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Parenting together with your partner

Becoming a parent can be a wonderful experience. But it may also be a lonely and challenging time, especially if this is your first baby.

Looking after your relationship with your partner is important. Take time to talk about how you will both balance looking after the baby, home life, work and hobbies.

Parenting is a lot easier when both parents help each other.

Take care of your relationship

Becoming a parent can put a strain on your relationship. This can happen because you are tired, tense or have less time to spend with your partner.

Take care of your relationship by:

  • doing something nice for your partner
  • letting your partner know you appreciate their support
  • talking about your feelings in a calm way
  • listening to each other
  • accepting offers of help from family and friends
  • sharing housework and childcare

Allow your partner to develop their own style of parenting and praise what they do well.

Talk about your frustrations in a calm way. Find a way of dealing with these issues without arguing in front of your child.

Parenting advice and getting support

Share responsibilities

You and your partner can support each other to build a positive home life and environment for your child.

Make decisions on how you will share responsibilities.

This includes:

  • feeding your baby
  • getting up during the night
  • housework and shopping
  • bathing your child
  • taking time off work if your baby is sick

Get enough rest

Being a parent can be tiring. Extra rest is important for both parents, especially after your baby is born.

It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing who got the least amount of sleep. This is not helpful.

In the first few days to 2 weeks after giving birth, try to:

  • reduce the number of visitors after your baby's birth
  • get rest or sleep when your baby is asleep
  • accept offers of help with routine shopping or housework
  • go easy on yourself if some of the housework goes undone for now
  • focus on your baby and yourself

Tips for new parents in the early days (video)

Physical activity

Some gentle exercises can help:

  • increase your energy levels
  • manage the added work of having a baby

Build physical activity into your daily routine by going for a walk with your baby. Invite your partner or a friend along and use it as an opportunity to spend time together.

Exercise after pregnancy

Page last reviewed: 3 April 2023
Next review due: 3 April 2026