How to Keep Love Alive this Valentines Day for New Parents

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Love is in the air and Valentines Day is just around the corner. For couples who've just had a baby, tiredness can be overwhelming and romance is probably furthest thing from their mind. Jane Palmer from Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond said that "tiredness aside it’s still important for a couple's relationship to keep the passion burning".

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This Valentines Day, it's important for couples to take the time to remember the romantic side of their relationship.

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Love is in the air and Valentines Day is just around the corner. But, for couples who've just had a baby, romance is probably furthest from their minds.

Having a baby is an amazing experience. The unconditional love parents feel towards their baby can be overwhelming. The knowledge of the trust a baby has for their parents and the responsibility that ensues can bring a couple closer together.

However parents can sometimes become too engrossed in their baby and forget about being a couple. This Valentines Day, it's important for couples to take the time to remember the romantic side of their relationship.

The lack of sleep and the pressure of looking after a baby 24 hours a day can take its toll on a relationship. Tiredness can lead to arguments and resentment. This is the time when couples need to work harder to nurture their relationship. Jane Palmer from Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond said that "it's important for a couple's relationship to keep the passion burning".

On Valentines Day there’s no need for extravagant gifts. Sometimes small gestures are just what a couple needs.

So, for new parents, here are some Valentines Day ideas that do not cost the earth but will definitely put the spark into a relationship.

For her:

In the early days, most of the pressure of looking after the baby falls on the mother, so the words "I love you" become very important. A little gesture such as this goes a long way in making a new mother feel loved. Other gift ideas include:

1. A lie in at week-ends. For a sleep deprived mother, who has not have a decent sleep for weeks, a lie-in is a wonderful gift.
2. Volunteering to look after the baby at night. Even if a mother is breastfeeding, her partner can bring the baby to her while she stays in bed. She can feed the baby while she sleeps and her partner can burp and change the baby once he or she is finished. Knowing that someone is in-charge of the baby at night will help her sleep better.
3. During the day, while out, sending a message such as "I am thinking of you" can go a long way to make her feel she’s not alone and is truly cared for.
4. Run a bath. A new mother can feel quite special by offering such a nurturing gesture.
5. Offer to look after the baby for a short while she goes out with her friends.

For him:

Dads are sometimes forgotten when the baby comes. The mother gets a lot of attention and the baby is cooed over, while the dad is left watching on the sideline. Well, this Valentine’s Day, make sure he feels important too.

1. Appreciate all his efforts to help. ‘Thank You’ does not cost a thing, but it will make him feel a hundred times better. Not just because it’s polite, but because it tells him that he is doing the right thing.
2. Saying "I love you" everyday. Sometimes he can feel left out as the attention is focused on the baby. He’s not being selfish. It’s a normal reaction. After all, he had his partner's attention before the birth, now he barely gets a look in.
3. Sending a message while he is at work to say "I love you"
4. Encourage, rather than criticize, his efforts of trying to look after the baby.
5. Encourage him to see his friends.

For the couple

1. Put the baby to bed early and get some adult time together.
2. Instead of getting ready for bed early, relax and cuddle on the sofa. Watch a film together.
3. Hug, cuddle and kiss each other everyday. It is important to regularly touch each other affectionately. Not only does it feel good, but it also increases the body’s level of Oxytocin, a hormone known to encourage bonding.
4. At week-ends, when the baby is asleep, spend time resting together. Leave the house work alone.
5. Have a bath together. This gives more chances to touch and re-discover passion for each other.
6. Instead of cooking, order a take-away and have a candle lit dinner. Better yet, ask grandparents or friends to babysit and go out for a meal on Valentines Day.
7. Go for a walk as a family and stop at a café for lunch. Use a sling to carry the baby and hold hands while walking.
8. Have breakfast in bed together.
9. Finally, don’t get hung up on little things. The house work can wait. Get someone to clean the house. Bonding with the baby and each other is far more important.

Happy Valentines Day!

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Jane Palmer
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