Preparing for your baby to come into this world is such an exciting time. Aside from picking out the nursery colors and shopping for cute clothes, there are some important things to discuss before baby arrives.
Before we had our first daughter, we had talked about everything that we thought was important. You know things like breastfeeding, vaccines, and we prepared for all the possible outcomes of labor. But we didn’t have any conversations about chores, sleeping arrangements, or our will….. which caused some issues during that first year.
I can’t tell you how important it is to have a strong foundation and marriage BEFORE bringing baby home. Go through each of these topics and talk about everything…. even the insignificant things. You would be surprised how quickly an argument can break out over dirty dishes!
The Most Important Things to Discuss BEFORE Baby Arrives
Before we get into all the things you should discuss before baby arrives, I want to give you a few tips that will help this conversation to go well and not end in a disagreement.
First, go somewhere. Don’t have this conversation at home, so that you can leave it there!
Second, listen to your spouse and get curious about why they feel the way they do.
Thirdly, have something to eat and drink handy. Sometimes we need to have a stable blood sugar to help the conversation go smoothly.
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1. Timeline for REST of Pregnancy
No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, you will want to map out everything that you need to do before the baby arrives. Give yourselves a few extra weeks to get prepared. My first daughter came 4 weeks early and we were definitely not ready for her arrival.
Here are some things you want to have on your timeline:
- Genetic Testing
- Hospital Bag
- Installing Car Seat
- Food Prep
- Choosing a Pediatrician
2. Birth Plans
I can’t even begin to tell you how important having a birth plan is. Knowing everything that is to come during and after labor and delivery, will help you both to feel prepared and ready to care for your sweet new baby.
When I went through the Mama Natural Birth course, she helped us to formulate a birth plan that worked for us. There are many resources out there that can help you to do this.
Here is everything you need to discuss revolving birth and after!
- How will your prepare for birth? Books, Online Classes, Hospital class
- Medical Interventions
- Cord Clamping
- Baby Things: Vitamin K + Hepatitis Shot, Eye Ointment
- Baby’s First Bath (in the hospital or no?)
- What kind of birth do you want? Hospital Birth/Birth Center/Home Birth
- Should you Hire a Doula?
- How long after birth will you have “new family” time?
- Who will care for your other children/pets while you are in labor?
[Your Birth Can be ENJOYABLE! Here is my Natural Hospital Birth Story]
We had my daughter in 2020 (do you remember what happened that year hahah), so there were no visitors allowed. But as we are getting back to normal, you need to start thinking about when you should have visitors. The first few weeks are precious, so be sure to talk about what you really want and what you both feel comfortable with!
Discuss visitations during…
- Hospital Stay
- First Few Weeks
4. If you are having a boy, will you circumcise?
You will want to be sure that you have this discussion, before arriving at the hospital. Whether you have religious beliefs or not, it’s important to talk about circumcision and what you both want and believe!
5. Birth Announcement
There is so much more to birth announcements than picking out a cute template! Here are a few things you will want to discuss around this topic:
- Where will you announce it? (Text, Social, or Card)
- When will you announce it?
- How will you announce it?
- Will you wait until you get professional photos done?
- Will you talk with close friends and family about not sharing the news first?
These days vaccines are a hot topic and a big debate! I highly recommend doing your research as a couple and coming to a place where you both feel comfortable.
This will influence your pediatrician choices.
7. Feeding Options for Baby
If I can give you any advice, it’s to talk about all the feeding options and possible outcomes because you never know why you might need to change up your plans.
Here are a couple of things to talk about:
- What to feed?
- Bottle Feeding
- Feeding Duties
8. What are we going to eat for those early weeks/months.
You need to be realistic when it comes to food in those early weeks and months. Coming from a momma, I can tell you that you won’t have as much time and energy as you think. So, make sure you talk about things like, take out, freezer meals, and meal trains!
9. Sleeping Arrangements
This was a topic we thought we discussed, but sleep was a HUGE issue in our house with my first daughter. We were both tired and running on empty.
Make sure you talk about safe co-sleeping, managing the newborn stage, and a sleep training course.
[What to do When Your Newborn Won’t Sleep in Their Bassinet?!]
Most couples won’t have any trouble with this topic, but really you are deciding whether or not to use cloth diapers. I think that it’s important to note that even if you choose regular diapers, there are different kinds and price points. You may want to discuss your thoughts on that too.
11. How to Care for a Newborn
Most likely you are both new parents, so you will want to read up on how to care for a newborn. There are hundreds of books out there and then of course blogs that can help you in this department.
If you want something that is all-encompassing, I highly recommend Mama Natural’s Baby course. It will walk you through everything you will need to know when caring for your newborn.
12. Time Off Work
You will need to talk about how much vacation time or leave you will be allowed when having the baby. This goes for both mom and dad. After asking work what their rules and policies are, you can come up with a plan that works for your new family.
This is also a great time to talk about whether or not you will need childcare.
13. If you are both planning on going back to work, what’s the plan if baby is sick?
I don’t know if you see the theme, but you want to be prepared for all the what-ifs. Knowing what the plan is on going back to work and if the baby gets sick, will help life run a little more smoothly when it does arise.
This is on every list you will possibly look at for questions to discuss before baby is born. I included it just so you wouldn’t forget.
I did write an entire blog post about how to budget for a baby. This will help you to get an idea of all the costs that you should prepare for.
15. Delegating Chores
You would be surprised how many arguments happen because of house chores. Have a plan of action for who will do what once the baby comes. Try to be as realistic as possible.
We didn’t realize how busy I would be nursing, so my husband ended up having to pick up a bunch of my chores.
16. How is our life going to change?
It’s really important to discuss your lifestyle and how that will change after baby. My husband loved to play video games before our first daughter was born. We talked about the fact that he wouldn’t have time for them once she arrived and he was totally okay with that!
This may be an area that needs a lot of compromising.
17. Middle of the Night Responsibilities
The most difficult time to function is in the middle of the night. Have a game plan for what you will each be responsible for, so you know what to expect. This will eliminate many arguments from happening as long as you fulfill your duties!
18. Day Time Responsibilities
This may align with chores, but you will also want to talk about things like baby feedings, diaper changes, and baths.
19. Sexy-Time Post Baby
It might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, but you need to talk about sex. I was completely open with my husband about everything that was going on “down there.”
Make sure you are being realistic when you are talking about sex and listen to your spouse’s thoughts. Just because you are having a baby, doesn’t mean sexy time isn’t important…. but it MUST be respected.
20. Baby Safety
You may have touched on this when discussing how to care for your newborn, but you want to do a bit of research about baby safety. If you end up purchasing the Mama Natural Baby course, it has a lot of information on this in there.
Baby Safety I recommend researching:
- Safe Sleeping Habits
21. Discuss Self-Care
You will BOTH need self-care. Be sure to make a plan of action on how this is going to happen and what you will each need. Maybe you need to go out with the girls once a month and he needs a golf outing!
22. Emergency Plans for Birth and After
You may talk about this while creating your birth plan, but I know that we certainly left this one out. It’s no fun to talk about. But, we were faced with a NICU stay with our daughter and really had no idea what to expect.
Have plans in place for the unexpected. This helps those moments to be way less stressful.
23. Outline Your Will
Another not-so-fun topic is your will. You don’t need to sit down with a lawyer quite yet, but you will need to outline all your wishes if something were to happen. This way after your baby is born you can have things finalized and talk to the friends or family members that you would need to care for your baby.
24. Religious Ceremonies
Last but not least, you will need to talk about religious ceremonies such as baptism/christening or baby dedications. If you have the same religious background, this shouldn’t be a hard conversation. But if your families have different beliefs, you will need to form your new family’s beliefs in regards to God.
I hope that these 24 topics help you and your partner to discuss all the important things before your baby comes. These will help you to not only be prepared as parents but to enjoy this messy season too! I wish you both the best of luck!
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