Prepping for a baby can be overwhelming. Take it from a mom of 2 (soon to be 3!) boys on tips I've learned to have ready before the little one makes its arrival.
*Know your maternity leave and family leave benefits.
Review how much paid time you have through your employer. This will help you plan out your schedules ahead of time. Also, if you want or need to take more time off than what's given, look at how much PTO you have outside of maternity leave benefits. If you have a spouse or partner, make sure that they look at their family leave as well.
*Build your short-term savings.
Unfortunately, standard maternity leave in the U.S. is about 12 weeks (3 months). For many moms, this is not a lot of time to physically or mentally recover and adjust to your new life. Consider building your short-term savings beyond what you already have to potentially cover unpaid time off. It's important to remember that there is no shame in wanting to have more time with your baby.
*Buy and receive second hand.
Babies grow fast, which means that you'll be going through clothes, diapers and baby items pretty quickly. Consider second-hand items that you can pass down to someone else when you're done or save if you plan on more kids. For baby showers, ask family and friends to contribute to larger ticket items like car seats (car seats have an expiration, so you don't want to get these second-hand to begin with).
*Ask for help.
This was one of the hardest lessons I learned as a mom. Whether you're going back to work shortly after maternity leave or you're a stay-at-home mom, you need help. Start looking at childcare options before your baby comes and how much it will cost. Review your budget to see what adjustments need to be made.
While it's hard to be completely prepared before baby comes, these tips have helped me with feel less anxious going into a new chapter of my life. At the end of the day, know that you got this!