Real Parents Share Their Tips for Keeping the Love Alive
New parents are so absorbed with the needs of their infants that romance understandably gets placed in the “optional” category. So, to celebrate the month of hearts, love, and romance, we asked a few parents to tell us how they managed to stay connected after the due date.
We hope you find some inspiration. Here’s to love!
1. “We go on talk walks.”
Put your sleeping baby in a sling or stroller and head outside with your partner. Hold his hand. Check in with each other about how you’re both doing, and remember a great date or vacation you had together: Literally tell the story to each other! Talking and walking helps you stay in touch, gives you an energy boost, and keeps your exercise routine going.
2. “We leave love notes on the mirror.”
New babies often require shift-parenting: taking turns waking up at night or staying home. You and your partner may feel like two ships passing in the night! But you can always jot a love message down on a sticky note. One couple we talked to actually leaves a stack of sticky notes by the sink for love-note writing!
3. “Flirty texts.”
Use that smartphone to transmit some loving feelings! Send a flirty text message to the parent at home with the baby. A quick note showing you’re thinking of your partner can go a long way and keeps the embers burning.
4. “Date nights: They are worth the hassle.”
Yes, you have to pay for a babysitter (or negotiate with grandparents), line up bottles, and perhaps manage some separation anxiety, but scheduling (and keeping!) commitments to each other away from the house is vital to maintaining a love connection.
5. “We set up an early bedtime schedule.”
Some parents opt to build adult time into the bedtime routine. Once baby is old enough, shift the bedtime to 7:30 or so to leave you and your partner with some alone time at night. This may mean earlier mornings with baby, but time together when the stars are out can make a big difference.
6. “I had to break a sweat!”
Moms, this one is for you. You carried and gave birth to a baby. Now you deserve to have time to yourself. Let your sweetie watch the little one and go for a jog, take a yoga class tailored to new moms, or hit the gym, because staying physically active can help you feel strong, confident, and in touch with your sensual side.
7. “We trade babysitting duties with another couple.”
Colleagues have kids around the same age as yours? Know some moms or dads at a playgroup? Offer to do a babysitting swap to save money on babysitting costs. Offer to watch all the kids one night in exchange for a night of together time the next! Win-win!
8. “Sometimes we just take a nap together.”
Let’s face it: Pretty much every new parent is exhausted and no one can blame a couple for prioritizing sleep over romance. Here’s an idea: Have it both ways! While the baby is napping, cuddle up and catch some shuteye together. The physical contact literally strengthens your bond. Much like the oxytocin boost you get from your new baby, snuggles with your partner can reinforce the best parts of your relationship, helping you to feel connected and recharged for the next late night.