How to “Baby-Proof” Your Relationship!

Delving into the transformative journey of becoming parents, this article offers invaluable insights and practical strategies for maintaining a strong and flourishing relationship amidst the joys and challenges of parenthood. From effective communication techniques to nurturing intimacy and carving out quality time, it provides essential guidance for couples navigating the beautiful yet demanding journey of raising children while preserving the bond that brought them together.


When a couple is expecting a baby, they focus on preparing for the arrival. They take classes and register for the world’s cutest gear. Yet, couples often fail to “baby-proof” their relationship for the changes as they transition from partners to parents.  

Changes to your relationship are inevitable. The postpartum period is stressful, and partners must prepare for their relationship to change after their baby is born. This is something that should be readily discussed and normalized for all new parents. 

Remember that you were two individuals before you became a couple and partners before you became parents. It is important to honor your needs on each of these levels. Any “weak” spots in your relationship will be highlighted during a transitional time like this. As part of your preparation, there are many ways to get support. For example, you can pursue resources, such as books and workshops, that are focused on couples. Some therapists specialize in working with partners during this time.

parents with new baby
via ChristopherBernard from Getty Images Signature

Here are some tips to help “baby-proof” your relationship:

  • Remember, this is not the time for “score-keeping” or comparisons. You are on the same team! The goal is to ensure that the tasks are completed.
  • Communication is key, and it should be clear and concise. Don’t expect mind-reading!
  • Make specific requests using “I” statements. Do your best to avoid always/never statements.
  • Figure out logistics ahead of time where you can.  Create a shared doc that contains information regarding doctors, support persons, and favorite take-out meals.
  • Create a support network and be clear about what will actually support you. For example, if you want help with cleaning and someone only wants to hold your baby, that is not helpful!
  • Overall, when communicating with your support network, utilize language that reflects that you are a team.  An example of this is, “We will discuss that and get back to you.”
  • In addition, it’s important to assume good intent from your partner.  You are both navigating a whole new world and doing it in a sleep-deprived state.
  • Finally, consider doing a daily check-in to share your individual highs and lows for the day. This gives partners a chance to evaluate themselves and assess how their partner is managing the transition.

Most of all, maintain a flexible mindset regarding expectations of yourselves and each other.  The transition to parenthood is intense, but it will get easier.  Starting with a collaborative approach will set you up for success for your whole parenting journey!

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Jane Johnson Wall
Jane has lived in RI for the past 20 years or so, returning to the area after a brief stint of living in Southern California. She is a licensed marriage & family therapist (LMFT) and is certified in perinatal & maternal mental health (PMH-C). She loves working with moms because she loves being a mom. Her practice is women-centered, and she loves helping women feel empowered and connected to their inner bad-ass as they navigate through the various phases of their lives. She wants women to feel supported as they dismantle the internalized expectations they have unconsciously adapted. However, the role that has given her the strongest sense of achievement (and, in all honesty, her biggest sense of struggle) is being a mom. Her own journey into motherhood was a complex and quick one, as her girls are only 15 months apart! Although her daughters are now young adults, she notes that the twists and turns of parenting are timeless. Each developmental stage (and its struggles) prepare us for the next stage. She is embracing having kids who are away at college, but loves to go and visit them. She's well-versed in food allergies, as her family has a variety of them! She hopes that she is never forced to choose between having access to the beach and access to the mountains. She spent the decade of her 20's living in Huntington Beach, CA, and 90’s alternative music is her soundtrack. She is a big believer in “energy” and our ability to manifest. She does an abundance practice on the first of every month, and does full/new moon rituals, incorporating things like journaling, tarot cards, and crystals.


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