Between ob-gyn check-ups, home retrofits and lifestyle changes, getting ready for your first child can be a complicated affair.
This goes double especially for inexperienced new parents. We’re here to help. Follow these 12 steps to cover the basics, so you can better focus on welcoming your baby.
DURING YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER
- Child-proof Your Home (and Car)
Unless you’re a veteran in DIY home-improvement projects, you’re likely to underestimate how long child-proofing your home can take you. Leaving things to the last moment can mean getting caught up with other more urgent tasks as the big day draws near. To avoid this, get started on child-proofing your home as soon as you can. While you’re at it, don’t forget to child-proof your car too.
- Set a Budget
With hospital bills, maternity wear, health supplements, baby supplies, etc., having a child comes with plenty of things to pay for. To make sure you aren’t caught short, prepare a pregnancy & baby budget once the news is confirmed. Getting clarity of your finances in the short term will alert you to a potential fund shortage, allowing you time to consider options such as personal loans or drawdowns from your life insurance policies.
- Evaluate Your Long-term Finances
Because having a baby is a significant financial commitment, the next step is to evaluate your finances for the long term. Discuss some of these topics below with your spouse:
- Do you have enough life insurance to safeguard against the unexpected?
- What happens should you or your spouse meet with illness or an accident?
- Will you be able to pay your children’s university fees?
- Can you afford to move to a larger flat to accommodate your growing child’s needs?
Make a note of these and other financially challenging changes, so you can start exploring options for meeting them.
- Purchase Life Insurance
Now that your child is on the way, you’ll need to cater to the realities of having dependants. Life insurance is the logical choice to provide the safety net your family needs. During your research, you’ll likely encounter whole life insurance and term life insurance as the two most common options. If budget is a concern, consider going for term life insurance, which has lower premiums. A term life policy is also renewable, providing a greater degree of flexibility to your family.
DURING YOUR SECOND TRIMESTER
- Get Pregnancy Insurance
Although Singaporeans can use Medisave to help defray the costs of giving birth, unexpected developments can mean suddenly busting your budget by thousands of dollars. Maternity insurance plans are an affordable way to prevent such debts. These insurance policies not only protect against pregnancy complications, they also transfer to the child upon birth. Some maternity plans also convert into a life insurance policy for your baby.
- Set Up Your Nursery
With a wider range of models and the possibility of great savings, buying your baby cot online is an attractive option. However, wrong deliveries, defects or other issues might require a return or exchange. Hence, it’s a good idea to get your nursery ready months in advance. That way, you’ll have sufficient time to deal with any hiccups.
- Prepare Your Birth Plan
Childbirth can be a nerve-wrecking experience, but having a birth plan can greatly reduce your anxiety. Basically, it’s a plan that details the logistics leading up to and including the big day. You should also take the chance to list the tasks you’ll need help with, and nominate suitable friends and family members who will fulfil them.
DURING YOUR THIRD TRIMESTER
- Start an Endowment Savings Plan
A good way to start saving for your child’s university fees is to start an endowment plan. This is a type of insurance policy focused on saving up money, with an investment component that helps to grow your savings. Selecting an endowment plan that matures in 18 or 21 years can provide the necessary funds when your baby is ready to start tertiary education.
- Stock Up on Baby Essentials
Diapers, formula, baby wipes, hypoallergenic toiletries, baby bathtub… a new-born needs a surprising amount of stuff. Stocking up on the essentials weeks before can help you manage your budget by spreading the spending across a few months. It is also easier to plan for storage when you have a visual estimate of how much space you need.
ONE WEEK BEFORE
- Put Together a Hospital Bag
This is another essential item that is easy to overlook, but you’ll be glad you prepared beforehand. Find a clean duffel bag and pack some comfortable clothes, toiletries, personal effects and other essentials. Then, store the hospital bag where you’re likely to see it on your way out the door. To help keep the contents fresh, include a deodorising pack.
- Cook and Freeze Meals
Having a home-cooked meal can be a wonderful way to celebrate coming home from the hospital. To that end, try having your favourite meals prepared in advance, and neatly stored in the freezer. These ready meals will also make for convenient and delicious ways to feed hungry helpers and visitors.
- Clean the House
Before things get too crazy, get a cleaning crew to come in and give your home a thorough cleaning. While they’re at it, ask them to help arrange your belongings so you’ll have an easier time moving around, especially with baby in your arms. After all, a clean and tidy home is essential for the well-being and comfort of both mother and child.
Coming home with your baby is just the start of a special, lifelong journey, with many beautiful moments to be discovered and shared. Protect your new family against the unforeseen with a life insurance policy and get the peace of mind you will cherish for life.