glopsey's picture

The First Year

My fiancee and I want to start trying for a kids a few months after our marriage. What was it like for the first year being a parent? About how much minimum did a first baby cost you in diapers, food, medicine, and other basic needs? What were the best baby items you had? What would you/ would you not suggest?

I also want our child to have breast milk, but for how long? When to wean? I've heard a year, I've heard to start at 6 months, and all sorts of stuff.

What are the best diapers to get so they have less of a chance of getting diaper rash?

Add anything else that would be helpful to first year parents.

acitez's picture

What's it like for the first year? Fatigue, big adjustment--which means stress and sometimes means depression, irreplaceable moments: successfully soothing a screaming baby, the amazing morning when you first get 5 hours sleep in a row, a toothless grin.

Financial info--I have no idea. If you get used clothing (babies grow out of clothes long before the clothes look worn) and second-hand furniture you can probably $ave lot$. Most kids do okay with disposable diapers, which is a big part of the budget. Most kids also get diaper rash from time to time. If you put cornstarch on the weeping areas it will usually clear up, and you can use plain old cooking cornstarch, which will save a few pennies. Get a different box than the one you use in the kitchen, you don't want the cook's hands to be all diapery. ; )

Be sure to let your spouse know that you appreciate whatever role(s) they are filling. Earning money, taking primary responsibility for the baby's needs, housework, errands; none of these things should pass without a sincere, thoughtful, "Thank you."

If you have living parents of your own, and they aren't nuts or evil, they are a great resource, as is your pediatrician, and your peers who are parents.

When you have a young infant, it is important that the child learn that you will respond quickly to the child's cries of distress. This goes on for most of the first year. That is where the fatigue comes from. I had one child that didn't sleep through the night til she was three. Yes, I mean three years old, not months.

You will screw up from time to time. Just try to learn from it and go on. Don't be embarrassed to take the baby to the doctor if you can't figure out what's going on.

tamz's picture

Cloth nappies are so easy these days. You can get so many different types and they are shaped, have velcro or poppers, have soft liners etc. You put a one-way disposable liner in them which can be flushed when soiled. Just put them in a covered plastic bin to soak. You can get sanitising liquid or powder but it is optional. Then you just wash them in the machine. You should check the options out. <--- Stolen from a post that "juni" added for a mother asking about cloth diapers... As far as nursing, if you are successful then do it for the firt year. I did pump my milk to send to the sitter and for others to be able to feed baby.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Stock up on lots of coffee! HA! The first yr is rough, I won't lie to you. Especially the first several mos when the baby doesn't sleep through the night. Having a baby changes EVERYTHING! It's not about you and your husband anymore; it's all about the baby. Make sure if you're going to have a baby right away, you're prepared. I was pregnant w/ my first child w/in a mo after my husband and I got married. We lived together for a few yrs, however, before that, so we did get a chance to do our own things for a while. Believe me when I say having a baby changes everything. And yes, it is expensive. You'll spend hundreds per month on diapers and baby food/formula alone. Add the cost of clothes, toys, all adds up. My husband was clueless going into the whole experience. He had no idea it was going to take so much work.
If you can, try to find a family member or friend to help you. Also, breast feeding is great if you can do it. I had a difficult time, and finally after mos of pumping, I resorted to formula. You can save money using cloth diapers instead of disposable ones, but we found that the best diapers and wipes were Pampers disposable. We stocked up on all the necessities b/c it's hard to get out of the house w/ a newborn. That helped.
Overall, the experience of having a baby is incredible and such a blessing. If you're prepared, it will make things a bit easier for you, and if it just happens unexpectedly, you still make do. You can't plan everything in life. Whatever way things go for you, I wish you all the best.