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Becoming a parent can be one of the happiest moments in your life, but are you and your partner ready? While there are many things you will learn when you become a parent, there are some things you’ll want to discuss before you make the commitment to have a child. Things like religion, sleeping arrangements, who will work and other important decisions need to be addressed first. If you are thinking about having a baby, then discuss these things so you and your partner are better prepared.
Things to Talk About Before Having a Baby
Raising a child is expensive, so you will need to discuss how the two of you will afford to have one of your own baby. Money issues often cause fights among couples, so be able to honest and talk about your finances and how you can start a savings without getting into an argument, then you are in a better position than most couples.
2. Splitting up the parenting duties
Most parents figure this one out until the baby arrives, which can often lead to one parent taking on a majority of the responsibilities and feeling burned out. You both may end up sleep deprived and you will need to take a break every once in a while from your parenting duties. Having a plan that will allow the both of you to take on the responsibilities equally and have some freedom away from the baby to regroup will aid in having a happier home.
Will you both work when the baby arrives or only one of you? Do you get maternity leave from work? Mom will need to take some time off before and after the baby is born, so you want to review maternity leave policies and see if your partner gets some time off after having the baby. If you both will be working, then you need to discuss who will be watching your little one and if you will need to pay for childcare while you work.
4. Birthing plan
One of the things to talk about before having a baby is what actually happens during the birthing process. While some birth plans may change, you and your partner still need to discuss some details beforehand. You may need your partner possibly takes a prenatal class with you and want him to be there for support when you go into labor.
5. Complications that can arise
While it isn’t always the easiest to discuss, you need to talk about what could go wrong during and after the pregnancy as well as challenges you may face when the baby arrives. You want to generally discuss some of the common complication that can occur during the pregnancy like some medical condition as well as how you will raise a child with special needs.
This may seem obvious for most couples but often times one person assumes their child will be raised following one religion while the partner thinks differently. Even if you both practice the same religion, this still needs to be discussed as one of you may have different thoughts.
There are a number of reasons parents choose to circumcise their sons and some parents choose not to. You may not think this would be a huge deal, but when the time comes to say yes or no, you might find yourself in an easily unavoidable argument. This is one topic you want to discuss before the baby arrives and something you both need to agree upon.
Vaccinations are easily becoming one of the major things to talk about before having a baby. You and your partner need to be well educated on this topic and then make the choice you feel is best for your child. Whether you agree to have your child vaccinated, hold off on vaccinating or don’t vaccinate, you want to make sure you know all the pros and cons before making the final decision.
9. Sleeping arrangements
Will you co-sleep, have the baby in your room or have them sleeping in their own room? While it is up to you as a parent to decide the issue, you need to be aware of the risks, benefits, and disadvantages to each arrangement.
10. Every day needs of your baby
Breastfeeding, formula or both? Cloth diapers or disposable diapers? What type of shampoo or body wash will you use? These may seem like small topics to discuss, but knowing where you both stand on the everyday needs for caring for your baby is something you both need to be on the same page about.
Are you strictly against spanking or timeouts? Then your partner needs to know this. You both need to come up with a plan for how you will raise your child and this goes for teaching them how to behave and the consequences when they don’t. While this isn’t something you will need to worry about until your baby is older, it is still one of the things to talk about before having a baby. Remember, all children are different and you might need to try a few techniques before you find one that works; but as parents, you need to be consistent and work as a team.
12. Eating habits
Some parents are very strict on what their children eat while others are more relaxed about it. If one of you prefers to eat clean and would rather the child not eat cookies and candy, while the other constantly gives them treats, this can lead to major arguments. While you might be willing to let this slide when they visit grandma or grandpa’s house, this is something you will not be too happy about occurring in your own home.