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Tammy Gold
Parenting Coach

Parenting Issues You Should Talk About Before Baby Arrives

Who's going to do those night feedings? How will you raise your child? Here's how to make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

It's really helpful to discuss any issues that might cause stress in the future; for example, deciding how you'll handle the first days home from the hospital. The initial weeks after birth can be very stressful for new parents, especially if they're fighting over who does what. Speak to your partner before the birth and establish both a "parental plan" as well as a "parental philosophy" that will be used throughout your years as parents.

In your parental plan, roughly assign who is going to do what tasks. If one of you can deal with very little sleep, perhaps they're the one to do the most night feedings. If you create a plan beforehand, things will run much smoother during the coming weeks knowing you're on 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. and your partner is going to take 3 a.m. on, because they can function better on no sleep. If the reverse is true, then obviously the parental plan will be flipped. Also, think about getting some support so both you and your partner can take some time for yourselves during the first few months.

Establishing a parental philosophy will help you deal with issues like "Do we let baby sleep in our bed?" or "Do we want to use a pacifier?" or "Should we let baby cry at a certain point?" It's important to speak about your experiences and values, and how they'll translate into your parenting. This will become even more helpful when you tackle issues like discipline, chores and house schedules. Knowing what you each believe in will allow you to formulate clearer and more realistic expectations about how you'll interact with your children.