6 Ways to Stay Connected After a Baby

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There was a time when you only had eyes for him.

Now? He’s okay and all, but there’s an outrageously cute, tiny little human in your life giving him a severe run for his money.

When a new baby comes into your life, you’ll be busier and more emotionally and physically spent than ever before. Ask most new dads if they feel a little left out and neglected during this time and the answer is usually yes.

But you can (and should!) still find sneaky little ways to snag time with your man or just make him feel special like the good ole days, before your mini-me ruled the roost. See below for a few suggestions to make you both remember why you decided to make a baby together in the first place.

1. Plan a real date night.

Key word: real. This doesn’t mean you bring the baby with you down the street to the nearest Panda Express in between the baby’s nap and feedings, eating cold egg rolls while discussing your baby’s poop schedule. No, this means you arrange for babysitting. Then you put on some perfume and go to an actual restaurant. And then you focus on truly enjoying this time alone with your partner (baby’s poop will still be there when you get back, don’t worry).

2. Make date night at home.

Simply can’t muster up the energy to dress yourself and get out the door to the hottest new restaurant in town? No problem. Once your baby has settled down for the night (or even for a few hours) spring into action. Don’t just lie on the couch next to each other and zone out to the TV, seize this moment! Get your favorite takeout, cook a meal together or simply share a bottle of wine—whatever you do, just make sure you focus on each other and talk about adult things for a while.

3. Reinstate the lost art of love letters.

You and your partner might be on totally different schedules now: maybe you’re up at all hours of the night feeding baby while your partner takes the morning shift so you can sleep in, but by the time you wake up he’s out the door to work. If you feel like two ships just passing in the night, surprise him by writing a heartfelt note telling him how much you appreciate all his help and hide it somewhere for him to find.

4. Surprise him with tickets.

In my husband’s case, these tickets would no doubt have to be to some sort of sporting event. But the possibilities are endless here: concerts, plays, festivals, brew fests, art tours—whatever he’s into, show him you’ve put some thought into his happiness by surprising him with fun tickets.

5. Create special rituals.

Even if it’s as simple as taking a family walk together every evening after work, create some sort of ritual you can do together and stick to it. Another idea? Keeping a standing weeknight ritual where you take turns trying out a new recipe for the other to try.

6. Get creative with it.

If the week is coming to an end and you realize you haven’t been able to accomplish any of the above, think outside the box. If your offices are close, commute to work together, or if you’re a stay-at-home-mom offer to drive him to work and then pick him up at the end of the day. Or, surprise him at work by bringing him his favorite lunch (with baby in tow, of course). Even if it’s just having his favorite DVD rented and waiting for him when he gets home, anything to show him you’re thinking of him too can go a long way.