Your baby is due any minute and while it’s an exciting time, it can also pose important questions you and your partner need to discuss – and if you can find the answers before the big day, so much the better.
When I had my first baby, there were many things we didn’t even consider, so we spent a lot of time playing catch-up. As I learnt the hard way, there’s more than enough to think about when your baby arrives – so having the important conversations prior to the birth leaves you free to make the most of that precious newborn time.
While labour may not pan out as you’d hoped, you and your partner need to be clear about what you both initially want for the birth … and what to do if the situation strays from your birth plan.
I’d booked into the birth centre for my first baby, but it was closed as I went into labour on Christmas night. We had to go to the labour ward and while this was not our initial decision, I was still able to have the birth we intended.
Other topics to discuss might be at what point will you opt for an epidural, if at all? How do you feel about having a C-section? And after the birth, do you have any plans for placenta? Having these conversations with your partner before heading off to hospital will help make the day as comfortable and harmonious as possible as they’ll be able to advocate for you too.
Deciding on a baby name can be tricky, but this is definitely a conversation a couple needs to have beforehand. Do you like similar names – or do you have totally different tastes?
You may not have made the final choice before the big day, but hopefully you’ve both put in your top favourites, leaving little room for unexpected surprises and huge debates.
Where and how your baby is going to sleep is another important conversation. You might set up a separate nursery, you might have a crib in your bedroom, or you may intend to co-sleep. Of course things can always change, as nothing really goes to plan with a baby, but by discussing sleeping arrangements beforehand, there’s less chance of too much changing at a time when consistency is more than helpful.
This is becoming an important conversation for parents to have prior to the arrival of that very cute baby. Do you want to post pictures of your baby on social media – and does your partner agree? (And will they give these instructions to their family, too?) Discuss how you both feel about this issue and hopefully make a decision before baby arrives, ready for her close-up.
It’s a good idea to check in with your partner about parenting styles and discipline. Are you relaxed and ‘go with the flow’ when it comes to parenting? Do you work better with very set routines? If you’re first-time parents, you may not know the answers to all these sorts of questions before you’re actually in the situation, however a conversation on the topic would be helpful to iron out any differences before you’re in those busy, but very beautiful early days.
Your work situation is another important issue. When are you and your partner planning to return to work? And if you do, what are your hopes for childcare? For some couples, a childcare centre is a good option, while others prefer to call on grandparents or hire a nanny. Check in with your partner about they’re thinking so when the time comes, it’s an easy and seamless transition.
These may seem a world away, but it’s important to look ahead and make decisions. What religion, if any, will your child follow? Are you planning on private or public schooling? You may also consider your living arrangement. Is your house suitable for a growing family? Does the area offer what you need? Being on the same page when it comes to the future is vital, as it comes around faster than you think.
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