So you’re starting out on your trying to conceive journey. While every baby is a blessing, if you are just starting out on this path it can also feel overwhelming. Here are our top 7 things you should think about and talk about with your partner before you try for a baby.
1. Talk Finances Before Trying to Conceive
It is true, there is never a perfect time to have a baby. But there are certainly not perfect times! You don’t have to be a millionaire to start your family, but it is important that you and your partner are on the same page. Sit down before trying to conceive to discuss financial goals, any debts you already carry, and how finances will be divided especially as you consider if you will take a standard maternity leave for where you live or become a stay at home parent long term. Once you are pregnant, those nine months go by fast, it’s best to get these big talks out of the way early.
2. Should You Be Worried About Child Care?
Speaking of maternity leave, it is a good idea to consider your child care options and preferences before trying to conceive. Especially if you both plan on returning to work quickly. Some areas have extremely long wait lists and limited child care options, that can impact these big decisions. And each parent may have their own idea as to what is important when it comes to child care. Is it important to you that one parent stays home for the early year’s of your child’s life? Do you prefer a daycare centre or day home space? Will you choose a nanny or use family supports to help you? All these options have positives and negatives, and it is good to have a rough plan in place and know your partner’s views before trying to conceive.
3. What About Parenting Styles?
Adding a child is probably the biggest change your relationship will ever go through. Now is the time to think about what your parenting style might look like and discuss expectations with your partner. Will you be all about gentle parenting or run a very strict household? What do you consider an appropriate punishment for different ages? How will you divide up different parenting tasks like night wakings and booking appointments? It might also help to discuss different scenarios like:
Your two year old coloured on the walls and the marker won’t come off. How do you react?
Your four year old is suddenly becoming a very picky eater. How would you handle this?
Your five year old hit another child at the park over a toy. What do you do?
Talking about these cases before they are real, even before trying to conceive, can help stop any surprises that may arise as parenting becomes your new reality. No one sticks to all the ideas they had before becoming parents (shout out to the ‘my baby won’t have any screen time before 2’ crowd currently handing their toddler their iPad) but it’s best to not go in blind either.
4. Thinking Ahead to Registry Choices When Trying to Conceive
And really lots of items that fall into the baby gear category. Think long term, are you into convenience or being more ecofriendly? Brand names and high tech gear or keep it simple minimalism? This can help you decide all those little items on your registry. Will you opt for a change table or keep a to go diaper caddy handy around the house? Will you invest in cloth diapers or ask for an extra diaper cake at your baby shower? It might seem early to think about these things before trying to conceive, but once you make that pregnancy announcement everyone will have a say on what you should focus on when it comes to baby gear.
5. When Trying to Conceive - Be Realistic
It is not uncommon for it to take couples 6 months to a year to get pregnant. While movies and TV shows portray it as this super easy thing that happens by accident constantly, that is not always the case. And many doctors won’t even see you about fertility issues before 6 months of trying to conceive. Good things take time, so try not to stress if you don’t get that positive stick after the first month.
6. Increase your odds
If you are on hormonal birth control, you may want to give yourself several cycles for your body to regulate itself before trying to conceive. This will also help with dating your pregnancy when you do become pregnant. Start prenatal vitamins before trying ton conceive. Try to relax and enjoy this time with your partner. And many couples swear by an “every other day schedule” of trying to conceive but try not to get too militant about it. Grab your Lifesaver Mat and enjoy the process!
7. Testing and Announcing
Dollar store tests are highly effective and less expensive if you are wanting to test regularly around your expected period dates. Buy enough so you can test whenever you want and save the expensive digital test for confirming for yourself. When you see that double line, and your done trying to conceive, congratulations! Call your doctor and decide when is right for you to announce and how.
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