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How to Plan Towards Having Your First Baby

In modern times like these, having a baby requires much planning, and affordability is one word we can somehow understand, without taking too many factors into consideration. More people are having fewer children which is in contrast to our parent’s generation, indicating that times have changed yet, the wage growth hasn’t increased significantly to keep pace with inflation.

But regardless of status or domicile, the cry of a firstborn is usually heartwarming and reinforces a sense of togetherness between husband and wife. In most circumstances, the couple’s joy knows no bounds as they are thrilled by the thought of becoming parents and hence, the reason why some important items are bought to meet the infant’s needs, making him or her feel comfortable in the new home.

When my husband and I were expecting our first child, space and affordability were two compelling constraints. Therefore, I should have made better choices by window shopping and comparing the costs and practicality of some products. Regrettably, I got carried away yet excelled  at one peculiar decision. So I’ve shared six tips to help plan towards your first baby.

Budget and checklist

You might be flustered or understandably overwhelmed by advice from friends and family but it’s also important to budget for what you can afford and what could be bought later. Items such as clothing, crib, diapers, feeding, medicine/health, bath, etc are bare essentials so browsing a few websites could give an idea of what your expenses and checklist may look like. Mamalette is an online community for pregnant women and first-time mums and has details of a ‘newborn essentials checklist.’ Furthermore, your doctor or midwife may provide a comprehensive list.

Hand-me-down items

Most new mums prefer to swaddle  their baby in new items and that’s okay but don’t be put off by hand-me-downs. Family and close friends may offer items which their kids hardly used. Clothing and feeding an infant aren’t the only expenses so a little help from others could save you some money.

Crib

We bought a standard crib which was okay but the convertible crib would have been ideal as it’s more versatile and convenient and comes with multifunctional features such as a changer and toddler bed. This crib is designed to grow with your child as it easily converts from a baby crib to a day bed, and some even convert to a twin size bed, suitable for older children.

While this crib is typically more expensive than other standard cribs, it’s a better investment and the best transition into a big kid’s bed. This product is sturdy so will last several years of your child’s life. Also when your child outgrows the bed, it can be passed down to younger siblings who may come along.

To view samples, please see Konga with prices ranging from N79,000 or for the less pricey, see Mumspring or Mothercare Nigeria. These are informative sites which provide convenient shopping and items for babies and new moms. However, if strapped for cash, you could consider buying a fairly used one via Jiji.ng, a Nigerian online marketplace where one can also source for used renowned UK or USA brands in children furniture, etc.

Baby bath

The simple baby bath is durable, inexpensive and readily available in most markets, yet the basic use could take its toll on your back. To ease the pain, there are folding baby bath stands which save you bending down while bathing your child and can be easily stored away. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way. The folding bath stand is compatible with most standard baby baths, but there’s a maximum weight of 5kg  (child).

Clothing

Newborns go through tons of clothes, so you’ll be changing them several times a day. Be that as it may, purchase few infant outfits and more of various and slightly bigger sizes. If you’re having a big baby or prefer to make wise choices, select clothing one size ahead of your child’s actual age as most babies quickly outgrow newborn clothes, and bigger kids completely skip the newborn range and start out with 3-6 months. Also, most sizes can be on the small size and usually shrink after the first few washes. Within six weeks, I couldn’t fit our son into the newborn clothes.

Savings account

Few months after the baby is born, open a savings account for him or her and pay any monetary gifts and subsequent savings into it. Saving for your child is an excellent gift for the future and you could start with as little as  N1,000 per month. If you’re unsure about what most banks offer, visit Moneyshop.com.ng and read through the various offers or you can speak to your bank. Like I said, I didn’t always make brilliant choices but opening a savings account was an excellent decision.

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Ngozika Oguekwe

Ngozika is an ardent writer with a knack for composing heartfelt articles. A master's degree holder in Housing Management and Policy from the University of Greenwich, England. But above all, a joyful wife and miraculously, sane mother of two brilliant boys. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @obi77ng

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