As your pregnancy progresses there is no doubt you are in the mode to prepare and plan. You have probably taken steps to prepare a nursery, plan a baby shower, or are at the point where you’re preparing for birth. But have you taken time to prepare your relationship? Let’s change that today.
Bringing a baby home is a life changing event for even the strongest relationships. Life will change forever. And it’s going to be absolutely wonderful. But with all the wonder will come a lot of challenges and obstacles.
Luckily, you can get your team super prepared with the right conversations before baby arrives. Today, let’s get that conversation started. Here you will find over 50 discussion questions to help prepare your relationship for baby.
These are things you should take the time to discuss before that little bundle of joy makes their appearance. With these conversations out in the open, hashed out, and understood, your relationship will be stronger and better prepared.
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Why is conversation so powerful when it comes to preparing your relationship for baby?
Whether you’ve come across this article early in your pregnancy, or you’re close to your due date, one thing is certain. As the birthing mama, you are feeling connected to that baby. They are growing inside of your body, and not a moment goes by where you aren’t aware of that presence. That means that your subconscious is also already adjusting to the idea of a shared life. Nothing will be solely yours anymore.
This can be a more difficult concept for your partner to grasp. Sure, they know that a baby will be joining your family, but the constant presence of that baby for 9 months before their arrival isn’t as concrete for them. Luckily there are lots of ways to get your partner excited about pregnancy. One of the most powerful ways that my partner and I were able to really connect, bond and prepare for baby was through intentional discussions.
Childbirth Classes might help too!
One of the childbirth classes that we attended gave discussion-related homework each week. This was the push we needed to really dig deep and get on the same page before baby arrived. In this article, I’ve covered discussions that will prepare your relationship on all fronts. But more education is never a bad idea.
What themes should we keep in mind when using discussion to prepare our relationship for a baby?
To help organize the 50+ discussion questions included in this article, I’ve come up with some general themes to guide you. Perhaps you want to pin this article and revisit it throughout your pregnancy. Maybe take on one category of questions per week and make your own “series” out of it.
I also love the idea of creating a date night, and having a discussion “theme” for the evening. In fact, I bet as these questions get your conversation rolling, you’ll come up with more questions for each other.
Let your conversations be fluid and organic. See where these questions lead you. Remember this isn’t an interview. This is about bonding and preparing as a team to make your life easier once baby arrives.
Discussion Question Themes:
- Parenting Decisions
- Finances and Budget
- Becoming New Parents
- Family and In-laws
Discussion Questions to Prepare your Relationship
Discussion questions surrounding birth
The first milestone you’ll reach in your relationship when it comes to a newborn is labor, delivery and birth of course. So that seems like the most logical place to start. Getting on the same page about labor and delivery will mean you can count on each other in the process.
Naturally, some of the roles are going to be prescribed (ahem, the baby does have to come out of you after all…) but sharing your headspace on the following questions will mean that your partner can fully support you. And you’ll have a better idea of where he’s at regarding the whole thing too.
- Are we on the same page about the birth plan?
- What will our strengths and weaknesses be during birth?
- What are we feeling most confident or nervous about?
- How can we better prepare for birth as a team?
- What will our roles during labor and delivery be?
- What are our thoughts on announcing the birth and visitors in the hospital?
- What are our opinions on photography and social media posting?
Discussions to have about parenting decisions
When it comes to raising a child, there are lot of topics that might leave a couple divided. By getting an idea of where you each stand on some controversial, or just tricky, decisions now, you’ll save yourself a “heat of the moment” argument.
Talking about these topics ahead of time will also allow for you both to brainstorm ways to achieve success. It might even put topics in your head that hadn’t crossed your mind as a first time parent. Awareness of these decisions now means you’ll both have time to research and make informed decisions, together.
- Is the goal of exclusive breastfeeding important to us?
- What steps can we take to make this a reality?
- What will each of our roles be in achieving this?
- What do we know about bottle use and pacifiers?
- Are we concerned about nipple confusion?
- Do we want to commit to a certain amount of time without artificial nipples if possible?
- What are our thoughts on sleep?
- Do we already have opinions on “sleep training” methods, co-sleeping, co-rooming, or baby’s sleep space?
- Does routine feel important to us?
- Are there steps we feel are important to cultivate independent napping from the start?
- How do we feel about crying, comforting, etc.?
- How do we feel about typical “gender roles” in the family?
- What did the roles of mom and dad look like for each of us growing up?
- How do we expect the division of labor to unfold when we have a new baby?
- Will it be fluid?
- How do we feel about screen time in today’s society?
- What screen time limits or expectations will we have for our little one?
- If applicable, how can we uphold these goals and be good models of acceptable screen time for our little ones?
- What family values are most important to us?
- Are there routines we can put in place right from the start (or at least early on) that will make us feel good about our family’s love and bonds (e.g. family dinner)
- Are there any other non-negotiables either of us have when it comes to child-rearing or parenting?
Discussions surrounding finances and budgeting for baby
It’s no secret that your family’s budget and spending changes when a baby enters the picture. There’s also a likely unpaid maternity leave that needs to be accounted for. Nothing can divide a couple quicker than financial arguments. Have these conversations while you are level-headed and rested, instead of when hormones are haywire and you’re both sleep-deprived.
- What is the maternity leave plan?
- How will mom’s maternity leave affect your finances as a couple?
- Will dad be able to take any time off?
- How will our finances change once we have a baby?
- What are the definite additions to our family budget with a little one around?
- Can we think of some unexpected expenses before they occur?
Earning Extra Money or Working from Home
- Would it be possible for mom to stay home with baby beyond her maternity leave?
- Is a work at home opportunity possible?
- How will dad feel about this arrangement?
- What steps can you take as a couple to make this a reality?
- Is saving for our child’s future important to us?
- Is it in the cards right now?
- How might we get creative about saving at least a little bit for our baby’s future?
- Is there a way we could have family contribute in lieu of other gifts around birthdays and holidays?
Financial Reality of Childcare
- Are we aware of the cost and reality of childcare in our community?
- How will this fit into our budget, or our decision about mom staying home?
Discussions related to childcare
Deciding on who and where your precious baby will spend their days while you are working is tough. Take some time to research options and read tips on how to find the best childcare for your family.
The decision about how much to spend, and what’s important to you when it comes to your child caregiver is not a decision to take lightly. Discuss this at length with your partner and take your time visiting and researching options together.
- If both parents plan to return to work, what are your childcare options?
- If money was not in play, what would be your ideal childcare scenario?
- What childcare scenario is least appealing to you for your baby?
- What do you each see as the pros and cons related to different childcare options? Consider daycare, nanny, nanny-share, or your child being in the care of a family member.
- What will we look for in the perfect daycare facility?
- What questions will we ask a potential nanny or babysitter?
Discussing the changes related to becoming new parents
Preparing your relationship for a baby means having realistic expectations. Life is going to change. Your role and responsibilities in the family will shift as mom’s attention will be largely on the baby in the beginning. Even the way you treat and spend time with each other inevitably changes. I know that my husband was pretty surprised about life with a newborn, but we came out strong on the other side.
New Parent Roles
- Can we envision where most of mom’s time will go once the baby arrives? (hint, you’ll be nursing 24-7 and focusing on postpartum healing)
- What household tasks will dad need to pick-up to support mom?
- What things can we do now to remove some household tasks from our daily routine in the beginning? (ex. stock your freezer, schedule a cleaning service)
- What things in our lives will need to be put on hold for a while?
- What aspects of our lives will need continued attention after baby arrives? How will we make this work? (ex. pets, siblings, elderly family members, etc.)
Want more support with preparing your relationship?
Are you starting to realize just how much there is to talk about? Wow, a lot is going to change! If you are looking for more worksheets and support in preparing your relationship, be sure to check out our Nesting Planner. You’ll find over 150+ preparing printables, including over 15 pages to prepare you to be new parents.
Discussions about a growing family and ‘in-laws’
This is a tough topic for a lot of couples, so it’s one you don’t want to skip ahead of time. As your family expands, interacting with in-laws and extended family is about to get a whole lot more complicated. Get on the same page now about handling in-law visits, parenting advice from extended family, and expectations about frequency of visits, etc.
It’s also a good idea to discuss your potential family size and child spacing. Okay, I know it might seem crazy to talk about this before your baby even arrives, but it will spare disappointment later.
Extended Family and In-Laws
- When do we want each of our sets of parents or other important family members to first meet the baby?
- Do we want any or all family to visit during our hospital stay after birth?
- How will we make sure we have equal visiting time and attention is given to mom and dad’s side of the family?
- If our family is local, what expectation do we want to set in terms of frequency of visits?
- If our family lives far away, how will we make sure we are seeing enough (or not too much) of our extended family once baby arrives?
- How will we handle situations where extended family is giving unwanted parenting advice or going against our decisions?
- What family members do we expect to be especially challenging to deal with?
- What family members will be especially helpful or sources of support during this transition?
- How can we delegate tasks or let our family’s help us during this transition in a way that is useful and not burdensome?
- How many kids we each hope to have?
- Do we have an idea of spacing for our children?
- What were our experiences like growing up with or without siblings?
- What steps might we need to take to make our family size a reality, financially or simply space-wise?
Discussions about the lifestyle you hope to have or maintain
Welcoming a new baby means that your lifestyle is going to change, but by how much? I just advised you to start thinking about family size, and that will also have a bearing on the lifestyle you want to live. Fewer kids might mean travel is more possible, and even going out to eat is less of a circus. Having nice things, new cars, or moving frequently are other lifestyle factors to consider.
- Do we hope to travel with our kids?
- Do we want to maintain regular date nights? How can we make this a reality?
- Do we want our careers to maintain high priority, or is pausing them a better choice? Are we on the same page about this?
- Do we enjoy eating out? Will this continue?
- Do we want to send our children to public or private schools? What needs to happen to make this a reality?
- Are extracurricular activities, even starting as babies (sing with baby, mommy and me gymnastics) important to us? Are they a reality in our lifestyle?
- Are any of our own hobbies non-negotiable? How do we plan to manage our time in a way that might let us maintain hobbies or passions?
Continue to prepare your relationship
Here you’ve read a variety of conversation themes and discussion questions to get you started. But every relationship is unique. Only you know what issues you two need to talk about. Anything that is a hot topic now, might just snowball when the challenges of a newborn arise, so really take some time to focus on each other while you can. And even with a strong bond, your relationship will be tested.
For more support in preparing your relationship for baby don’t miss these other popular articles:
- Prepare Your Relationship for Baby with these 9 Tips
- 13 Ways to Help Your Partner Enjoy Pregnancy
- Dad’s Guide to a New Baby
With our help, I know that your relationship will be stronger and better prepared for baby. Looking to get prepared in all realms of your life? Why not enroll in our FREE 7-day email course, Nest Smart. It’s a crash course in nesting that will have you well on your well to total preparation in just 7 days.
How are you preparing your relationship for life with a baby? Comment below with your top tips or concerns <3
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Alli Wittbold is a wife, mama, blogger, and online teacher. She feels passionate about connecting expectant mothers with childbirth class educators, and supporting them to achieve the birth they desire. After having her first baby delivered by a Certified Nurse Midwife, Alli is an advocate for midwifery prenatal care. She has learned so much about labor and delivery by attending and reviewing dozens of birth classes to help mothers learn and explore options. Alli co-authored the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook, resources she is proud to share with as many expectant and new mothers as possible. Read more about Alli.