If you are seriously thinking about starting a family soon, you understandably want to ensure that you are well-prepared for the experience ahead of you. The reality is that you cannot fully know what to expect until you are actually a parent and are experiencing the profound responsibility for yourself. However, there are a few important reminders to be aware of before you start trying to have a baby.

Children Are More Expensive Than You Think

Most couples have heard about how expensive raising a child is, but there is a general assumption that the expenses will ease up once the child is a year or two old. Infants and young babies will go through numerous diapers and wipes. They need new toys, gear and clothes frequently as they develop rapidly. However, older children may need more expensive new clothes and shoes, and they may have huge growth spurts. They also may participate in expensive activities and have other unique needs. While the type of expenses that you may be faced with in the years ahead will change, you may not experience the financial relief that you may be anticipating after the first few years have passed.

Pregnancy May Not Come Easily

Some would-be parents wait until an absolutely perfect time to begin trying to get pregnant, and they are dismayed when they do not get pregnant as easily as they planned for. Many couples will achieve pregnancy within the first year of trying, but others may need to use fertility treatments or consider reaching out to an adoption agency to start the family that they are hoping to have. If this is the case, you may not have a child for several years.

There May Be Complications

Unfortunately, not all pregnancies go as planned. The mother may experience complications that require bed rest and unanticipated time off of work for several months before the due date. The baby may require special care and treatment for a period of time after the birth or even for a lifetime. You should be emotionally prepared for these situations. It is also beneficial to have a financial plan in place for these possibilities. This can reduce the stress that you may feel if you face these situations.

Most couples are able to achieve pregnancy fairly easily and have an uncomplicated pregnancy. They may also be able to adjust to various child-rearing expenses over the years. However, other couples are faced with tremendous emotional and financial stress because they overlook these possibilities. Regardless of where you are in the planning or conception process, take time to think through these possible challenges so that you can more easily navigate through them if they affect you.