Pregnancy is a time of excitement and anticipation for many couples. But it's also a critical time to get on the same page about a host of important topics having to do with the birth of your baby and how you'll tackle parenthood once he or she arrives! Use this list as a starting point for conversation.
- Baby names: There's no time like the present to finalize your son or daughter's name. Even if you're still relatively early in your pregnancy, it's worth starting the conversation as soon as possible. Let's say you want to honor a family member by choosing a girl's name that starts with A. Is your partner on board with this? Is his heart already set on another name? You'll want to start the baby name negotiations sooner rather than later to give you time to come up with a compromise.
- Sleep schedule: You've surely heard by now that a decent night's sleep is about to become a thing of the past. Your newborn will likely wake every 2 to 3 hours at first. The only way to survive is to divide and conquer. While you're still pregnant, it's a good idea to at least make a tentative plan that ensures each of you is able to get a decent number of consecutive hours of sleep. It's not at all sustainable for one member of the team (i.e. you) to be handling all of the night wakings.
- Visitor policy: Who will be allowed to visit—and under what terms? Will only the immediate nuclear family be allowed to come to the hospital? What about when you get home? Will you require that each visitor be vaccinated? Will any guests be sleeping at your home? These are potentially sticky situations that you should discuss in advance. Setting expectations with loved ones can help prevent hurt feelings.
- Childcare: What will you do for childcare once maternity/paternity leave ends? Will one of you stop working to take care of the baby? Will you hire a nanny? Look for a nanny-share arrangement? Enroll your little one in daycare? Recruit a family member to step in? This all sounds really daunting (and it is), so just do your best to figure out these logistics in advance. You can always tweak the plan as you go.
- Budget: You'll need to consider how your household expenses will change when you add a new member. Now is the time to revisit financial priorities and make sure you're both on the same page with how you're spending and saving.
- Spiritual Rituals: It's important to make sure you and your partner are in agreement about what, if any, religious rituals you'd like to observe when your baby is born. Will there be a baptism? A naming ceremony? How about circumcision? These can be touchy subjects—but they're incredibly important to discuss while you're still pregnant.
Just like any other aspect of your relationship, communication is key when it comes to parenting. If you can discuss these important topics candidly and openly with your partner, you'll be well on your way to a successful transition into parenthood!
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