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  • Want to Make Sure Your Partner Helps in Childcare? Make a Baby-nup!

    We think new moms should get behind this baby-nup idea. It's good for everyone!
    by Rachel Perez .
Want to Make Sure Your Partner Helps in Childcare? Make a Baby-nup!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Welcome to the latest parenting trend that you might think it's another "millennial pauso," but we do not believe it is a bad idea at all. If prenups delineate financial assets before marriage, baby-nup details the roles a new mom and dad take when the baby arrives.

    Is it another attempt to make sure your partner helps? Yes, because you know what? You will need it. If anything else, a baby-nup is primarily a way to help you through your fourth trimester and organize your family life without leaving anyone guessing their tasks.

    How a baby-nup contract helps

    "Who's going to be doing what and how things are actually going to shape up is every often unknown and having a conversation, having some clarity about it can only be enlightening and helpful," marriage and family therapist Dr. Jane Greer tells CBS New York.

    Matt Lundquist, a psychotherapist at Tribeca Therapy in New York City, agrees that a baby-nup can help alleviate some stress that comes with raising children. It helps with communication, a relationship aspect many couples go to therapy for.

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    "Childcare is an area where couples often make assumptions-based on how they were raised or even an interpretation of things their partner has said or inferences based on a sense of who their partner is," he explained to Parade. "A plan such as this — a contract — allows the opportunity to test those assumptions, to make them clear and bring attention sooner (pre-baby) to what might live in conflict," he added.

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    What to include in a baby-nup

    When drafting a baby-nup, you need to consider your and your partner's work hours, skills, and availability. You can be as detailed as you want to be, but as a birth plan, it should be flexible. You and your partner should revisit your baby-nup and adjust it when necessary — hopefully, not at the expense of reverting to the old-fashioned ways of the mom doing all the baby care and chores.

    Here's what you can include in the baby-nup about baby care:

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    • Who on diaper duty in the morning, at night, and on weekends?
    • How about diaper poop explosions?
    • Who's in charge of feeding whenever mom is not directly nursing?
    • How can your partner support your breastfeeding?
    • Who's going to put the baby to sleep?
    • Who's going to wake up if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night?
    • Who is in charge of baths?
    • Who's on sterilizer duty, if using bottles?
    • How about baby laundry, including baby clothes, linen?
    • Do both parents need to be present during well-baby visits?
    • Who's carrying the baby and the diaper bag when you go out?

    Here's what you can add for home chores:

    • Who's in charge of coffee and breakfast?
    • Who is cooking lunch and dinner? How often can you order takeout?
    • Who's cleaning the house? Every other day, every week?
    • Does it include the outside of the house?
    • How about cleaning the car (or taking it to the car wash)?
    • Who will go on errands to pay bills?
    • How about general laundry and folding clothes?
    • Who's picking up older kids in school?
    • How about guiding older kids in their homework?
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    You can put up your baby-nup in writing where it is accessible or up on a whiteboard in your kitchen wall. But drafting it means sitting down and talking to your partner after finalizing your birth and postpartum care plan.

    Remember: you and your partner don't also have to do everything. You can hire help — there's a cleaning service, a medical aide, and even people who can run errands for you — to give you and your partner time for yourselves and each other.

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    Look at baby-nup more as a guide, a sense of order, because having a new baby in your home will be unpredictable. As a parent, sometimes you just have to do the things that need to be done.

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