How to Talk Parenting With Your Partner

When you and your partner begin thinking about having children, many new discussions will arise. The biggest ones being, how will you be as parents or what will your parenting style be?

There are a lot of changes that come with bringing a child into the world and making sure that you and your partner have healthy discussions beforehand is crucial to a successful journey.

Top Things to Discuss Before the Baby Comes

Knowing how to talk about parenting with your partner is important. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what to discuss then effective communication will get you nowhere. In today’s day and age, there are some pretty important details to hash out prior to welcoming your new bundle of joy into the family. The following topics are a great place to start.

1. Religious Upbringing

This is a big one and can go one of two ways. Either you grew up with the same background in faith, or you didn’t. If you did, it’s easy. If not, it will be a bit tricky.

Most people have some sort of discussion regarding religion before getting married. However, if you missed that step while dating then get ready to tackle this conversation. It can be a little difficult and sometimes painful, especially if you both have strong feelings of differing faiths1.

The important thing to remember is to try and find a compromise where you are both happy. Also make sure to have an open mind and be flexible in case things change down the line.

2. Circumcision

This is another taboo topic in today’s society. While circumcision rates are declining, some people still feel strongly about this procedure for health and safety reasons1.

Whether it’s a religious, cultural, health conscious choice or just tradition – have this discussion prior to birth. Also, make sure to take dad’s opinion to heart since he has a bit more experience in this area.

3. Co-sleeping Possibilities

Co-sleeping is a sleeping technique where the baby sleeps either in bed with mom and dad, or on a nifty contraption that hooks onto the side of the bed.

Advocates say it makes nighttime feedings and soothing easier than when a baby has their own room1. Others say it causes dependency issues and takes away a lot of privacy for mom and dad. Talk to your partner about your options and find something that will work best for you.

4. Primary Caregiver

With gender equality on the rise, more women are returning to work post-delivery. If you don’t want to utilize childcare right away, make sure you discuss who will stay home with the baby.

If you decide to both go back to work, find a childcare plan and caregiver that you are both comfortable with. Discuss work/family balance scenarios to make sure that you both understand what to expect1.

5. Break Down of Baby Duties

It may seem trivial to discuss, but having a conversation about who will do what when the baby comes will help you avoid fatigue-fueled meltdowns. Spend some time talking about who will change the diapers, get up at night when the baby cries, give baths, etc1. It is helpful to talk about it now rather than later.

You can also talk about switching off duties depending on the day or times. Regardless, the conversation will create a pathway toward more effective communication when you are living in the moment.

6. Discipline

How you decide to discipline your child is a tough conversation. However, it is important to discuss prior to the birth of your children. If you begin to discipline your child differently than your spouse, they might end up confused and have the potential to start playing the two of you against each other!

How to Talk About Parenting

Now that you have an idea of what to start talking about, you need to make sure that you are communicating in a healthy manner.

Remember, effective communication is key when it comes to discussing any important topics with your partner. This is especially true with parenting – it is a hard task and should be taken very seriously.

Some of the suggestions below will help you move through your parenting discussions with ease.

Identify Goals

Before starting the discussion, make sure that you identify your goals. These can be parenting goals, goals for what qualities you want to instill in your children2, goals for your future or family. Whatever you envision

This will help you and your partner stay on track with what’s important and stay positive with the discussion2. If you start to get off track, or get a little frustrated, take a breath and come back to each of your individual goals.

The important thing to remember is that you are together. If you identify your parenting goals ahead of time, it will be much easier while raising your children.

Discuss Views

Along with discussing goals, you need to make sure and discuss your current views on different ways of parenting. It is important to bring these up so that you can avoid problems down the road.

These can be views on life, love, family or anything that you feel strongly about. Make sure that you each understand the other’s point of view. For instance, if one parent is strongly against spanking then it may be best to discuss an alternate way of discipline.

Listen to Each Other

One of the absolute, most crucial aspects of discussing parenting with your partner is making sure that you are listening to each other. Actually hear what each other is saying and pay special attention to nonverbal cues.

Be attentive to the current moment and always be open and honest with each other. Listening can be the single most effective way of healthy communication. If you’re not the best listener, try doing some practice exercises with your partner in order to improve your skills!

Strengths and Weaknesses

When you discuss your individual strengths and weaknesses, you are able to identify them. This allows you to turn your weaknesses into strengths and identify areas in which you will excel.

When you discuss these with your partner you are able to work on bringing awareness to things and growing before the stress of building a family begins2. This will allow you to communicate more effectively when the baby comes and avoid creating any resentment.

If you both understand each other, you are able to discuss parenting calmer and in a more compromising way. You will begin to focus more on the importance of coming to an agreeable decision rather than getting exactly what you want. Remember, you’re a team!

Keep Communication Open

One of the most important aspects of discussing parenting is keeping the line of communication open. Parenting is dynamic and you will never be able to sit down, talk about it once and be done with it2.

Parenting conversations will constantly evolve as your child (or family) grows and as your life changes. When you keep communication open, you can gradually discuss changes as they occur rather than waiting for something to cause you or your partner to implode.


The most important thing to remember is that parenting is a learning experience. You and your partner are new at this and won’t be perfect your first time around – but that’s okay. Get the tough discussions out of the way before your baby comes and always practice effective communication. You will get through the tough days and raise a spectacular child in the process. If you have any other suggestions on how to talk parenting with your partner, comment on our Facebook page! We, along with many new mommy’s-to-be, would love to hear what you have to say.

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