Spending time with the baby can make your husband feel left out.

The Importance of New Parents Having Date Nights

by Erica Loop

Between the late-night feedings, constant diaper duty and learning how to handle a squirming, screaming baby, finding time to get romantic -- or even be alone together -- is a challenge for many new parents. While having date nights may seem like a far-fetched dream, couple-time is key to keeping your partnership positive and maintaining the spark that once brought you together.

1. Jealousy

While it might seem silly when your hubby whines that the baby is getting all of the attention, it's not uncommon -- according to the pediatric pros at the KidsHealth website -- for dads to feel jealous of the time a new mom spends with her baby. Instead of being a couple, your new family of three -- or more -- can make dad feel excluded. While having a date night here and there won't completely resolve this issue, spending time with your husband away from the baby can show him how important he is to you and assure him you will make time for him.

2. Communication

When the communication between you and your husband breaks down, your relationship is sure to suffer. If the day-to-day struggles of raising a newborn are interfering with your ability to adequately communicate with your husband, a date night can help to ease tensions and provide time to talk things out. For example, it isn't always easy to find time to talk to your husband about how you may feel isolated while he is at work all day -- getting to have lunch with his co-workers and having after-work dinner meetings -- while you are busy caring for the baby. Date night provides both of you with the opportunity to talk about your feelings, communicate and express emotions without having to run off to change a diaper or ready a bottle.

3. Nurturing Your Relationship

Although throwing yourself full force into motherhood is a necessity with a newborn, don't do so at the cost of the relationship you already have. While there are obvious times when your little one needs you more than your husband, scheduling a regular date night can help the two of to re-connect and nurture your relationship. The happier you are in your relationship, the better you can do your job as a parent and the more love your child will feel.

4. Romance

The demands of new parenting often make it difficult to keep the romance in even the most loving of marriages. When you are knee-deep in dirty onesies, have an unidentified goo all over your forehead and haven't slept for what feels like days, feeling sexy is often more than a challenge. The experts at the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project note that having regular date nights provides couples with the chance to take part in the more romantic types of activities that can, in turn, create a more satisfying marriage.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

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