Little Debt Wrangler Coming Soon, Any Advice?

Newborn Grip

For those that are unaware, my wife and I are about to have a baby (Boy!).  It is t-minus 3 weeks until the expected arrival date and I am very excited, yet nervous.  I am a very detailed planner that needs structure.  I like to have a game plan for everything, with backup plans for those plans.  I have always been this way, but it has been magnified since I started getting out of debt (planning budgets, baby!).  This aspect of me has always irritated my wife.  She plans nothing and I mean nothing, so it is left up to me.  This aspect of her irritates me, but we balance each other out pretty well.  Since I have known that she was pregnant, I have been planning like a mad man.  The problem is that I have no idea what to expect and I need some advice.

First Trimester

The first trimester was a good one for my wife.  She didn’t have morning sickness or feel bad, so we consider it a win for her.  I was busy starting my baby planning with what we need to purchase, what we can get from friends and family, and how well I think I am going to be as a parent.  The beginning was a busy time for us, and my brain was on overdrive.

I put together lists of everything that I think we needed.  I read blogs, articles, magazines, and books (my wife’s “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“) about babies and parenting.  This was extremely overwhelming.  I found that there are so many different methods and ideas that I couldn’t come up with a happy medium.  If you are planner, then you know how not having a solution can be stressful.

Second Trimester

This time was also pretty good for my wife.  She started glowing, growing, and showing.  People were so happy to hear about the baby and that is when the questions started coming.

Are you going to create a nursery?

Are you going to move?

Are you going to take time off from work?

Are you going to be a stay-at-home parent?

Are you going to find a second job?

What daycare are you going to use?

When’s your baby shower?

etc., etc. etc.

These were just a small fraction of the questions that my wife and I received.  When I get questions, I like to find answers.  I took to my books and articles to get a grip on what needed to be done.  “What was best for myself and my family?“, I asked myself.  I just needed to come up with the answers that suited my wife and myself.

Third and Final Trimester

The home stretch.  We are currently in the last trimester and my wife is now considered full term as of this post, so baby debt wrangler can come at any time.  The last two months have been busy, very busy.  We have been buying things left and right, getting the nursery together, getting arrangements for daycare, and piecing together the odds and ends.

As the day gets closer (at least the estimated day), I am wondering what to expect.  I know that many indicate that I should enjoy my sleep now, but the unknown is what is keeping me up at night.  Planners don’t like the unknown and I am no exception.  I like game plans, strategies, and paths toward my goal.  Having a baby is about to throw a wrench into my planning mindset.

Don’t take that comment the wrong way, I am EXTREMELY excited about having a baby.  I know that there is no perfect time to have a child, but I feel this is the best time that I can come up with.  I just wish I had a little more control over what is about to happen.  Now, I just need some advice to ease my mind.

To all of you who have had children, do you have any tips or tricks?

Photo via Jason Pratt

About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

Gillian @ Money After Graduation says November 29

Congratulations! Having a baby will change everything ! It will be more difficult financially, but it will so be worth it !

    Grayson says November 29

    Thanks Gillian. I think trying to come up with a budget has been the hardest. I appreciate the comment.

Michelle says November 29

Congrats! Very exciting!

    Grayson says November 29

    Thank you Michelle. Exciting and nerve racking all at the same time!

John S @ Frugal Rules says November 29

Congrats! I remember having our first, it was such an awesome time. Coming from a fellow planner ( and that’s putting it LIGHTLY) that baby is going to throw a major wrench at the planning…and that’s ok, you learn to adjust. 🙂

My advice is to enjoy every moment to its fullest with that new little one. There’s nothing quite like seeing your child be born and spending those first few moments and days with it. If you’re planning the date he’ll be born, then take your wife out for a nice meal a few days before to just enjoy the two of you. On a more practical note, try and make and freeze some meals prior to his birth. You’d be amazed at how much time a little one can be and the last thing you’ll want to do is make dinner. If you freeze some meals before hand you can just pull a meal out and heat it up. I could go on, but my main advice is to enjoy this time to the fullest.

    Grayson says November 29

    Thanks John. I appreciate it. Great advice. I really want to enjoy this time. I need to figure out how to keep the blog going during the time that I am with him. I think I will have to do some serious post schedules and guest posting. I really can’t wait. Thanks again, John!

Canadian Budget Binder says November 29

Congratulations Mate, how exciting. I’m afraid I can’t offer any tips as we have no kids although I did recently find out you can buy home pregnancy tests at the dollar store although you are well past that stage. Cheers and congrats again! Mr.CBB

    Grayson says November 29

    Thanks Mr. CBB. Yeah, we definitely don’t need a home pregnancy test, but I did like the post. If they work, why not use them. There is such a bad stigma about the dollar store.

Sicorra@TacklingOurDebt says November 29

This is a sweet post! Congratulations! I smiled the whole time I was reading it.

I too am a planner so even though I do not have kids I can understand what you are going through.

I think John offered some great advice for you.

As well, sometimes we can plan and plan but things will work out differently and that is okay too. Wishing you a healthy and happy baby!!

    Grayson says November 29

    Thank you Sicorra. I can only plan so much, but in times like this, I welcome a little deviation.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar says November 30

Congrats on the upcoming wrangler. My biggest mistakes with a newborn were just feeling like I had to get everything done. You can’t. It’s OK. As far as sleep, you probably won’t get much, and that’s OK too. You will learn to feel like 3-5 hours is well rested. My husband and I would take shifts from 10-2 one of us was on and from 2-6, the other was. Being “off duty” seemed to help me sleep better. It’s hard, but the sooner you can put the baby in it’s own room, the better everyone sleeps. Although it took us a couple of months to be OK with that. I was also a nazi about kicking people out at naptime or bedtime. Everyone wants to see the baby, but sometimes you just have to choose what the baby needs. Oddly, the more tired they are the worse they sleep. Finally, don’t be offended if you wife completely ignores you for a while. The baby takes everything, but you get much more back and it gets so much easier after the first three months. Babies change so fast, so try to enjoy each stage. You’ll do great.

    Grayson says November 30

    Thanks Kim. You have some great tips here that will really help. I know we are going to be tired, but I think the journey will be well worth it.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor says December 1

Congrats, a new little one is so exciting! We don’t have kids so I can’t give any advice from personal experience, but I’ve been told by my sisters that having everything set up before the baby arrives is really important. ie. wash all of the new outfits, organize the diaper station, set up anything that has batteries (monitors etc. and test them to make sure they work). That way when the baby arrives you’re not running around like a mad man trying to finish everything. But since you’re a planner, I’m sure all of this is already done 🙂

    Grayson says December 1

    Thank KK. I appreciate the advice. You hit the nail on the head about me already having it setup. I have had it done for some time now, but I am looking over each aspect to make sure I have it all done. Thanks for stopping by.

Jon @ Pay My Student Loans says December 1

Congratulations on the baby! My wife and I are expecting in 4 months so a little behind you. I have done my best to create lists of everything we need…the best tool I have found for that is cross referencing the lists people create on Amazon and then creating my own based on that.

It took some doing but I think I was able to get a bunch of items that will be helpful I otherwise would have missed.

We still have a ton to do before the baby gets here but a plan in place to get it all ready.

Best of luck!

    Grayson says December 1

    Thank you Jon and congratulations to you as well. You idea of cross-referencing is great and I did a little of that myself. Things will pick up for you in about 2 months when you get into the final phase of planning. Even though you plan, there will probably be something missed.

savingadvice says December 2

Congratulations and get ready for some big changes (sleep deprivation possibly being the biggest one). I think the biggest challenge (on the financial side) will be figuring out what you need and don’t need. Many new parents quickly figure out that all those things that they thought they needed weren’t really necessary, but some are essential. And definitely go with the hand me downs / used baby clothes — they grow so fast that they hardly have a chance to wear stuff before they grow out of them.

    Grayson says December 2

    Thanks Jeffrey. I appreciate it. I got some of the same tips from my family. Luckily, we received many hand me downs, but it has been hard controlling my wife when she buys clothes she loves. I don’t really have a problem with that, but she just loves to spend.

Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy says December 2

Oh man, those first weeks were such an incredibly groggy blur..let’s see if I can rattle off a few things.

The wee one will need to feed every two to three hours so sleep deprivation is the worst. Babies are used to being in the womb and therefore feel overwhelmed by stimulation so learn how to swaddle properly! Ask a nurse at the hospital about proper swaddling techniques, as the nurses and staff at the nursery are very helpful. Also, frozen meals are a definite must. Cram as many dinners into your freezer as you can fit. Friends and family brought us pans of frozen lasagna, etc. and it was such a god send for us after the fact. Make sure you have a sufficient stockpile of diapers (and formula, if you are going that route.) If your wife is planning to nurse, slap the baby on the boob as soon as possible after birth for colostrum. Her milk will also need a few days to fully come in; allowing the baby to suckle as much as possible will stimulate milk flow even quicker.

Unfortunately only God and little baby Grayson know what type of delivery it will be, so try to stay flexible enough to go with the flow during delivery. In other words, if you have a birthing plan, don’t be too disappointed if things gets disrupted somewhere. Just keep an open mind and relax into the birthing experience as much as possible. At some point your wife will probably look deeply inward in order to cope with contractions, and thus not be able to speak for herself – you are her mouthpiece during this critical time!

Lastly, you are about to go through such an incredible journey. Cherish every moment! I stared in awe at Lexi for hours after giving birth to her, I was just so exhaustively smitten. 🙂

    Grayson says December 2

    Wow, Jennifer. This is awesome information. Thank you very much for this. I am going to use this advice for sure and I hope everything goes well. Thank you again Jennifer for stopping by and providing your advice. I hope you have a great week!

jim says January 6

Congrats! No doubt that little angel has already made his/her debut. Bet you guys are totally exhausted. Yep, been there, done that. Just remember you will eventually sleep thru the nite again.

Buy used – USED everything. I mean it. The baby will never know and if you take proper precautions to ensure that whatever you bring into your home for the little one is safe & sanitary you can finance his/her college with the savings you’ll have.

ditto the enjoy every moment comments – they grow up faster than you can imagine – but keep that budget under control. Best of luck.

    Grayson says January 6

    Thank you Jim. I appreciate the advice. My son has been born and he is a joy to be around when he is not crying. I don’t even know if I sleep anymore, but I am working on it. I agree with the used sentiment.

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