How To Maintain Intimacy In Your Relationship When You Are Co-Sleeping
There are so many benefits to co-sleeping. It can help your baby regulate their body temperature and can make breastfeeding easier for example. But like all things, it can come with its difficulties. One such concern, for many couples, is how it might affect their intimate relationship. For the first couple of months of your babies life, this may not even be a thought. As you heal from childbirth and adjust to life with a newborn it just may not be on the cards right now. However, you may decide to co-sleep long term. We have personally been co-sleeping for over four years and I am here to shout from the rooftops that co-sleeping does not have to be the end of the intimacy in your relationship.
For a lot of couples “alone time” or intimacy tends to happen in the bedroom. These days, however, the bedroom is a place for family sleep. It has taken on a new role and it would be unrealistic to ignore the fact that the dynamic in that space has well and truly changed. It’s not forever but this is life right now. We hope that co-sleeping is bringing lots of good things to your life such as better sleep but let’s think about how we might maintain the intimate aspects of our romantic relationship.
Sex is an important part of any romantic relationship. How often it occurs really depends on the couple. What is normal for one couple is abnormal for another and we really shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people. Find your normal and work towards that. Sex, in general, is a little different when you welcome children into your world. The logistics change and the exhaustion levels are unavoidable. Things need a little re-jigging and as always communication is key. Speaking about your intimate relationship may feel a little uncomfortable but it will highlight the elephant in the room and keep the conversation flowing until you find what works for you.
One of the benefits of co-sleeping is, well, the sleeping. It might mean that one of you is being exiled to another bedroom but chances are the set up you have found yourself in is the situation that offers the most sleep. More sleep = more energy. More energy is very likely to lead to more interest in being intimate. And here is the thing – intimacy does not just have to happen in the bedroom (squeal). It is actually rather exciting to consider different places and times that work for you. Typically in the past intimacy may have been something that happened at night time. These days the middle of the day might just be the time where energy is at an all-time high. It might also be the time where your child naps and you get a little alone time as a couple...
It is also important to note that intimacy is so much more than sex itself. Simple gestures like kissing each other hello and goodbye, offering lots of hugs and snuggling under a blanket watching TV can really help cement the physical connection that you may be trying to rediscover.
Then comes date night. Date night comes in many shapes and sizes. It might be date day or a cheeky little night away together every couple of months. It also might just be cooking a fancy meal together or having a glass of wine out in the garden playing your favourite music (just remember, your neighbours can see right into your back garden – just a heads-up).
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.