Making the change from being a couple to becoming parents isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to find time for yourselves, and tiredness leaves no time for affection. It’s no secret that having a baby can be a big challenge for your relationship. However, it’s such an exciting event, particularly if you’re going to be a first-time parent.
The Baby Show, with MadeForMums, has teamed up with their leading experts to offer some great advice to YCB readers on how to make this special day not one to forget.
Making sure you plan something in advance helps to ensure you do something special. Dr Anna Machin, author of The Life of Dad: The Making of a Modern Father says: “Try to book a babysitter to ensure you can have some time to yourselves; even if it’s just for a couple of hours, it gives you the freedom to relax and have something to look forward to.” She also suggests keeping baby talk to a minimum: “Even though it’s tempting to talk non-stop about this wonderful new person in your life, you should also take the time to talk about your relationship – the good times you’ve had together and plans for the future as having a baby can be tough on your relationship.” She states: “It’s really important to remember that you were a couple before your baby and by being happy and relaxed together it is best for everyone, so don’t feel guilty investing in your relationship. It is the foundation of your family life.”
Vanessa Christie, The Baby Show’s Breastfeeding expert, tells YCB: “Valentine’s is not just about extravagant gifts. While chocolates and roses are nice, simple things like cleaning the house, lighting candles and playing soft music can be pretty romantic when you’re used to days of changing nappies. Whether you’re just having takeout, upping the ambiance is key. Even writing love letters helps to set a romantic mood and makes your partner feel appreciated.”
Helping your partner to relax doesn’t have to require money. Lucy Shrimpton, The Baby Show’s sleep expert, AKA The Sleep Nanny, suggests: “Remember first and foremost that your baby is a huge symbol of your love so should also be celebrated this Valentine’s Day! Letting your partner sleep in can be a priceless gift when they’ve been up feeding or are very pregnant and need their rest. The added beauty sleep can really rejuvenate an exhausted new parent.” Other possibilities include giving your partner a much-needed massage, setting up a bubble bath or even cooking dinner and letting them kick back on the sofa. There are so many pregnancy massages for expectant mums that could be a really romantic treat.
Lucy Shrimpton continues: “Valentine’s Day can be as special or as low-key as you want it to be – the biggest mistake can be not acknowledging it at all just because the baby is here. Don’t be afraid to take a little time of focus on your romantic relationship – it’s just as beneficial for your child!”