We recently had our second baby. But we didn’t go into the situation lightly. Even though we’d been successful with our first child, we had a number of conversations and concerns to go along with the planning for our second. In my opinion, having a child is never something to be taken lightly…especially for the carrying parent (i.e. mom). Therefore, there were a number of topics we touched upon before having another baby.
How Much Will a Baby Cost?
Figuring out how much a baby will cost isn’t always that easy. There are the preparatory expenses for things like furniture, clothing, and doctors visits. There are the birthing costs. There are the costs after baby arrives that include food, diapers, wipes, more clothing, more doctors visit, medicine, and all the rest.
To get a better feel on our costs, we sat down and discussed our current insurance coverage and limit amounts to get an idea of how much we’d be paying in out-of-pocket costs for medical bills. Then we also came up with a general budget breakdown based upon what supplies we’d need to buy up front (baby swing, playard, clothing, car seat, etc.) and what general costs would be after the baby’s birth for things like diapers, wipes, food, and similar items. This way, we were both on the same page when it came to the costs involved with our second child.
Childcare and Career Affects
Childcare and the effects of a baby upon our careers could have some of the most significant financial impacts upon us. Coming up with a plan as to who was going to watch the baby, how maternity leave would be handled and for how long, and how we would integrate the care of our baby with the care of our five-year-old who is attending half-day kindergarten, were all aspects of our pre-baby discussions.
Short-term Finances and Emergency Funds
With my wife being off for the summer before the baby was born, and then taking another three months for maternity leave, plus buying a home during the pregnancy period, ensuring that our short-term finances were in order was of significant importance to us. We didn’t want cash flow issues, and with a child on the way, we wanted to ensure that we had an ample emergency fund on hand to cover any unforeseen issues. Laying out our baby costs and budget was helpful, but we also had to take time to sit down and review our overall financial situation and do some forecasting for the months after baby was born to ensure proper cash flow.
In my opinion, even mothers in the best physical shape and who take great care of themselves are at risk for issues during pregnancy. You just never know what could happen during surgery, and having a baby can result in major surgery. My wife — a type 1 diabetic — is already a higher risk pregnancy, and we were planning for a c-section, so while it wasn’t a fun topic, discussing how these issues could affect the pregnancy as well as the risks involved were all part of our pre-baby discussions.
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