Baby's First Year · Parenting

6 ways to keep your relationship strong after having a baby

Parents in conflict, one holding baby

‘Baby’s arrived and now we argue more than ever, I don’t feel very romantic!’  One complaint that I hear is that the relationship has changed now that baby is on board – “we’re more like great roommates than romantic partners”.

Life has been transformed. 

Once, there was lots of couple time and much needed “me” time (for both partners).  Now, life is-‘can you hold baby while I take a shower!’  Both partners can end up feeling neglected and resentful.

While it’s true the demands of baby can be stressful and overwhelming to the relationship during the first year, all hope is not lost.  Start talking!  The need for negotiation and appreciation has never been greater!

6 ways to keep your relationship strong after having a baby:

  1. Tell your partner what you need

We get the impression that our partners should read our mind and know that we want them to take the baby when they get home or to do the laundry.

  1. Tell your partner what you appreciate

We are more likely to do something again if we were appreciated!  We need to give appreciation to get appreciation. ‘Thanks Honey!’

  1. Talk about sex, intimacy and cuddling with your partner

Having a baby has changed our body and it may take some time. Take it slow, use lubricant, use birth control and talk about what feels good.  Remember there are many ways to demonstrate your love for each other.  Connect with one of our sexual health counsellors via eChat or call Toronto Public Health’s Sexual Health Infoline (416) 392-2437

  1. Remember to set aside time for yourself and time for your partner!

Self-care and date night are essential!  Taking care of ourselves helps us be there for baby.

  1. Remember there is more than one way to care for baby.

We are all raised by different families and it’s great that baby gets to benefit from the strengths of both styles.  You are co-parenting together.

  1. All new families need support.That support can come from friends and extended family or the community (eChat to speak to a Public Health Nurse about supports in your community).

More communication and support equals better relationships!!!

How did having a newborn in the house change your relationship? Feel free to share how you kept your relationship on track.

*This article does not refer to couples who are experiencing violence.  To get help:  Call 211 or Assaulted women’s help line at 416-863-0511.

2 thoughts on “6 ways to keep your relationship strong after having a baby

  1. Marriage is built on friendship and date nights are a great way to maintain that over time. You can communicate without distractions. You can focus on each other, not your jobs, children, house, extended family, etc. Ask your spouse about their emotions, dreams, thoughts, aspirations, disappointments, and joys. Having time together at least once a week has shown that you will be at least three times as happy with your marriage.

  2. I agree date nights are a good idea. I suppose it is normal that a relationship would suffer after children, but I can really relate to this. I would say mine definitely has with my husband. We are still very happy and wouldn’t change having had a baby, but some of the spark has just gone. But I will definitely put some of these tips into practise.

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