Baby Prepping

Girl Ninja is about to start her third trimester which means it’s almost go time for Operation Don’t Be a Crappy Dad. We’ve been busy bodies over here trying to wrap our brains around exactly how drastically things will change when Baby Ninja slips and slides his way through the birth canal (too graphic?). Here’s what is currently going on…

Baby Room: 

Our house was built in 1930 so babies room has really awkwardly sloped ceilings that choke off a lot of the floor space. There was also only one small window so natural light was an issue. Here’s a picture of what it looked like before…

Baby Room

Last week we had two skylights installed in the space. This provided a few benefits. First, it lets in a ton more light. The room looks bright in the before picture above, but that’s because it’s been edited to look like it is bright. Gotta love deceptive real estate photos.

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Secondly, it added 16sqft of extra ceiling height. We gained 12 inches of height where the skylights are. Considering I’m 6’2, I’ll take any extra height I can get. It’s awesome.

I still have to trim out the skylights before we can begin the decorating process (painting, baseboards, etc). Hoping to begin that process this weekend.

Crazy the things we go through for a little human-thingy that will primarily spend his first year of life pooping and sleeping.

Baby Shower Registering: 

So we spent a few days perusing Target, Babies R Us, and a few other websites registering for baby stuff.

What an overwhelming process.

When you’ve never had a kid before, how the crap are you suppose to know what size bottles to buy, what crib/carseat are the most efficient, how many pairs of socks does a baby need, etc. I thought doing our wedding registry was stressful, but let me assure you, this sucks infinitely more. Waaaaay too many things going on for me to wrap my brain around.

If I was attending a shower, I’d feel cheap giving someone a $5 pack of bottle nipples. And there is no way I’d buy someone a $300 car seat if that was on the registry. My assumption is $30 to $50 is the ideal amount of money friends/family want to spend on a gift for us.

So I decided to give them plenty of options for gifts in this price point. Basically, I walked through Target with the registry gun and anything I saw that was baby related, priced around $40, I added to our registry. If we don’t end up needing or wanting some of the stuff we get, we can return it and end up with mad gift card money. (we still haven’t spent all of our wedding gift card money and it’s been four years). 

He has a name: 

Since the day we found out we were pregnant, we were locked in on James as our boy name. When we found out it was a boy, I gave you all an opportunity to suggest boy names you liked, and if you came up with one that we decided to use, I’d give you $100.

Well I’ll be darned, but that’s exactly what happens. PDITF reader, Jayne B., threw out the name Weston. It rocked my world. We both liked it, so for the last six weeks we’ve been playing around with Weston and James.

This weekend, we decided Weston (yes pronounced like the Hotel) will be Baby Ninja’s name. Hopefully he doesn’t hate us for it.

Investing for single income future: 

Pulled the trigger a few days ago and ended up dropping $14,000 in to my first taxable investment account. It’s time I get serious about wealth building and the only way to do is that is limit the amount of depreciating assets I have. (Yes, cash in a savings account is a depreciating asset since it does not keep up with inflation.)

We went with this Vanguard Fund, VTHRX. Hoping to average around a 6% return on investment each year.

Gotta grow our money somehow right?!

Alright that’s all I can think of for now. Little man is kicking around inside Girl Ninja’s tummy like crazy. It stresses me out. I’m constantly thinking “What if our baby has Restless Leg Syndrome and can’t ever get comfortable?!” Homeboy has to be suffering through some serious claustrophobia.

Restless leg syndrome baby

 

23 thoughts on “Baby Prepping

  1. You need to register for the more expensive items for 2 reasons. First, some people like to all chip in for a larger gift. And second, many stores give you a discount on things that were not purchased off the registry.

  2. Ninja,

    We had our first child, little baby Julia, a month ago so I’m in the trenches right now! Here’s my totally unsolicited advice: Pick out a pack-n-play with a changing table that has fairly high sides. The biggest shock for me thus far has been the amount of explosive wet poops during diaper changes. Had we been using the regular changing pad up in her nursery everything would be poop-stained by now. EVERYTHING! Seriously.

    Also, we sprung for a pricey diaper pail (after initially thinking we didn’t need one at all) and haven’t regretted it a bit. It’s metal and seals well, so no smells are leaking out. Plus it uses regular kitchen trash bags. Score.

    Otherwise, stock up on way more wipes and diapers than you think you’ll need because you’ll need them. Try to help Girl Ninja remember that things are ok and not to worry about baby too much. Also, be sure to pay attention to Girl Ninja sometimes too! Don’t let her think that little Weston is your only focus for the next 18 years. =)

    Finally, Amazon Prime has been amazing. We’ve ordered so much stuff because we’ll get it quickly and I don’t have to leave the house on runs. It seems trivial, but when you’ve been up all night because your baby won’t let you put them down and your wife needs to sleep because of postpartum stuff the last thing I wanted to do was drive across town.

    Good luck! Having our baby was incredible!

  3. First of all, I’ll never understand why someone would punch a hole in a perfectly good roof. Regardless of sunlight, it’s supposed to keep rain out and I have yet to see a skylight that is much over 10 years old with no problems. I hope you’ll fair better with yours.

    Second, baby’s don’t cost much in general. Parents, or better mom’s do. Baby outfits are cheap (here in Canada) at Walmart less than $5 a full outfit.

    Diapers, don’t by many, there is a few different brands and we found depending on our son’s growth stage, we switched brands because of blow outs… You know, the moment when poop comes out of each leg opening and you feel the strange warmth on his back that shouldn’t be there…much fun.

    Also, you’ll find that you (Girl Ninja) will wash lots of clothes, so you don’t need nearly as much outfits as you think. Also, most shower gifts will be clothes, so the first 6 months you will have lots, after that, you need to go shopping.

    Since you live in a fairly civilized country 😉 you will realize, buying way less now is not a big deal, because a Target, Walmart or any grocery store will have anything, you could possible need for a baby, in stock. And don’t forget the internet, I have heard there is great deals to be had too.

    Don’t stress out and you will have a relaxed kid…Plus, most kids hate their names at some stage…

    • Fixing a leaky skylight is a heck of a lot more expensive than fixing a leaky roof. Each skylight was only $450 installed, so that’s a cost I’m more than happy to front every 10 years for the added light and head room.

  4. Love the skylights. Could you update us with whats the baby room looks like when its finished (nosey. It would be an interesting post to get a grip on the real upfront costs of a baby. Love the name Weston. Easy to spell, say.

  5. Years ago, I shopped for a friend’s baby niece. At one point, I could not be sure if the different shapes and sizes of bottles I got were enough so, I called mom and she laughed at me saying that both my sister and I were raised on only two bottles. I would consult others who raised babies frugally.

  6. I’m now curious about all the $30 and $40 items you’re finding. I’m having a hard time with that price point, too. Though maybe that’s because I haven’t registered for any clothes. We have tons of hand-me-downs, and I figure people will buy us clothes no matter what we put on the registry.

  7. My question is non-baby related.

    What is your rationale of investing in brokerage accounts prior to maxing out both Roth IRA’s? I’m new to figuring out my investment plan but the way I see it Roth IRA’s are the best of both worlds. You can still have your contributions available for withdrawal if you’d like to spend it in the future. But gains are allowed to accumulate tax free. I figured the gains will be minimal for the first few years that I wouldn’t really “need” to use it but I’d be slowly gaining wealth.

  8. I would agree with Mysti. Anything you register for at Target that isn’t purchased, you will receive a coupon for an extra 10% off about a month before the baby is born. It doesn’t even really have to be baby related, so you could add a new camera, or whatever you wanted and get the 10% off.

    As far as knowing what you’ll need, surprisingly little for the first while. Look for a carseat/stroller combo that will hold the little guy as long as possible (some have different height/weight restrictions). 5-6 bottles will be plenty, and honestly, as far as the bouncers, swings, and the rest goes, check out yard sales and craigslist, because those can be crazy expensive new, and maybe your kiddo won’t even use it. Better to have spent $10 on something never used than $100! My daughter was generally happy laying on a blanket on the floor most of the time, so the rest of that stuff we “had” to have is just taking up closet space now.

  9. I am so happy that you are going to name your son Weston! It really is a wonderful and strong name. I just have to say, you made my day when you announced that you were going to name your child Weston. Congratulations to you and your wife!

  10. Hopefully your days of “Punching debt in the face” will not come to an end with this kid.

    Remember, the kid will not even remember the first two years, he doesn’t need all the toys and ‘stuff’ that parents buy.

    Some other boys names are Trapper, Hunter and Spike.

  11. On the bottle front, some kids like one kind of bottle and others another! We had to buy several different kinds before we found one our 2nd son liked for when he’s at daycare. He likes the fancy boob-shaped ones. Our first son was not particular at all! Every kid is different!

    Also, if she’s breastfeeding, most insurances will reimburse you for a breast pump now, so that’s one thing you can cross off the registry list.

  12. Do you have a plan for how to cover the skylights during naptime? That would be my main concern (that and preventing the 5 a.m. wake-ups whenever possible) though I guess learning to sleep when it is light out isn’t a bad skill to have.

  13. Just throwing out a quick suggestion…
    Even if you don’t plan to use cloth diapers, get about a dozen prefolds and one nylon (PUL) diaper cover. You do NOT want to have to find a 24-hr convenience store at 2am because you just ran out of diapers! Even if you don’t use them often, cloth diapers can save your butt (pun intended) when you can’t make it to a store in a timely fashion! BTW, cloth diapers contain poopy blow outs like NO PLASTIC PAPER DISPOSABLE diaper can! All 3 of my kids used cloth diapers! They make great burp pads too. But if you do go with cloth instead of disposable, the cost savings is amazing! If for no other reason (health, environment to name two), consider cloth for the savings! 🙂 Would you wear plastic disposable, chemical laden underwear?

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