Three Things to Discuss Before Having Kids

If you want to have children, chances are you have already discussed this with your spouse. That’s important. For many people, having kids—or not having kids—is a relationship deal-breaker. But when your first bundle of joy arrives, so do brand-new friction points that can stress your relationship. This is completely normal—having a child is a huge, life-changing event that requires adjustment. And it’s definitely not possible to discuss everything with your spouse before the baby is born. But if you can get on the same page with your partner in a few key places, you’ll enter parenthood with a better idea of what to expect, and be better equipped to weather the inevitable storms that will come. Prepare by agreeing on a few different topics before having kids. Three big ones are reviewed here. 

Medical philosophy

Depending on your mindset, the topic of vaccines for your baby can be polarizing. But whether you choose to vaccinate on schedule or go another route, you should definitely make sure you and your spouse are in agreement before your baby is born. In those early days, the shot schedule is fast and furious, so having a plan in place will help reduce friction and stress.

Co-sleeping

Some parents prefer to co-sleep with their children for years. This can be easier for mom if she’s nursing and provide a sense of closeness that the whole family enjoys. But it can also disrupt sleep and cause fathers to feel distant from their partners. Like many aspects of parenting, co-sleeping is something that you can’t truly form an opinion on until baby comes. But it’s still a good idea to have some idea of how you and your partner feel about it before you become parents.

Discipline

I know. You’re wondering why we’re talking about discipline for a newborn who can’t do anything independently except cry and poop. But that tiny tot won’t stay tiny forever. At some point you will find yourself having to set boundaries, and mete out the consequences when your child crosses them. Discuss appropriate forms of discipline with your spouse to get an idea of where you each stand.

You can’t plan for everything, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to having kids. Above all, parenting teaches us to be flexible. But taking the time to discuss key aspects of child-rearing with your spouse before having kids is never a bad idea. It will help you find common ground, and you will likely become closer in the process.

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