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The One Thing You Need to Buy For Baby That You Haven't Thought Of

Photograph by Twenty20

If you think your baby registry is complete, think again.

Yes, go right ahead and review it—crib, high chair, onesies in every size, a video monitor and much more, everything Target said you needed and everything your best friend recommended. Check, check, check. You’ve got it all on your list.

Everything but the most important thing.

Don't worry, I won't leave you hanging. In my book, the most important thing you’ll buy before baby is a life insurance policy.

I know, I know. Boooooooring. And so not fun or cute. Actually, it’s borderline depressing. And expecting a baby should be anything but that. But for real, life insurance is THE most important thing you’ll spend money on before baby. Because what if, God-forbid, something happened to you or your spouse? Who would take care of your baby? How?

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Financial planners encourage individuals to buy life insurance as soon as they are supporting someone else. Basically, if you died, and your income disappeared, who would suffer? If the answer is no one, don’t worry about buying life insurance yet. If the answer is “my spouse” or “my children,” then it’s your responsibility to anticipate the awful and prepare for your loved ones. Including your unborn loved ones.

The emotional hardship of losing a loved one is beyond extreme, don’t let an unforeseen death create a financial hardship on your family too.

Getting a life insurance policy is relatively easy. Ask a family member or friend for a company recommendation and learn more about their products. Educate yourself on the difference between whole life and term policies. Anyone can buy a functional Pack ’n Play, but only you know what your family would need if you died. There's usually a medical exam involved in finalizing a life insurance policy and then you’re set. You make monthly payments (ours are set to auto-pay) and that’s it!

To be completely transparent and give you some ballpark numbers, my husband and I pay right around $80 a month for both of our term life insurance policies. These term policies will see us through my childbearing years and when they end we’ll reassess based on our family’s needs at that time. If my husband dies, his policy will allow me financial freedom to pay off our home, invest and draw a percent that will give me adequate funds to continue caring for our children as a stay-at-home mom. I won’t be wealthy by any means, but in his absence I would be able to continue our current lifestyle without changing our day to day routine.

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Even though my husband doesn’t rely on my income, he counts on me for many other things and thus, we felt it was wise for me to have a life insurance policy even though I don’t work full-time. If I were to die he would be able to hire a nanny, a housecleaner, and replace my part-time income. Or, pay Grandma very very well to retire, move in, and help raise our children. That, or find Mary Poppins, he jokes!

All laughs aside, we hate having to plan for the worst case scenario. But, in the last few years we’ve known too many families who have suffered from what we all hope is the impossible—a parent taken unexpectedly. The emotional hardship of losing a loved one is beyond extreme, don’t let an unforeseen death create a financial hardship on your family too. If you have children or are expecting a baby soon, make buying a life insurance policy one of your top priorities. It'll give you peace of mind and be the greatest gift you can leave behind for your kids.

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