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When Baby #1 Joins the Team

You both are so thrilled when you get the news that Baby #1 is on the way. What should you do to prepare for the tiny little game changer before she arrives? Obviously, the additional family member will change your lifes in various ways. Of course, Pinning ideas for the nursery and reviewing options for daycare are important but prepping your relationship mentally and emotionally for the family addition can pay off dividends.  

As you are falling in love with #1, it’s natural to lose focus on your partner. It helps to discuss this before the baby arrives. It helps to agree that if either of you are feeling neglected, you politely tell  what you need from the other. Likewise, It might help to discuss this beforehand; “If I were to lose (this) from you, that would be hard for me.” Post-baby, one couple found it helpful to schedule in some new or spontaneous activities to break up the sometimes monotony of baby care. Another couple made sure to schedule 20 minutes each day where they were discussing other subjects besides the baby. Another Dad mentioned that “turning on the charm” and telling each other what the other does that makes them grateful, is really helpful in their partnership.

After interviewing several new or soon-to-be parents, we learned quite a bit about how each couple focused on maintaining their relationships despite having a baby.  Allison S., a nurse from Minnesota who is expecting Baby #1 in September, says that she and her husband, Jered, think that their morning devotional may be even more valuable after the baby arrives, even if making time for it may seem challenging.  She also believes that one issue they may encounter is that they both love their sleep. They may benefit from researching and  brainstorming a hypothetical slumber plan. At least they will be more physically and mentally prepared simply from the discussion.

Obviously not everything can be planned out and predicted. Paige W’s baby, from Wisconsin, is fast approaching his first birthday. Paige felt it was really helpful for her partner and she to trust their own instinct regarding co-sleeping. It was tempting to listen to friends and family who had their opinions about the matter. But when they really listened to their own intuition, talked honestly about the matter, and trusted their hearts, they both agreed that they would sleep better with their son nearby.

Once baby arrives, two helpful mantras are “This too shall pass” and “We are in this together and we are Allies.” Discussing and considering changes that occur when #1 makes a family of 3, is not always easy but it is well worth the effort.

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