Better together: 10 essential parenting questions you’ve got to ask your partner

As you enjoy baby's first months, it may be wise to think ahead to baby's next few years. After all, your little bundle of joy will soon be running, jumping, talking, and well, making their fair share of mischief. The experts at The Danish Way of Parenting have a few key insights to think about as your little one enters the next momentous stage of life.

So many people who become new parents get so caught up in the pregnancy and the baby time that they don't think about talking about some of the more practical aspects of parenting. Like when the baby becomes a toddler and starts to really push boundaries—especially yours!


For most parents that time seems so far away that it is unthinkable. Surely it will just work out when the time comes, right? The only slight issue is that parenting happens to be one of the hardest jobs in the world and yet it's the only one we don't get any training for.

We are required to get all this “on the job training" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while we are over-tired, stressed, and often pushed to our wits' end. And there is no such thing as “I quit."

The point is, it helps to talk about these things in advance with your partner so that you can be better prepared for the unthinkable.

When you look at yourself in the mirror and you see a crazy person staring back at you because you haven't slept properly in three years, you may notice something happening.

When we have no other tools in our mental toolbox, we tend to resort to our default settings, which is what our mom and dad did with us.

For some of us, this is perfectly fine, but most of us would like to make some changes for the better with our own children. That is how we evolve, after all, to become better parents and have happier children.

So, we have created a question series to open up a discussion with your partner.

Talking about these things can help you get on the same page so you can help each other when you are at your wits' end. You can more easily know and feel that you are on the same team, working for the same objectives with your kids.

This is what we call “the big lines" of parenting.

When parents are aligned on the big lines, it makes parenting a lot easier. You can stay cool easier because you have support and you don't need to sweat the small stuff when you know what the big picture looks like.

It's key to examine your default settings, know what you want to change, and agree on the big lines so you can help each

other during tough times.

1. What do you think some of your default settings would be from your parents? What are things they did with you? These are things you will most likely repeat simply because we are programmed to do this unless we are conscious of it.

2. What are things you liked from how your parents raised you (and want to repeat)?

3. What are some things you absolutely do not want to repeat?

4. How are these things different or similar to your partner? Can you see gaps where you can help one another because you had a different or similar experience?

5. How did your parents discipline you/your partner?

6. How do you want to discipline your own children (e.g., yelling, spanking, time-outs, explanations)?

7. What are your values as parents?

8. Are you in agreement on what you are okay with in terms of getting results from your child? Is it in alignment with your parenting values?

9. What are your big lines of parenting? What is absolutely okay/not okay for your child to do (e.g., hitting, biting, not eating, leaving the table, throwing food)?

10. Now that you have talked about the big lines and your values as parents, what are some strategies for how you can help each other when the other one is losing their cool?

By talking about these questions in detail you can save a lot of unnecessary blame and misunderstandings. You can stand stronger as a couple and as a family because you know how to support each other and are clear on what your values are.

It doesn't take much to take the time to talk about it, but it can make all the difference for the life of your child.

It's worth it.

This article was co-written by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Sandahl and was originally published on The Danish Way of Parenting.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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