Prepare your Relationship for a Newborn with these 5 Tips
Preparing for life with a new baby is no easy task. Likely those nesting instincts have kicked into high gear. You know to check off the boxes of creating a registry, planning your shower, attending your prenatal appointments and setting up the nursery.
But what is one monumental thing you don’t want to skip preparing? Your relationship of course! There is no shift quite like the shift from couple to couple with a new baby.
The thing is, with a little footwork, some meaningful conversations and a shared understanding of what this whole newborn thing is really going to be like. You and your partner will be ready to rock this new parent thing like a well-practiced team.
Let’s talk about what you can do to make sure you’re on the same page and enter parenthood with a little more confidence. I can’t promise there won’t be any bickering or tears (because there will be) but with these tips, you’ll have a lot more smiles and understanding.
5 ways to prepare your relationship for a newborn
Talk about new responsibilities
You and your partner probably have a good thing going right now. You each know exactly what your role is in the household and what you can expect the other to do. I know around here, I always set the coffee at night and Pat can count on that, and he always empties the trash when it’s full, something I can count on. Just some small examples, but you get the idea.
Well, when a baby arrives expect your typical roles in the house to get shaken up immensely! Prepare your partner, and yourself, for the fact that as the birthing mother, you are going to be 100% consumed with the new baby. They will need to do virtually everything else for at least the first few weeks. The best way that they can be a Rockstar dad in the first few weeks is simply by doing everything else around the house so that you don’t have to. Your energy and commitment need to be on nursing (to build supply) and healing from birth.
Be ready to let them do it their way
This is so important yet might be one of the most difficult things to accomplish on the list. As a new mother, you will always know the absolute best way to do everything for your new baby. But I challenge you to try to close your mouth and let them do it their way. This is because your partner doing, trying, and being involved is truly a gift that you don’t want to squash.
If you are always correcting your partner, taking over, or getting involved you may send the message that you don’t want help and your partner will stop trying. Don’t fall into this trap. Accept that there is more than one way to get it done. Grit your teeth and let them do their dad thing. Take a breath and appreciate the sight. Fall in love with your partner all over again and their quirky way of parenting.
Talk about hopes and fears
Take time to have some meaningful discussions before baby arrives. I recommend setting up some time for explicit ‘expecting date nights’. These are nights when you can do a fun activity that includes your baby, like shopping for things on your hospital bag list or getting something to put baby’s footprints on. Pair it with a meal and get the conversation rolling.
You want to discuss things like, what are you most excited or scared about in terms of labor and delivery? How about becoming a new parent? What do you think your partner will be great at during labor, how will they be an amazing support? Get your partner to tell you what you will do well, it’s amazing how much of a confidence boost it can be to have someone else tell you how great you are at something.
How can I make these conversations more intentional?
You can extend these conversations to a variety of topics related to parenting, childcare, the first days with a newborn and breastfeeding. If you are looking for most support with this task, The Nesting Planner has 150+ pages of printables to help get you completely prepared for baby. Over 25 of those pages are worksheets and planning guides to help prepare your relationship, partner, and include them in your birth planning.
Be ready to keep the romance alive
Staying connected to one another, keeping things light-hearted, and remembering how much you love each other will be important. Get ready ahead of time to change your idea of the date night, but still make it happen. Date nights might start to look a whole lot more like watching a movie on the couch, or cooking together at home, but try to make it a special and planned thing.
By talking about the importance of this ahead of time, your partner will also be on board with suggesting date night ideas, even ones you do at home. Within the first 3 months of N being born some memorable date nights we had were making s’mores in our fireplace, baking cookies together, and watching countless movies.
Apologize now and say thank you
The amount of sleep you’re getting is going to decrease, and learning how to parent a newborn and breastfeed is exhausting. Even the strongest, most well-prepared relationship will be tested. You will snap at each other and I think even understanding how normal this is will help! Apologize now for the bickering and snapping that’s coming, the newborn fog is thick and intense, but it does lift and you and your partner will come out even stronger.
This next one might be the simplest tip of the list and it packs a big impact, say thank you! Remember to appreciate and thank one another during the early weeks with baby. Saying thank you as often as you can lets your partner know how much you appreciate them. It acknowledges their hard work and sacrifices to support you.
Prepare your relationship intentionally for a smooth transition into baby life
There you have it! With these five tips, life with a newborn will be slightly easier simply because you and your partner are going into it on the same page. Always remember that you are on the same team and you both just want what’s best for baby. The best thing you can do is have open-ended and honest conversations with your partner. The more you understand what each other is thinking, the better off you’ll be.
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By Alli, Mom Smart Not Hard
Hi There, I’m Alli! Wife, Mama, Blogger, Online Teacher, Home Organizer, and Lover of Nature and Dogs.
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