When it comes to preparing for baby some of the main things that you need to take care of aren’t physical products.
You need to make some big decisions while you’re pregnant.
There are some things you will need to purchase to have ready for the arrival of your baby but we’ll get into that next. More importantly, there are some conversations you need to have with your partner before your baby comes so that you’re not discussing major topics while recovering from birth and learning about how to take care of a newborn.
You may have had some practice already while doing up your birth plan (if you haven’t click here for some a list of things you may want to consider), so you can keep going on that momentum of discussing, deliberating, and planning.
Below are some of the things you need to think about before your baby arrives.
Oooh let’s talk about circumcision and vaccinations.
These are two of the most controversial topics around when it comes to babies. You’ve probably heard many, many different opinions from many, many different sources…but the opinions that really matter are those of yours and your partner’s.
The first step is to figure out where both you and your partner stand on each subject.
If you both agree about what you would like to see then you can move onto the next step, which is planning. Find which practitioner is best suited for your family, book tentative appointments based on your estimated due date, and start saving money if the procedure costs.
If you don’t both agree you need to put aside uninterrupted time to have productive conversations about each topic. Grab a pen and paper and write down point for and against each point. Make sure that you’ve done your research on each subject through reputable resources (check out who’s funding the research to make sure the information you’re getting isn’t bias) and talk to your midwife or doctor.
This is a good resource for circumcision: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Newborn-Male-Circumcision?IsMobileSet=false
This is a good resource for vaccinations: https://immunize.ca/questions-and-answers
If you still can’t come to a conclusion you may need to include a mediator in your discussions so that you can come to a conclusion that pleases both of you.
Some other things that you need to talk to with your partner about:
-bedsharing and co-sleeping
Set aside time with your partner to discuss these topics. Don’t do it all at once, but set aside some time every week to cover a new one.
Naming your baby might be one of the first things you think of doing when you find out you’re pregnant, but holy moly can it ever be hard!
This is another one of those things that if you and your partner can immediately agree upon then great! However, as is the case for most couples, it takes a few choices to find that perfect name for your baby.
The first step is finding the first name. Each of you individually should make up a list of 10 names. Find the matches. If there are no matches cross of the “absolutely nots” and then take it from there. Keep doing this until you have come up with a first name that you both like.
These are the top names in 2020: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/a29327696/popular-baby-names-2020/
Next, you need to figure out middle name or names. Sometimes these are in honor of someone close to you or a relative, but sometimes they just simply ring a bell with the first name. Listen to each other’s reasons for why they want a particular name and don’t forget that you can always have two middle names (or more)!
Finally, the last name. If you and your partner have the same last name then it’s probably pretty obvious what your baby’s last name will be. However, if yours and your partner’s last names are different you need to decide if your baby will take one name or another, if the last name will be hyphenated.
Once you’ve figured out the name write down the initials of just the first and last name and then the first, middle, and last names. Also, try to consider any nicknames that may be given and figure out how that fits in, too.
-Come up with 10 names that you like. Have your partner do the same.
-Compare lists. If nothing is concluded try again.
-Figure out middle and last names.
-Once the full name is figured out play around with nicknames and initials.
How much maternity leave will you be able to take? How much paternity leave will your partner be able to take?
Find out how much you’re going to be making while you’re on leave. Then, decide how long you’ll be able to take off work with that reduced pay while still being able to pay your bills. Of course, you don’t want to be stressed about finances when your baby comes, but you also want to be able to enjoy this time.
If you can, start putting some savings away now.
If you end up having a cesarean you’re going to need your partner’s or possibly postpartum doula support for longer than if you have a problem-free vaginal birth. This will cost in wages or to pay someone.
In general, saving a bit of dough for when your baby comes is wise. When, not if, you have a night when you don’t want to cook it’s nice to have a option to order pizza. Also, if you end up needing one of the things we’re going to talk about tomorrow you’ll have some funds tucked away so it’s not such a hit to the bank account.
Ok, so you’ve figured out the financial aspect of taking time maternity and paternity leave, but now you need to figure out what that time will look like.
Imagine if you will: You’ve just had a baby. You had plans of staying in your bed, doing loads of skin-to-skin with your baby, breastfeeding on demand, and resting for a few days after your baby is born. Your partner on the other hand, wants tons of visitors every day and can’t wait to show off your guys’ brand new baby!
What do you do?
You have to figure it out before your baby comes. Establishing desires and determining boundaries will prevent any frustration or uncomfortable situations.
We’ll get into how to address visitors on day 4 of this mini-course, but always remember that it’s okay to so “no” to all those eager beavers who want their turn seeing your cuddly babe.
-Discuss what the time after your baby’s birth will look like in terms of:
-time off from working outside the home
-when to invite visitors
-a general idea of what this time will look like