When two people suddenly become three, life is turned upside down. A baby crowns family happiness and brings the parents closer together. Nevertheless, there are a few things that mom and dad should be prepared for – so that the first months with the baby are really as beautiful as they imagined it to be.
Before having a baby, some couples envision a pink time when the baby will fit in perfectly with their lives. In this fantasy life goes on as normal, only with a baby as the crowning glory of their love – and then they stumble into reality. Of course, this little darling almost bursts the hearts of mom and dad with happiness, but after the initial euphoria, the parents quickly notice that life now revolves completely around the baby.
When a couple becomes parents, the relationship changes. It’s beautiful and connects two lovers even more. In order for the baby to truly crown love, however, it is important that the parents realize that the partnership will change and welcome these changes as an opportunity for a deeper bond. So that you have a clear idea of the first time with a baby, we describe the four most important points in which a partnership changes with a child – and give tips on how to deal with them.
Everyone knows that babies keep their parents awake at night, but the new parents are often surprised at how stressful this early period can be. Especially if your baby has colic, or is teething and simply cannot be calmed down, this is a huge drain on your nerves. When mom and dad are overtired, it is not surprising that they are sometimes not squeamish with each other. Tired parents are often irritable parents. This can quickly become a stress test for the relationship.
This is why many parents receive the well-intentioned advice to sleep when the baby is asleep. This tip works of course, but unfortunately it is very difficult to implement in practice. After all, there are so many other things waiting in these quiet minutes: the pile of plates in the sink, mountains of laundry or simply the long-awaited shower.
What you can do: So that you can also rest when your baby is resting, it is important that you can also do the daily tasks that arise while your baby is awake. After all, you can’t just leave everything behind in the first few months, some things just have to be done. A baby swing can be very helpful here.
Babies in the womb have got used to constantly moving with their mother. In addition, it was always loud due to the noises in mom’s body such as the heartbeat or the muffled ambient noises and voices of the parents. Movement and noises give the little ones a feeling of security, because it reminds them of the time in mom’s stomach. When we put babies down now and then also in a quiet room, they usually don’t like it at all.
The distribution of roles is shifting
Before the birth of the first child, both of them are usually employed in the relationship and also share the household. However, after the baby arrives, that usually changes. Suddenly, many couples fall into the classic distribution of roles: one of them stays at home, takes care of the baby and the household, while the other works and provides the family financially. Since the division of roles is new to both of them, the partners often tend to idealize each other’s tasks.
She imagines how he strolls from one coffee meeting to the next all day long in his stylish suit, supervising interesting projects and enjoying the quiet drive home. While he constantly sees his wife playing and cuddling with the baby in his mind, and cannot understand why the household is being left behind, the baby would sleep most of the time.
What you can do: In the first moment, it is important to create understanding for both sides. The first time with babies is challenging for mom and dad, and both roles have their advantages and disadvantages. After all, fair does not necessarily mean the same. It can help if both partners represent their time in a pie model. Then your time is divided into pieces of a pie – childcare, household chores, work, and so on. Then both look at the pieces of cake and both partners look for a way to make these pieces the same size again for both of them.
It often helps if both parents stay with the baby at the beginning, if at all possible. Even if it is only the minimum duration of two months, this can already help to create a clearer understanding of the challenges in childcare and thus also increase appreciation.
Time as lovers
The new family member takes mom and dad to their own at the beginning. The times when you as a couple slept until 10am on Saturday morning and were proud of yourself because you got up so “early” are over for now. And instead of a cozy evening for two, you fall exhausted on the couch in the evening and quickly fall asleep next to each other.
The baby shifts the focus in the relationship. While the focus used to be on togetherness, it is now on the family and all decisions take into account the needs of the baby first and secondly those of the parents. Time for yourself and also time as lovers are neglected at first. Of course, this can lead to frustration and also to the fact that the partners diverge a little from each other. After all, a relationship needs to be cultivated and for that mom and dad need time to themselves. While this can be challenging in the first few weeks and months with a baby, this is exactly the time when parents can start laying the foundation for more relaxed times, in which their evenings are back to being together.
What you can do: After 4-6 weeks, parents can start introducing a bedtime routine. This can be dimmed light, a certain lullaby or something completely different. It’s just about the baby getting used to a routine slowly. A routine process gives children security and security, so they can relax.
You can imagine it this way: children experience many new things every day and are constantly learning new things. Predictable processes allow them a little break from the unfamiliar. It gives them security that they know when something is going to happen so that they can relax.
You can make use of this in your sleep routine. With a music box, you can introduce your baby to hear nature sounds or a melody for 30 minutes whenever it is bedtime. Soon the chosen melody will trigger a feeling of security in your baby and he will learn to regard this ritual as an indication that he can now calm down and fall asleep.
In the beginning, it will still likely wake up after three hours, but over time, as this ritual becomes routine and your baby gets older, the hours the baby sleeps increase again. It is important that you stay on the ball in the meantime and make yourself aware that this phase will also pass and your beautiful evenings will come back for two.
You love your partner more than ever
Most only talk about how unimaginably you love your baby, but hardly anyone mentions the intense, unshakable love you suddenly feel more than ever for your partner.
The new role as mother or father reveals a completely new and different side to him that was previously slumbering in secret. He was probably not even aware of all the wonderful and lovable qualities, strengths and potential he still had in him.
All of a sudden you realize that your partner is making your baby laugh masterfully and effortlessly. That he’s the best lullaby singer, or that he remains heroically calm when you feel like you’re losing your nerve – and then you’ll fall in love with him all over again.
Yes, it will be exhausting. But it will also be exciting. And all of a sudden you get this tremendous feeling that you have created a life together and your heart will practically melt away with joy that you also take care of it together.
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