship with your partner, so developing a rock-solid relationship now will be easier.

If you’re worried about the stability of your relationship, consider couples therapy before making the big decision to start trying. Even couples who generally get along may benefit from therapy and experience a closer bond and better understanding of their partner.

You Both Want to Start Trying

If both you and your partner genuinely want to have a child, you will both feel enthusiastic when the test is positive.

No partner should feel pressured into making the biggest decision of his or her life. While it’s completely normal for both partners to feel a bit anxious and nervous, you should both agree that now is the right time.

If you’re worried that your biological clock is running out and your partner is unsure, try talking to him in a way that expresses your feelings but doesn’t pressure him. If you feel like your partner is pressuring you to start a family, talk to him honestly about your worries and when you feel would be a better time.

Alternatively, you may both feel pressure from your families, friends, society or your culture to have a child right now. If that’s the case, realize that it’s your life that will change and it’s your decision. You and your partner are the only ones who can truly know if you’re ready.

If either of you feels reluctant, sit down together and discuss exactly what life would look like when you’re both ready. When you’re pregnant, there’s nothing better than a partner who is as excited as you are.

These are some points to think about and discuss with your partner when making the decision to start trying. However, it’s important to note that only you and your partner will know if you’re ready. No guide on the Internet or advice from a friend will give you a definitive answer. Looking at the factors and having an open dialogue with your partner will give you the best answer.

You should also realize that getting pregnant, giving birth and raising a child is an entirely new experience. Because it’s different than anything you’ve been through before, it’s impossible to feel 100% prepared. You will have questions and worries. All you can do is build a strong foundation to start with and learn and grow through the process.

After considering the above points, do you feel ready to have a baby? Comment below! If this post helped you make your decision, share it with others to help them, too!

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