So 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vaccinations. Educate yourselves on this topic and discuss.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Division of responsibility. Will mom work and dad stay home or the other way around? What about child care?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?