Each week, Z Living’s popular show Birth Days gives parents an up-close and personal look at the first few days of living with a newborn — dirty diapers, nursing troubles, schedule juggling, emotional moments, and more. (Check here to see where to watch the show, and when to tune in!) The highs and lows of this transitional time are featured in the series, as well as Birth Days’ panel of experts; author Kathy Buckworth, relationship expert Josey Vogels, and Dr. Irvin Wolkoff, who analyze each couple’s strengths and weaknesses in the hopes of creating the best perfect family harmony in the quickest amount of time. This group of pros offers up tons of smart parenting tips each week. These are some of the best:
7 Parenting Tips From Birth Days Experts
1. Practice Being Open And Loving Towards Your Co-Parent
Yes, life with a baby (or a kid of any age) means there's plenty to do. But don’t forget to be civil, loving, and courteous toward each other...and don’t let all the ‘to do’s’ take over your life.
Also on Z Living: 5 Parenting Truths We Learned From 'Birth Days'
2. Love and Care For Yourself, First
As tempting as it can be to constantly put your child's needs before your own, if you don't love yourself and take care of yourself too, your relationship will suffer — and ultimately your parenting ability will, too. There’s no way you’ll be able to appreciate yourself, nor communicate to your partner what you need and want, if you don’t love yourself first.
Also on Z Living: 'Birth Days' Host Kathy Buckworth On Working Out While Parenting
3. Find Ways To Support Each Other and Divvy Up Parenting Duties
It might be that a working parent takes over parenting duties the moment he or she returns home. Or Mom offers to breastfeed the baby so Dad can take a break from bottle-feeding. Whatever the magic equation is for your union, figure out a way to split the parenting duties down the line.
Also on Z Living: Why Babies Cry In Their Sleep
4. Have More Than One Child? Loosen Up!
The juggling act of a family gets compounded when a family of three turns into four or more. So as your family grows, loosen up! Each meal doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, your house doesn’t have to look magazine-perfect and well, sometimes something gets screwed up. The best takeaways of this new reality: You all still love one another. And best of all? Tomorrow provides another day and another chance to try it all over again.
5. Take Advantage of Moments of Spontaneity
When you’ve got children, you'll need organization and structure within your life. But remember: Spontaneously hanging out with your loved ones is great medicine for a happy family too. So go for a walk, make time for a family sit-down at dinnertime, or break out the music and start an impromptu dance party. It makes all the work you put into your family even more fun, because you’re taking time out to bend the rules.
Also on Z Living: What If Your Baby Was Your Workout?
6. Don't Entirely Forget About Intimacy
Parents of newborns are pretty busy doing 24-hour shifts of feeding, cleaning, and playing with the baby. Sometimes one parent (or both!) works outside the home, too, plus there's normal household chores, meals to cook, congratulatory well-wishers to greet... Bottom line, finding time to spend together intimately can fall by the wayside. But per the Birth Days experts, don't beat yourself up if showering never happened one day, or if there was no time to create a romantic set-up for a date night. Grab your moments of intimacy whenever you can, even if it's a stolen kiss while making dinner. It’s the foundation to your union and family.
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7. Get On The Same Page About Parenting
Romantic relationships all have their own unique challenges working out compatibility issues, power plays and finding ways to be yourself and part of a duo. And when you mix in a third miniature person, it gets even trickier. So take the time to sit down and discuss your parenting styles and beliefs, and work out any lingering issues. Remember: It will be easier to solve all your baby's problems when you and your partner are simpatico and on the same page.