I was in a large baby supply department store buying a gift for a friend, when I overheard this couple trying to determine what they should scan for their baby registry. They weren't sure which of the contraptions they were looking at they would actually need and which ones they could do without. They compromised by scanning in everything so they could move on to the next aisle.
I remember being that couple when my husband and I were first expecting: We had no real idea what we would need and what we could do without. So we did what most people do: We asked our friends. We asked our friends and loved ones for advice on topics ranging from feeding and sleep schedules to delivery options and weird pregnancy symptoms.
But we never really asked our friends about financial issues related to the baby. The thought of equating a baby with money feels...weird. It doesn't feel like you are discussing your "bundle of joy" properly. But, of course, having a baby is expensive, which is why lists like this one of major financial issues to discuss are fantastically helpful.
Well, they are helpful when you read several of them.
You see, these lists have a way of sometimes giving unintentionally bad advice. The one on that link, for example, advises trying to stay at home certain days of your work week to help with childcare. I think that line of thinking forgets how much care babies take and that most employers are not OK with you working from home while taking care of someone completely helpless that naps on a schedule that doesn't always align well for conference calls.
So, to new parents, I advise that you keep asking questions. And to us already parents, I advise that we be more comfortable talking about money. And that way everyone can feel more prepared to welcome their bundles into the world.
What financial advice do you wish someone had given you when you had your baby? Tell me in the comments.