1. The clothes
Your new baby will need clean clothes appropriate for the weather. Think about packing a couple onesies in your hospital bag, and possibly a blanket and a hat if it’s cold out. You’ll also want a large rotation of clean comfy outfits at home, for both you and your newborn.
It can’t be stressed enough that you’ll want to stock up on plenty of diapers. When you finally have your beautiful baby in your arms a trip to the store will be the last thing on your mind.
2. The family
Who’s coming to visit? When are they coming? Where will they stay? Can they be expected to be put on babysitting duty, or just expected to do baby cuddling?
The weeks leading up to your due date can be stressful, and the last thing you’ll want to deal with after your newborn arrives is family politics. Make arrangements now, set some expectations and ground rules, and everyone will be happier when the time comes.
3. The home
Baby-proofing isn’t a huge concern with a newborn, as they can’t get into too much trouble until they’re crawling. Instead, consider what you’ll need as you recover, like having some pre-cooked meals on hand or a thoroughly cleaned home you don’t need to worry about.
Think of any chores you get done now like a gift you’re giving to your future self.
Also, don’t sweat it if your nursery isn’t perfect by the time baby arrives. In those early days, decorations are more for the parents than for anyone else. Just make sure that you’ve got a place for your little one to sleep, and somewhere to change their diapers. Have you stocked up on diapers in the last five paragraphs?
4. The 529 account
Pregnancy and long term financial planning go together like PB & J. Starting a college savings account early (like today) can have a huge impact on the total money you save.
Even just starting to put away $50 a month can result in many thousands of extra dollars saved over the course of several years. Whether you save enough to entirely pay for tuition or not, every dollar you don’t need to take out in loans is really valuable.
Our partners at T. Rowe Price offer 529 College Savings plans that were ranked “Gold” by Morningstar, an independent investment research firm. T. Rowe Price has lots of great information, and their finance professionals are available to answer any questions you may have. Consider starting a 529 while you’ve still got the time and energy!
Whether this is your first child, or you’ve done this before, get ready to experience something completely new. How does it feel to hold your new baby? What’s it like to have a new member of the family in your home, or to introduce your baby to their sibling, to their uncle or their grandmother?
In preparing yourself, be ready to take it easy. Enjoy it. Don’t be self-conscious if you can’t stop nibbling toes or are worried that your baby looks more like you than your partner. There will be waves of powerful emotions, and you’ve just got to ride them. You’ll be great, and who knows? You might like it so much you decide to have another!
When it comes to preparing for the big day, you can’t look too far into the future. They say that kids grow up fast, and whoever they are, they’re right.
Consider starting a 529 College Savings Plan with our partners at T. Rowe Price
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of a 529 plan is the ability for friends and family to easily contribute. While college seems a lifetime away, your little one’s first birthday will be here before you know it. Can you think of a better first present than a college education?
Tap below to learn more about starting a 529.
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