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Marriage and sex tips for new parents

Ami is a writer who is also a childbirth educator and former doula. In addition to her love of all things birth and babies, she is addicted to celebrity news and isn't ashamed to admit it. Ami lives in Chicago with her husband and her te...

Babyproof your marriage

Valentine's Day is the day for romance, but with a new baby who has the time -- let alone the desire -- for intimacy with her partner? Here are 10 tips to keep the fires burning between diaper changes and feedings, on February 14th or any day of the year.

Put your relationship first

One of the best pieces of advice my mom gave me — that was passed down from her dad — is to keep your relationship with your partner the #1 priority. As a new mom, it's next to impossible to imagine the day when your baby is all grown up and leaves the nest. When that day comes, it will just be the two of you again. You don't want to wake up one day to realize you've spent the last 18 years paying attention to your child but forgot about each other.

Nurture yourself

You know the saying "It's better to give than to receive?" While it may be true for holiday gift giving, it's important to take the time to nurture yourself. This may be easier said than done with the non-stop cycle of feeding, changing and soothing your baby — not to mention trying to find five minutes to shower or cook — but you owe it to yourself! Get a massage, style your hair, or even just take a nap. The more you take care of yourself, the more you'll want to, well, take care of business!

Respect each other's parenting style

You appreciate when he does the dishes — he'll appreciate when you let him parent his way. As my husband liked to say when our kids were babies, "It's not my first day on the job."

Date Night

Experts agree that scheduling a regular date night is a great way to
keep the relationship alive. When you do go out, try to keep "baby talk" to a minimum, instead focusing on each other.

Transform your living room

If you can't get out for a date or the babysitter cancels, you'll be| amazed at what a few candles, music and a glass of wine can do to help set the mood for romance.

Baby-proof your bedroom

Don't kill the mood by rolling over onto a rattle. Try to get your baby's blankets, toys and other items out of your bedroom, even for just a little while. If you co-sleep, you may want to try carving out time for romance during the day while your baby naps in a bassinet in another room.

Kiss the cook

Take turns preparing each other's favorite meal. If you don't cook, order in from your favorite local restaurant. Casual or gourmet, sharing a meal together — just the two of you — is a great way to connect with each other.

Respect each other's needs

You're home with the baby all day and barely have time to shower. He's back at work and sleep-deprived. Don't fall into what did you do all day? trap. Give each other time to re-charge at the end of the day and respect that you both have important jobs to do.

Put romance on the calendar

You may be thinking -- scheduling sex? We're not turning into one of those couples! Many experts recommend adding sex to the calendar to remind you to, well, do it! If you have a Blackberry or iPhone you can set an audio alert to remind you that tonight's the night. Think of it as PDA — personal digital assistant -- for PDA — public displays of affection!

creating alone time is actually easier with a new baby

Sure, your crying baby may interrupt you but this, too, shall pass. Just think — a few years from now, your baby will be able to walk and open the bedroom door when you least expect it!
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