Once you and your partner decided you want to have a baby, daydreaming about your new family—and the fun you’ll have creating it—might be consuming most of your thoughts these days. And while you’ve probably heard from most people with children that you’re “never completely ready to have a baby,” there are a few discussion points you and your guy should cover before you get pregnant. We talked to Jean Twenge, author of The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant, for important topics to tackle before your little bundle of joy is conceived. If you're not ready to tackle these issues, you may not be ready to get pregnant. Ask yourself and your partner these 9 questions before you start trying.
1. How are you going to get pregnant?
Okay, obviously you know how to get pregnant, but when you’re trying to get pregnant there are different schools of thought. One is “let’s see what happens,” and the other is about timing sex. “It’s important to have this discussion now because that’s going to come up soon and couples often disagree on how it’s going to happen,” says Twenge. The man is usually more likely to be in the camp of “let’s have sex whenever and see what happens” and the woman is more likely to want to plan things and know what’s going on with her body. There are compromises to be had in between those two points of view, but it’s an important thing to talk about.
2. Are your finances in good shape?
Yes, we all know babies are expensive. But you should be discussing whether one of you is going to stay home with the baby or whether junior will be in day care (or with a nanny, family member, etc.) as all can be expensive options. “Having a realistic view of childcare options can be a good incentive to save,” says Twenge. If you settle on a day care center, know that many have very long waiting lists, particularly for infant care. Policies vary across centers but if there’s a particular place you’ve got your eye on for the baby, find out if you should get on the waiting list early on it the pregnancy.
It’s probably a good time to redo your budget and realize there might be other things you won’t be able to afford when it was just the two of you, like vacations, expensive shoes, and lavish gifts. Coming to terms with your “family budget” and how you’ll be spending your money before and after baby is an important discussion to have now.