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Pregnancy: The task ahead

WOMAN'S INSTINCT
By - Hannah Chira | September 22nd 2012

Hardly do most parents plan and develop a parenting style prior to conception or arrival of the baby, writes Hannah Chira

The decision to get pregnant is often the beginning of an exciting journey for a couple. Other than visits to the doctor to ensure the parent’s to be are healthy for the conception of a new baby, the journey may also involve coming up with a shopping list of items the new baby will require, decorating a new-born’s room all in preparation of the arrival of the baby.

However, many couples fail to venture further and think about their parenting styles, once the baby arrives. Interestingly some parents fall easily into the role of parenting, while others will struggle with the adjustment.

So, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or already pregnant, there’s no time like the present to spend some time thinking about what you’d like your style of parenting to be.

First, think of parenting as a test; and not as a two-hour test that you take in a classroom — but a test that will last 18 plus years. So with this in mind, you better start studying now!

To start with, set guidelines before taking the plunge. This is because there are many aspects of parenting that you may not even anticipate will be an issue between you and your spouse. This is because you may prefer spanking, while he prefers another mode of discipline.

Adjusting to a new baby

Other subjects that may cause differences between you may include determining who cares for the baby, breastfeeding and sleeping arrangements. These are among the hot button issues you’ll have to discuss with your spouse.

Before your baby arrives, such issues as meeting your baby’s needs such as feeding, diapering and sleeping should be discussed. Other key issues you should not avoid or forget to address are, you should discuss your feelings about meeting your baby’s basic needs which include feeding, diapering and sleeping. You will also need to get a general parenting book and read it over and discuss it with your spouse.

Potential parenting issues you should discuss include:

Diet: Do you want to feed your infant only organic, homemade food? Will you feed the child a special diet, such as vegetarian, processed packaged foods such as Cerelac, processed rice, formula milk or traditional foods. If you are vegetarian, and your husband isn’t, what will the child eat?

Spanking

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Discipline: In no time, your infant will require boundaries — you should decide on your parenting philosophy ahead of time. Even as children change everything that a philosophy you started may be hard to maintain, it is crucial not to give up but to stay consistent and discuss your concerns with your spouse out of earshot of the children.

Spanking: Spanking, which is typically a sensitive issue, should be well defined ahead of time. If your spouse differs on this issue, respect it. If spanking is ok with both of you, determine when and how it will be utilised as a discipline technique.

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