The decision to visit baby shows is one that can help ease you into the major transition of welcoming a child into your life. Exploring the entertainment-based booths at the shows is certainly part of the experience, but you want to consider logistical matters as well. Raising a child costs money, and wisely exploring the financial exhibits at the show can save you in the long term.

Define Your Financial Focus
At a baby expo, you can feel overwhelmed by the different booths, so defining a focus before attending is important. For example, you and your partner may decide that you are interested in financial planning for your baby’s educational future. Then, you can make a list of the vendors that are related to this goal. If the vendor information isn’t available until you go, take a few minutes at the beginning to figure out where you want to stop.

Know Your Limits
Investing in child education plans and programs is important, but you don’t need to pretend that you have extra wealth. Some of the programs may require you to make initial deposits that are out of your means. Going into the show with an idea of what you can reasonably spend helps you to maintain realistic expectations. If an interesting program is too expensive for you, ask if other options are available.

Weigh the Options
Chances are that you cannot possibly sign up for every program available, so you will need to decide which ones are the most important for you. For example, some parents want a strong toddler education so that their children can start to work toward a prestigious college scholarship early in life. Others want to start saving for college as soon as their children are born. Having a conversation about educational finances is a smart idea before you go to the show.

Take Time to Talk
You don’t want to leap into a decision that you could end up regretting later on. Also, as you are speaking with the people at the booths, you may discover that you don’t have a deep knowledge of certain terms, such as RESP. You should not feel pressured into making a decision at that moment. Instead, you should have the time to speak with your partner and an accountant or financial advisor about the different options presented. Make sure to take business cards for entities in which you are interested so that you can contact them later.

Planning for your baby’s financial future might seem unnecessary now. However, consider how quickly the last few years of your life have flown; time is unlikely to feel as though it’s slowing down. Therefore, you want to start planning for the future today.