Actually, one cannot prepare extensively enough for the first child. Just, why then many couples do not start until they are really in "other circumstances"?
Name. Room. Stroller. Home. Work. Money. Relationship. These terms cover only a small part of what fathers and mothers have to worry about when things get "serious". However, especially those who either work single-mindedly towards their first child or at least follow the maxim "if it happens, it happens" often make a capital mistake: they only start thinking seriously about all the really weighty issues when not only the pregnancy test shows the famous streak, but also the gynecologist confirms the matter. Why actually? And what can you prepare sensibly already in the "planning phase" without appearing desperate or rash to friends and family?? To all this the following article gives the answers.
1. Preparation before pregnancy?
Who does not have a child, knows in the rarest cases really, which avalanche of work rolls towards one. To clarify a little, the first chapter wants to show that there are really good reasons for "pre-preparation.
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Nine months is simply too little – and unrealistic
Nine months, 40 weeks, three quarters of a year. This sounds like a lot of time in the ears of most people. But what many therefore also translate as "280 days of preparation time" is actually much shorter on many levels..
It begins with the fact that the thing with the 280 days is actually based on a rather spongy calculation. Namely, from the end of the last period until delivery. And even if every gynecologist between helsinki and cape town uses this method of calculation, it is still not more accurate – because there are simply at least two weeks between the period and fertilization, which are added "pi by thumb". It's no surprise that researchers recently found that the average length of pregnancy is only 268 days – almost two weeks less than commonly believed.
But even these days you have in the very rarest cases. Pregnancy tests are only reliable two weeks after ovulation. And for most women, the suspicion that "something is wrong" only arises when the next period fails to arrive – another two weeks or so less.
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Of course, with a wink, one could now point out the average waiting time for an appointment with the gynecologist, which ensures that the preparation time is shortened once again, because very few people trust the pregnancy test alone and do not prepare anything at all until the gynecologist also confirms the situation. Not to forget the "perplexity and joy period", during which the prospective first-time parents are in a state of shock (positive or negative), and again can't really get anything together for a few days.
Even if it is a completely normal pregnancy and the child does not decide to meet its parents a few days or even weeks earlier, in reality there are at most seven real months of preparation time – from which countless days are deducted. Be it for check-ups, sundays and holidays, "mommy-doesn't-feel-good" days or other "downtime", especially in the last weeks of pregnancy.
And these seven months are indeed, as most parents will confirm, very little, if they still have to deal with normal work and co. Be fully loaded. So there are very good reasons to simply outsource part of the preparations.
When can you start preparing?
The short answer: from now, immediately. The more detailed (and serious): from the moment both partners agree "we want a child". Whether they do it in the classic "competitive" way, making the most of every fertile day, or in the laissez-faire way, where sex life just continues as normal, just without contraception, is secondary.
The trick is to accept that from this point on, sooner or later, you will have offspring. And once this decision has been made, no matter how long the following phase will last, it is perfectly legitimate to focus on various preparations. Of course, only what really works even without an existing child – anyone who goes to the boss right now and says "I'm going to apply for parental leave sometime in the next few years" will at most earn a bemused, head-shaking smile.
2. The simple preparatory work
There are enough reasons. But nobody likes to jump into cold water. So for now, it's enough to deal with preparations that are little more than an exchange between dad and mom-to-be.
The name of the child
You don't have to use the age-old movie cliche of the new father who, in his joyful confusion, makes a capital mistake in registering the name on the birth certificate to understand the purpose of this preparatory work. In fact, it is the easiest job. In most serious relationships there comes a time when you ask your partner something like "what would you name a child??". But what is still banter in such cases, one should raise to a serious level with the firm desire to have children. But how to find a child name? It's very simple: husband and wife search separately for something suitable for both girls and boys, and put ten or twenty of the names they find most attractive on a list.
Once that's done, it's time to compare and sift. If the result is a boy's name and a girl's name that both can agree on, this chapter is over. If not, the round is restarted as many times as necessary to reach a consensus.
Getting acquainted with the child's topic
In most cases, the first child turns a previous relationship with all its established and pleasant realities upside down. But once the time has come for the mommy bump to get rounder every day, the sober theory is over and the clock starts ticking.
Therefore you can already start to deal with the huge theoretical knowledge base that helps you to become a parent. That is, one procures oneself books, rummages in internet forums (naturally also with vaterfreuden.De) and reads up on all the things between A like amniocentesis to Z like twin pregnancies. Some of this will only fall into the category of "good to know but not really relevant", but other things will seriously help you not to act so mindlessly in the first days and weeks after the birth, as less carefully prepared parents often do.
Choose hospital / midwife
Depending on where you live, you have an almost unmanageable choice of potential places and people to bring your offspring into the world. Especially parents-to-be who live in the vicinity of urban centers should therefore at least make a narrowing down selection now. There are several ways to do that:
- Google search "residence+midwife/birthing" for a general overview
- Exchange with friends, relatives, colleagues who have already given birth to children in the region
- Find information about the types of births you are eligible for and check where they are offered.
- Visits to potential clinics
If the latter seems odd to you as a "non-pregnant" person, you can use a white lie: simply go to a hospital that seems appropriate, tell them you're at the beginning of your pregnancy and just want to find out about the facility.
The parenting style
This point is somewhat similar to a battle plan – and in the military, the rule has always been that no plan, no matter how good, survives the first contact with the enemy. Transferred to the prospective parents this means that one can get an overview of the different education styles calmly and also commit oneself.
However, this only serves to stabilize one's knowledge framework. In reality, this "battle plan" will change completely with the birth of the child and its first weeks of life. Dad now plans to go the authoritarian route? Yes, he usually plans that exactly until his little daughter looks at him consciously for the first time and smiles.
The tangible preparation work
The work so far has all been something that can be done comfortably after hours, pleasantly noncommittal. Now, however, here are things that two people really need to be sure about "we want a child" because, among other things, money is spent in the process.
There is a gap in the german banking reality: on the one hand, financial institutions are not supposed to view pregnancy as an illness, which they use as an excuse to give you worse conditions. On the other hand, however, once they have a woman with a baby bump sitting in front of them, most case workers will do just that, up to and including denying a loan.
This is not a lapidary decision that partners should simply dismiss, because the subject of the financial modalities of prospective parents looking for a loan is a rather complex subject area and is also often handled in a decidedly sober manner on the bank side. A pregnant woman will be absent as an employee for a certain time, ergo there are worse credit conditions for the family. Behind this is very simple risk management on the part of the bank. Nevertheless, a few tips can help to make the right decision here.
Especially under the premise that the preparation for a baby including furnishings can easily devour several thousand euros, it is therefore absolutely probat to get a possible loan already now. Who does not want to use the money, in order to make from it the still following purchases, can invest it alternatively on a long-term basis, for instance in the form of a time deposit account. This also has the advantage that once the child is here, the amortization phase may already be over – and you will then be able to be really happy about these extra euros.
House hunting and moving
If dad and mom now live in a small two-bedroom apartment, it's clear that there's not enough room to raise a child there. Especially if you consider how tricky the current rental situation in germany looks, it is therefore not only sensible but really responsible to look for a new apartment early – also because you normally have a three-month notice period as a tenant (we remember the maximum of seven months real pregnancy preparation time). In addition, there is the fact that families, or at least partners with a baby bump, are often discriminated against by landlords – despite extensive anti-discrimination laws.
But childless couples, preferably both of them working, are completely unsuspicious for most landlords – especially if you don't even bring up the subject of children, but simply want more space. And then, yes, you should consider that moving is stressful enough without a baby bump and jumbled hormone levels.
Furnishing a child's room
Every furniture store between flensburg and berchtesgaden has a baby furniture corner. In addition, there are countless specialty stores that also deal only with children's rooms. So it's fair to say that prospective parents are spoilt for choice as far as the set-up is concerned.
And this choice is also one of those things that is simply incomparably more relaxed when you neither have a due date nor are plagued by the typical pregnancy niggles. You can take your time to think about the design, you can look through catalogs and stroll through the stores – and even if it takes months to agree, you still have plenty of time to buy and assemble all the beautiful (and expensive) things between the changing table and the diaper cabinet.
The only downside, however, shared with parents who don't want to know the gender until birth, is being forced to be somewhat gender neutral when setting up. Whereas this is hardly a problem today, because the classic division "blue for boys, pink for girls" is disappearing more and more anyway.
And: as long as mom is not yet really pregnant, you can also cover the furniture with foil or. In the case of mattresses and documents, also leave them packed and use the room for other purposes, such as mobile clothes racks and the like.
Let's go to the doc
Quite similar to the situation with apartments, there is currently a shortage of doctors in germany: there is a shortage of specialists in particular; appointments are not infrequently made six months in advance. Besides, it is a fact that when women are pregnant, some procedures and medicines are simply forbidden or allowed only in emergencies, because they would put too much stress on the fetus.
Mothers-to-be who have been postponing dental treatment for a long time should do it now – also because the necessary X-rays are something that should not be done during pregnancy. The same applies to all other procedures that require more than a local anesthetic and/or introduce any substances into the body, even if it's just tattoo ink. This also includes any vaccinations that you might want to catch up on or brush up on.