The last trimester of pregnancy can be a hectic time for parents. There are a number of tasks – big and small – to think of, from putting together a bag for the hospital, stocking up on diapers and formula, to setting up the nursery. While it’s normal for some things to fall through the cracks, it may be worth getting some of the more important tasks out of the way early on. Here are some of the things all families should get ahead of before a baby is born:
Plan parental leave
It’s important to discuss maternity and/or paternity leave with reporting managers as early as possible so the company can plan for an extended absence. Read the leave policy carefully to understand what parental leave is offered and talk to HR. “Parental leave differs substantially from one workplace to the next, so it’s possible that one parent may have more flexibility than the other – some parents choose to stagger their leave while others take it at the same time,” Daryl Klump, financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual, says. “Some managers may also be comfortable with combining some personal leave with parental leave.”
Babyproof the house
Many parents don’t babyproof the house early on, thinking that they’ll have some time before their child starts crawling. But remember that babyproofing can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Parents will need to be on the lookout for sharp corners, unsecured furniture, and unlocked cabinets – especially those with cleaning products or other chemicals. Doing this effectively takes time, and once the baby arrives, parents may have neither time nor energy to do a thorough inspection of the house. Prioritizing babyproofing the house during the pregnancy may save new parents a lot of time later.
Get life insurance
For young parents who don’t already have life insurance, the arrival of a first child (or a second or third) is often the impetus to get life insurance for the first time. Term life insurance can be a good option for parents on a budget. “Having insurance in place can give peace of mind that children will be provided for, even if the unexpected happens,” Klump says.
Create a new budget
Parents-to-be may already have a budget that works well for their lifestyle, but the arrival of a baby can change everything. Not only will there be one-time expenses like cribs, room décor, and baby monitors, but also plenty of recurring expenses such as formula, clothes, toys, diapers and day care. Expectant parents can prepare by conducting some research into the cost of these items and making room in the budget. Friends and family may sometimes provide some of these items as gifts, but at least the recurring expenses can be considered in the new budget.
Discuss a visit plan with family
New parents have widely differing views on visits from loved ones soon after the arrival of a baby. Some parents love introducing their baby to the family. They may want close relations or grandparents to spend a week or two for additional support. Others feel frazzled and are ultra-focused on the baby; they may not want to be distracted by guests or visitors. No matter what the preference, this is a conversation that expectant parents should try to have with family and friends before the baby arrives. Talk about when and if visits are appreciated and reduce overwhelm by creating a schedule so that visitors don’t overlap.
Source: Northwestern Mutual
Contact: Don Klein, 1-800-323-7033
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