As a new parent, you could find yourself faced with several big decisions, each of which could impact your child for life. Your partner may not agree on these decisions, which is why it’s important to be aware of them so that you can talk about them before the time comes. Here are just 5 big decisions every new parent has to make.
Should you breastfeed?
Breastfeeding is ultimately a woman’s decision – it’s your body after all. This is something you’ll need to decide on before the baby is born so that you can decide whether to buy formula milk or not. Some women find it hard to take to breastfeeding due to the pain or simply an inability to produce milk. There are breastfeeding classes as available from companies such as Lactation Link that you can go to in order to get a better understanding. It’s worth also talking to other moms and doing some online research to see if it is right for you.
Are you going to get them vaccinated?
You’ll also need to decide whether to get your child vaccinated. This is something that some people have a passionate opinion on, so make sure that you and your partner both share the same views. Doctors and midwives will often recommend vaccines, but they’re not compulsory.
With boys – should you get them circumcised?
You may also want to decide whether to get your child circumcised. Some people get their child circumcised for health reasons, others for religious reasons, whilst others may do it for the sake of tradition. You may want to talk to someone from a Gentle Procedures clinic to better understand the procedure and do some private research into the pros and cons – both you and your partner will need to be agreed on whether to get this procedure done.
Are you going down the gender-neutral route?
More couples are exploring the option of gender neutrality – this means doing away with male and female stereotypes. You and your partner will both have to agree on this approach as it could affect everything from the clothes you buy to the toys they play with. Decide how far you want to go and read into the legal implication that this could have.
What foods/drinks will they be allowed and at what stage?
As your child moves on to solid foods and no longer relies on milk, you’ll also need to consider the foods and drinks that your child is allowed to have. Some parents don’t like to introduce sugary drinks early as they can do damage to a child’s teeth. Other parents may be vegetarian and may want to pass these values onto their child. Your partner may have different views, so this is something you will also have to discuss – if they are vegetarian and you are not, you may both feel differently about your child eating meat.