15 Things You & Your Partner Must Agree on Before You Have a Baby

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newborn baby with hairSo you decided you want to have a baby ... or maybe pregnancy decided that for you. Now is the time to start talking about a lot of things. Things you maybe didn't think you had to talk about. Things you don't want to wait to bring up because if you do, it may bring out the world's biggest fight between you and your partner and suddenly you realize you hate each other and it's too late because you made a life that's half you and half him.

Okay, maybe that's drastic, but some of these things you must agree on are hot button topics that can cause strife you really don't need, so it's best to sort it out now -- the sooner, the better. Here are the 15 things you and your partner must agree on before you have a baby.

  1. How you want to birth. If you want a home birth and your partner is freaking out you may get baby stuff all over his gaming couch, you really need to talk. Your partner should be on board with how you want to birth, and the methods you may wish to practice during labor. He should be your biggest advocate when it's go time, and he may even need to take prenatal classes with you. The last thing you want is someone who isn't on board with this.
  2. Potential complications. It can be the thing no one wants to talk about, but without going overboard, you should discuss the what ifs. How would you work together to face the challenges of a child with special needs? What if there is a complication during the pregnancy? Touching upon these topics is important, but only delve deep if it is a situation you know you will be facing.
  3. Circumcision. If you're having a boy, you and the guy with the penis who got you pregnant should agree on if baby will look like Dad down there or not.
  4. Name choice. You want a unique name and he wants something from the most popular baby name list -- this could be a huge problem. You have nine months to make this decision, so use your time wisely and remember that compromise is always cool.
  5. Vaccinations. Educate yourselves on this topic and discuss.
  6. Conquering bad habits. Maybe your partner is a smoker and doesn't want to quit but you want him to -- any kind of bad habit could cause issues down the line. Discuss.
  7. Money. If you can talk about money with your partner without fighting, then you are rich in more ways than one. Kids can be costly little cuties, but making a plan and saving up is a good idea.
  8. Breastfeeding. The support of your husband when you are breastfeeding is vital to your success. He does have a role in you breastfeeding baby -- support and keeping your water glass full at all times.
  9. Religion. If you practice different faiths, this is an especially important topic to discuss. This is also true even if you are of the same faith and want something different for your child. No matter what, talk about it now.
  10. Discipline. The last thing you want is your toddler having a tantrum and one of you disciplining in a way the other one does not approve of.
  11. Food. Sometimes when baby gets bigger, she heads off to Grandma's and eats cookies for lunch and drinks sugary soda. If this isn't cool with you, it's bad news. It's worse news when your partner does it.
  12. Division of responsibility. Will mom work and dad stay home or the other way around? What about child care?
  13. Cutting your son's or daughter's hair (or not). This is a point of contention in my house right now, so it could end up in yours as well. Long hair, short hair -- doesn't sound complicated but if you don't agree, it could be.
  14. Co-sleeping. And not just when they are infants. This doesn't have to mean you'll never have sex again. But you should talk about if you will be snuggling with a third.
  15. The idea of taking a break from sex. This one is often the forgotten topic, but some parents lose their sex drive after having a baby (moms and dads), and there should be understanding and patience here all around. I'll remind new parents that even if there is a lull in your sex life, once it returns, it could be better than ever.

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Do you agree? What other things you would add to the list?


Image via gaspartorriero/Flickr

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Pinkmani Pinkmani

The number of kids you want; I only want one whereas most guys want 2 or 3...

Em Chappell-Root

#12 and #13 are the only ones we had issues with, and part of that is the impact the economy had on his work and our finances. Instead of getting to be a full time SAHM and college student, I'm the primary bread winner, and DH is supposed to pick up the difference in the house work. Reality is, I do all the house work for the most part, AND earn 70% of our income. Not cool, at all. 

Renee Larsen

I think #1 and 8 are a woman's choice, not the males. Just my opinion though. And as for names, I can think of 20+ topics that are more important to agree upon. 

johni... johnie_carney

i know my husband and i had an issue with the circumsion. I told him he had the choice but I wanted him to make an educated desicion not based on if he looks like dad. after much research my husband and i decided not to have my son circumsized. something you should have put on the list would have been a pediatrician. i was pushing and the nurses were still trying to get us to decided lol

jalaz77 jalaz77

Um you are doing this together SO #1 can be excluded. It's his baby too and if he doesn't want a homebirth then you shouldn't either, natural in a hospital or birthing center. That's selfish to think its all about you when it's his child also. I wanted a homebirth this time, he was uncomfortable so we chose not to. Respect. Now if he argued with me about pain meds, or in my case, no pain meds then we have a problem.

Michelle Tribble

Without my husband's support I don't know if I would have succeeded at breastfeeding. When I couldn't get our first baby to latch he always could it was an amazing relief.


 


 

cleig... cleigh717

Hmm . . . I think the cosleeping one and names one are something that you can decide on when you cross that bridge. My hubby and I did things a little bakwards (kids first then came marriage) so I think a lot of it is an "in the trenches" decision. What are you going to do? Go over this list and forget you are in love when you find out that you both are terrible at saving money, or disagree on vacs? No. You make it work and compromise. You are in love . . .

mrssu... mrssundin

This crap needs to be decided before you decide to be in a relationship together. Not wait till your knocked up.

Mahala Aldridge-Dixson

OR when you agree how you are going to "DO" things ahead of time...and then that time comes and suddenly the other person does a 180 and does NOT stick with what was agreed upon previously.  THAT is a bit frustrating. And on the giving birth thing...#1.  Mom is the one pushing that baby out, so if she feels more comfortable giving birth at home, she should be able to because if the mom is getting stressed out or doesn't feel comfortable that can cause issues with the delivery.  BUT the mom SHOULD  talk about it with the father.  I think the father needs to be on board with breast feeding too. My husband was AWESOME when I breast fed VERY VERY supportive, infact right after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter he asked "Are you breast feeding?"  I said yes, and he said that's great! We'll have a healthy baby! I was pleasantly surprised in him. You should also discuss how you want to vaccinate your child too.  So many little things to keep in mind, but that doesn't mean you'll always stick with what you "agreed" on.  Some things do change as the time comes ;)  We REFUSED to co sleep, did NOT want to do it.  LOL We ended up co sleeping with all 3 of our kids, and wouldn't have it any other way!

Audly... AudlyLuvly

Mrssundin, you should talk about having kids before getting in to a relationship? That seems a bit extreme.



And, sometimes peoples opinions and preferences on these things change.. so the conversation I had with DF three years ago would probably be a lot different from a conversation we had today about this.

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