9 Things To Talk About With Your Partner Before Your Baby Arrives

(And none of them include baby gear brands or nursery aesthetic)

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: June 30, 2024
While you’re pregnant, there’s so much to think about. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had multiple pregnancy apps to track the growth and development and comparative size of my growing baby. Each app had their own list of suggestions of what to think about, what to ask my OB or midwife about, another article to read to help me prepare for the inevitable arrival of my new baby. I remember feeling both overwhelmed with all of the information and super prepared– I was going to rock motherhood. I was going to ease into the fourth trimester like nobody’s business. I was going to be so in tune with my baby that she’d probably barely ever cry.
But even with the apps, the articles, the checklists from Target, I was not actually prepared for so much of my postpartum experience. 

So, here’s my list of recommended subjects to talk about with your partner BEFORE your baby arrives:

And some resources to help you get the conversation started!

Your baby’s name

This is obvious. Your baby needs a name. But this can be a hard thing to decide on, because a name is so permanent. And while you’re thinking about names, you’ll end up thinking about names of people you’ve liked, disliked, names to honor people you’ve loved, names to honor your heritage, the endless possibilities of nicknames, etc. (and if you’re a teacher this gets exponentially harder). You might also be hearing from in-laws, siblings or other folks in your circle, each person with their own opinion and preference. This name game should be something that takes place throughout the duration of your pregnancy (or at least until you’ve decided on a name). If this conversation just doesn’t seem like it’s getting anywhere, if you’re stuck on a couple names, if you’re in total disagreement or you just can’t find one you like, it might be worthwhile working with a professional. One of my favorite IG accounts to follow for name ideas is Pearl and Lark. The account offers so many amazing free resources and the brilliant mind behind it offers personalized name consulting sessions. A service like this can help you come up with a name that is meaningful to you and your partner, checks all the boxes and feels like fun in the process. Double check with your partner that you’re on the same page about whether or not you’re sharing the name before birth, too!


Parenting styles and roles

Even though your baby is going to be pretty much a little blob for the first chunk of time that they’re in the world, it’s important to discuss and align your parenting styles and expectations prior to your baby’s arrival. Sure, you should chat about the long term, but in the immediate, there are a few important topics to consider even with a newborn.
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • Soothing methods
  • Feeding goals
  • Who is getting up at night 
If this feels overwhelming to think about and discuss with your partner, it might be helpful to work with a parent coach or someone who can be a third party and non-emotional voice of reason to help navigate these conversations and to help come up with solutions based on yours and your partner’s priorities.
While you’re chatting about your desired parenting styles and roles, consider the resources that you both agree on as a point of reference. For example if you both are researching sleep and one of you gets info from a hard-core sleep trainer and the other gets info from a gentle sleep coach, the information might be contradictory. Find the websites, IG accounts, mom or dad friends that match the style that both of you feel comfortable with.


Meals, chores, and other household duties

Even when you’re spending most of your day snuggling your new baby, the laundry and dishes still seem to pile up. While this might seem like a trivial thing to discuss prior to having your baby, it’s one of those conversations that you might not actually have the energy for once your baby arrives. Having even a loose idea of who is taking care of what, which things you might let fall to the wayside, and an understanding that things just take longer is a helpful mindset shift to make prior to your baby’s arrival. It’s also a great idea to discuss here if you’re comfortable hiring some help to take care of some of the day-to-day tasks to make things feel a little more smooth (you can put this on your BeHerVillage registry too!).
As far as meal prep and grocery shopping, it’s definitely worthwhile to have a conversation about this before you’re trapped under a hungry baby with no food left in the house. Talk about your needs and desires for food on hand once you have your baby, and see if this is another household duty that you might consider outsourcing (and putting on your registry).


Visitors, guests, and who gets to hold the baby

When your new baby arrives, you’re probably going to have people who are patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for an invite to come see the baby. Whether it’s your best friend, your neighbor, or your in-laws, you should have a conversation with your partner to establish ground rules for the visitors that come by. 

Here are a few topics to think about when you’re chatting about future guests

  • Do you even want guests? (It’s absolutely fine if you’d rather not have visitors for a few days or even weeks)
  • How long should visitors stay? And who is gently kicking them out when the time is up? It might be worthwhile to come up with a “safeword” so that if either one of you has had enough, the other partner can help wrap things up
  • If visitors come over, who is allowed to hold the baby? (Again, absolutely fine if you’d rather that nobody holds your baby)
  • Are any of your visitors staying longer than an afternoon? Who is going to be in charge of hosting?
  • Requirements for visitors: things like hand washing, shoe removal, avoiding certain fragrances, taking prior precautions to avoid illnesses, etc
  • Are there people who may want to visit that one of you wants to see (or feels obligated to see) while the other does not want to see? It’s better to figure this out before you’re both exhausted and sleep deprived
  • Some things you’re both willing to ask your visitors for help with, ie: chores, a meal, helping out with pets, etc.


Your mental and emotional needs

It’s no surprise that the postpartum time is a big adjustment, even if you’re welcoming a second, third or fourth baby. The partner who gives birth is going to have a unique set of emotional and mental needs that may differ from what they normally need and they’re going to be different from what the other partner needs. Having a discussion about each of your priorities to keep your mental wellbeing as in shape as possible will give you a better chance of getting your needs met and reducing the potential resentment. Think about your needs in terms of alone time, if you need to get some uninterrupted time outside, if you want to be able to take a walk by yourself everyday, etc. Be honest with your own needs and be open to hearing your partner’s needs as well so you can come up with a plan to be able to navigate all of them by the time your baby arrives.



If you and/or your partner plan to return to work after your little one is born, it’s probably a good idea to start considering childcare while you’re still pregnant. It might seem crazy to think about handing off your baby who hasn’t even arrived yet to a childcare provider, but many babysitters, caregivers and daycare providers book up quickly. First it should be discussed whether or not you’re hiring out childcare or if you have a family member or close friend who is willing to help. Decide if the person who is willing to help is someone you’re comfortable with for the long term.
If you’re hiring out for childcare it’s important to discuss your priorities. Cost is often a big determining factor, but there are other considerations like: 
  • Learning style/environment
  • Teachers/providers certifications, credentials, experience
  • Proximity to home or work
  • Hours of operation
  • Group size
  • Facility type/ amenities
It’s also important to consider childcare for any of your older children for the time you’re giving birth as well as some of the early postpartum days. Lining this up before your baby arrives means one less thing you need to think about once you’re sleep deprived and in need of a babysitter.


The birth plan

Ideally, you will have a doula or at least will have had some childbirth education under your belt before the big day arrives. Even with the support of a doula and the knowledge from your class, you and your partner need to head into birth with a solid game plan. It’s important to get on the same page when it comes to your birth wishes and preferences, to think about whether or not you want certain interventions, to consider who you want in the room while you’re giving birth, as well as other big and little details of birth. It’s important that you’re both involved in the creation of the birth plan and that you both know it, in and out so when the time comes, your partner can be a solid advocate for you as you’re giving birth. Here are some tips to create a birth plan. Having a birth plan in place that you both agree on will ensure that you and your partner are a united front, ready to welcome your new baby in an empowered way.


Your physical recovery

No matter which way you bring your baby into the world, there will be a good chunk of time needed to heal and recover from birth. There is the recommended “6 weeks before activity” but the type of activity and whether or not you feel up for it is actually totally up to you. You might need a lot longer before you feel good enough to go for walks or get back to your favorite exercise regimen, or you might feel good enough to take up some yoga or join a new mom fitness group. Your physical recovery and how you feel is also going to determine whether or not you want to get back to sexual activities with your partner. Because again, just because you get “cleared” at 6 weeks for sex, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s something you want to do. 
Your physical recovery is completely unique to you, and will likely be determined by your pregnancy and birth experience, how much support and sleep you’re getting postpartum, and how you’re feeling about it mentally. Having a conversation with your partner about your physical needs– whether it’s more rest, different kinds of movement, or sex, will help set realistic expectations for everyone involved.


Financial planning

It’s no surprise that having a baby and raising a child is expensive. Everyone knows that. However, it’s an important conversation to have again and again with your partner in regards to spending on your pregnancy, birth, your postpartum experience, and your child. Make sure you both fully understand your financial situation and what funds you both feel comfortable allocating to different needs. Do you want to create a baby registry to have a totally decked out nursery with items gifted from your loved ones? Do you want to spend your own money on brand new baby gear? Are you going to scour FB Marketplace for deals on baby items? Or ask your friends for hand-me-downs? Are there certain parts of your pre or postnatal care that are non-negotiables and you’re willing to spend big bucks on?
To make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to spending, saving, and splurging– consider your resources, any assistance you might receive from family and friends, as well as your priorities. Creating a BeHerVillage registry is a great way to help you visualize the allocation of funds for your pregnancy, birth and postpartum expenses.


Having these conversations with your partner before your baby arrives gives you more time to think, plan, and connect with each other

Sometimes it’s hard to think about or talk about the things you have yet to experience, but use this as a guide to the non-tangible aspects of planning for your baby. Even if you don’t have in-depth conversations about every single suggested topic, having a general idea and understanding of each other's expectations can alleviate stress and create a smoother transition into parenthood. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right away; the important part is opening up the dialogue and fostering a supportive partnership as you embark on this new journey together.

BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: Postpartum Planning , Getting Ready For Your Baby
Tags: postpartum recovery , pregnancy , postpartum , parenting advice


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