A lot of couples plan a baby to complete the picture of a perfect life. Though there are many ways of testing your body to see if it is ready to have a baby, there is no concrete method of deciding if you and your partner are ready to handle a baby. The simplest way of finding out if both of you are ready for a baby is by asking yourself some practical questions.
Let's see what factors you need to look at before you have a baby.
Why do you want a Baby?
Having a baby is described as a beautiful experience by almost all parents. People have different reasons for having a baby, when they decide to have one. Perhaps the most common reason is, because they want to bring their own into the world, which is a very practical and genuine reason. But there are a lot of factors you must weigh in before you decide to have a baby.
Firstly, you must evaluate your financial state. Having a baby can be an expensive proposition.
Evaluate if you are emotionally ready to handle a baby. Parenthood is a huge responsibility, so you must ask yourselves if you can handle that level of pressure.
Do not have a baby to fix relationship problems. It is an absolute no-no. Having a baby will not ease the tension; instead it will complicate the relationship.
Even if there are not any relationship issues between both of you, having a baby brings a new equation between the parents. It is a positive change that requires patience, compromise and adjustments but you must know about this change and be prepared to embrace it.
Do not go for a baby impulsively, just for the experience.
If one of you is still unsure about having a baby, postpone the idea. It is mandatory to be 100% sure before you have a baby.
Do not have a baby just to appease your parents or in-laws.
Definitely do not have a baby to fit in with your friends who are new moms.
Social life takes a hit after having a baby. Both you and your partner need to sit down and discuss this change and decide if you are both prepared for it.
Working women need to know that returning to work after having a baby may not be as easy they think! Also, the expenses when they are on maternity leave or unemployed may be very high. These expenses must be calculated before having a baby.
And if you still have some doubts, consult a good counselor.
Also, it is vital that you speak to mothers about their entire experience and the consequences of having a baby.
Are you ready for Life after a Baby?
Firstly, babies come with a lot of expenses. There are the hospital bills before and after delivery. Babies require new items like clothes, diapers, crib, toys, stroller, car seat, baby food, baby toiletries, and sometimes medication. Even the new mother may need medication, depending no the type of delivery.
Secondly, babies can really turn your life upside down! They cry all night, they require special mode of transport (you can not really get into a crowded bus with a baby that's a few days old), they require attention all the time, and they will have you on your toes once they start walking and moving around. The sleep deprivation itself can put a lot of pressure on you.
It is also possible that babies can lead to stressful situations around the house. It is not uncommon to hear about partners who argue over sharing parental duties. Taking care of a baby is not all about playing with it and watching it do funny or cute things. Although you will have some very special moments with your baby, a majority of your time will be spent on taking care of it and attending to its needs.
Preparing for a Baby
However, if both of you have decided that you are ready for a baby, there are a few things you must do to ensure you are emotionally, financially and physically prepared to care for your little wonder!
Go through tests recommended by a doctor to ensure that you can have a safe and normal delivery. Enquire about what medication you need to take or quit, so that it does not affect the baby.
Prepare a budget or expenses list. As mentioned earlier, having a baby can bring around a lot of expenses, even some hidden ones. Sniff them out and write them down so that you can plan your finances.
Nutrition is very important to an expecting mother. Find out what foods are best for you and alter your diet if required.
Speak to your doctor about dos and don'ts. There could be many daily activities that could be harmful for your child, for example, smoking or drinking.
Read books about having a baby, and about parenting. The more self-help books you read, the better prepared you will be.
Talk to other parents about their experiences and events that caught them off-guard. This will ensure you are better prepared for your baby.
Take care of a baby for an entire day. Go over to a friend's or relative's place and take care of the baby, and see what it feels like. You will learn a lot of new things about baby care!
Decide on roles. Both parents need to come to a decision about how they will share duties. This helps greatly in reducing stress after you have the baby.
Expecting women may need to go on medication for a normal delivery, in some cases. Find out if any such medication is required in your case.
Hopefully, this should help you decide if you are ready for a baby. But there's no need to be over-cautious, as most parents just dive right in!
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- The Indiaparenting Team
Are you planning on having a baby? Have you thought it out properly with your partner? Have you asked yourself why you want to have a baby?
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