Deciding to Have a Baby: Crucial Conversations You Need Before Having Kids

 When deciding to have a baby, discussing all aspects of parenthood with your partner is vital. 

Far too many parents think everything will be perfect when the child arrives, only to find their partner has wildly different expectations. 

Conversations You Need Before Deciding To Have a Baby

Before you decide to have a baby, you must talk with your partner about all aspects of parenthood. Hash out everything, from childcare, feeding, parenting styles, values, and financial concerns. 

Here are some meaningful discussions you must have before deciding to have a baby. 


Childcare is one of the biggest expenses parents face. Deciding whether you will pay for childcare or opt for a parent to stay home is crucial. 

Daycare costs average around $1230 per month, meaning it might make sense for a partner to stay home. However, the price tag is only one consideration. 

Parents must also consider the opportunity cost of staying home, personal fulfillment, and what’s best for the baby. 

Opportunity Cost of Staying Home

Stay-at-home parents risk financial security in the future. Their lower lifetime earnings lead to lower social security benefits and overall retirement income. They struggle to re-enter the workforce, falling behind in skills. 

In divorce, stay-at-home parents lose big. They now have to work while juggling childcare, and they don’t have the skills to get a high-paying job. It’s a massive risk and sacrifice. 

Is It Fulfilling?

People seek meaning in life. Some may want nothing more than to dedicate their lives to raising children, while others need something outside of family to keep them engaged. 

It might be worth the financial risk to those who find fulfillment in the family to stay home and raise the kids. However, those who need something else will be miserable when they’re stuck at home. 

What’s Best for Baby?

Parents want the best for their children, and some are willing to sacrifice their own personal fulfillment and financial security for their kids. 

We don’t know whether daycare or staying home is best. It’s likely different for everyone. Some can’t afford to stay home; others can’t stand having nothing outside the family. In these cases, daycare is the best option for all. 

Parents must decide whether the socialization kids get at daycare is more vital to their development than the individual care they get at home. It’s a personal decision that has no correct answer. 

Financial Conversations

With the cost to raise a kid exceeding $400,000, it’s crucial to discuss financial concerns before getting pregnant. 

Childcare is only a tiny part of the conversation. How will you pay for pregnancy-related costs and childbirth? Who’s insurance will the child be on? Will you help with college?

Review your budget and account for the extra expenditures children will add. Can you afford it? What changes can you implement to make it more affordable?

You may also want to start an extra emergency fund before pregnancy starts. It will give you some wiggle room for the unexpected expenses of having a kid. 


Many relationships suffer after having kids. There’s suddenly this brand-new person who requires all of your time and energy. 

Discussing and understanding this shift in priorities is crucial before diving into parenthood. Both partners must understand that the child’s needs will always come first. 

You then must get on the same page about what to prioritize next. 

Many parents have their priorities out of order, leading to relationship discontent. New parents put their kids first in everything, even to their own detriment. They prioritize their kid’s needs and wants above the parent’s needs and wants. 

Instead, priorities should be focused on needs first, then on wants. It should be kids’ needs, parents’ needs, parents want, kids want. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap. Sometimes, we get confused about our wants and needs, so it’s easy to do the same with our children. 

Discipline and Parenting Styles

You and your partner must get on the same page regarding parenting styles. Is one of you going to be a helicopter parent while the other is more hands-off? What will the rules be as the children age? How much independence are you comfortable giving them? 

You must discuss these crucial aspects of parenthood before having kids. 

Of course, everyone goes into it with rose-colored glasses, and things change as you face the real challenges of parenthood. 

Part of the conversation should be acknowledging that things will change and committing to revisit the topic regularly. 

Religion, Values, and Morals

Parents want to instill values and ethics into their children, so they must agree on what those are. 

Will you raise your children in a religion? If so, which one will it be? If not, will you expose them to different religions? At what age?

What values do you want to instill in your kids, and how will you accomplish it? 

Do you agree on politics, and if not, how will you navigate those conversations with your children?

Religion, values, morals, and politics are sensitive topics. If you aren’t on the same page about what you believe, you need to get on the same page about what you will teach your children. 

The Everyday Things

Many people cover significant conversations but assume their partners will be on board with the everyday things. 

You should have conversations about breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, what types of diapers you will use, dietary restrictions, toys, screen time, and all the other little things that make up daily life with a newborn.

Why Do We Want Kids?

Both partners should examine why they want kids when deciding to have a baby. 

Learning why your partner wants kids can offer you a glimpse into how they view parenthood and help you decide whether having kids is right for you. 

Many women get stuck with partners who refuse to parent their own kids because they never ask why their partner wants kids. Men who want a legacy, status, Kodak moments, or someone to care for them as they age probably won’t be involved parents. 

A lot of parents regret their kids. If you’re having kids because of social pressure or because it’s what’s expected, you may want to put the decision to have a baby on pause. Only have kids if you truly want to raise a child to adulthood. 

What if We Have a Special Needs Child?

When deciding to have a baby, you must plan for all possible outcomes. What will you do if your baby will never become a fully functional adult? What if they need long-term care their entire lives?

If you aren’t prepared to deal with the possibility that your child may require special care, you may not be ready for parenthood. 


It’s impossible to highlight every single thing you need to talk about before having kids. Each relationship is different, so couples should prioritize the talks based on what’s vital to them. 

However, if you’re not having tough conversations before getting pregnant, you’ll be in for a wild surprise when the baby comes. Give yourself the best possible head start by discussing the challenging topics before having kids. You’ll start on the same page, making it easier to return to it. 

5 thoughts on “Deciding to Have a Baby: Crucial Conversations You Need Before Having Kids”

  1. I think you’re on the right track here! The biggest two pieces of advice I would give you are 1) have more money saved up than you think you need. It will give you options. 2) Expect anything that you know “for sure” will likely not look anything like you expect it will – be flexible. And you’re welcome to message me any time to talk my ear off about it 🙂

    • Thank you for all the advice! Yeah, I”m sure I will plan this out entirely and then everything will change as soon as a baby arrives haha. Thank you for the offer to message you about it! I will take you up on that when the time comes!

  2. This is a great list. The other thing I found important to discuss, that I guess kind of goes along with parenting styles, is whether or not you’re going to consider things such as cloth nappies (diapers) and how you’ll feed your child (breast/bottle, puree/baby led weaning).

    I know these might sound like things you can discuss when you get pregnant but I found it was important to me that I knew my husband was supportive of the things that were important to me. He may not be 100% on board with everything (cloth nappies in particular) but he’s willing to try.

    If there’s anything you feel is important to you (for me it was reducing our environmental footprint as much as possible and making sure I looked after my health as I have chronic illnesses) then it’s important to discuss them early to avoid, or at least minimise, tension.

    I also agree with Angela about remaining flexible and having more money than you think you need. I’d add to that to accept help and secondhand items if they’re offered to you. We’ve saved a lot of money and been able to work out what works for us by doing this.

    • Hey Megan those are some great points! We haven’t had any real discussions on feeding, potty training, or any other developmental processes. And those are super important! I guess I just don’t know enough about those things to have those conversations at this point, but you are absolutely right, I should educate myself on it. I also love your point about accepting second hand items. Kids are going to be super expensive, thats a great way to minimize the costs.

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