Three tips to prepare yourself for parenthood

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Okay – you've read all the books and you know exactly what to expect during all stages of your pregnancy, but you still feel unprepared for the actual arrival of a new child who will soon be a permanent fixture in your life. It's natural to be nervous, but there are techniques you can use to prepare for your impending arrival. Here are three important things to keep in mind as you consider your new role as a parent.

1. Increased cost of living. Babies come with a high price tag. Be ready to cut back on your own indulgences for the sake of your little one's toys, formula, daycare and, of course, diapers.

2. A new schedule. Sure, you know that babies require a lot of your time, but new parents are often overwhelmed by just how much of their waking (and sleeping) hours their infants require. Try to schedule a few solitary moments just for yourself each day, and commit to maintaining that time after the baby's arrival.

3. Your shared expectations. It's likely that you and your partner are equally ecstatic about your little one's arrival, but it's important that you work hard to communicate exactly how you plan and expect to share the work and responsibilities that come along with your bundle of joy. Talk through the details of feeding, bathing, clothing, changing and watching your baby now so that you can focus on the moment when he or she actually arrives.  

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