CO-Parenting 101: A guide to sharing responsibilities with a newborn

Bella Heim
Bella Heim
Bella is a mummy of three, writer, and photographer. She's not afraid to admit that she relies on a little red wine to keep the chaos of motherhood at bay. When she's not dodging toys and dirty diapers, you'll find her documenting the wild and wonderful ride of parenthood, and adding a splash of inspiration, creativity, and a healthy dose of mum humour along the way.
Created on Oct 29, 2023 · 5 mins read

Congratulations on the newest addition to your family!

Being a parent is a wild ride, but you don’t have to do it alone. With a co-pilot by your side, you can share in all the ups and downs of raising a little human (and the sleepless nights, of course). Co-parenting is all about teamwork, effective communication, and a little bit of humor to get you through the tough times. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. So let’s tackle this parenting thing together!

Partnering up for baby care: how to divide and conquer

  • Divvy up different tasks so that you’re not doing it solo
  • Support each other when overwhelmed
  • Always communicate and be open to discuss your needs and expectations

Welcome to the wonderful world of newborn care! Yes, we know it’s like a never-ending marathon – nappy/diaper duty, keeping your little newborn clean and dressed in warm, comfy (and super cute) threads – it’s all part of the job. But you don’t have to do it alone. You and your partner can divvy up the tasks, or take turns handling them. If you’re breastfeeding, your partner can be your trusty pit crew, bringing you all the H2O and snacks you need to power through. And if bottle-feeding is more your style, this is a good chance for your partner to take over a feeding or two when you need a break (or a snooze). Ah, and the job of sterilising all those bottles and equipment – that’s a job for a superhero, aka your co-parent. Together, you’ve got this feeding thing down. Go team!

Bonding with your baby is just as important as changing nappies.

  • Raising a newborn isn’t just about keeping them fed and clean. Nurturing their emotional and psychological well-being is just as important!
  • Both parents should get in on the action, because bonding with your baby together is super important for their development (and it sure does make for some super cute Insta pics).

Sure, nappy/diaper changes and feedings are important, but it’s also important to spend some quality time with your bub. Chatting, playing games, and providing comfort when they’re feeling a little off – it’s all part of the job description. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love snuggling up with a cute little bub? They probably won’t understand a word you’re saying, but an adorable smile is all you need from them to melt your heart. So go ahead and make some silly faces, sing some nursery rhymes (aka earworms), and soak up all that love. Trust us, your baby will love it.

Effective communication is key

  • Have honest conversations about the care of your newborn
  • Discuss your needs and expectations with each other
  • Make sure you are on the same page when it comes to parenting responsibilities

Effective communication is crucial in any relationship, but it’s especially important when you’re co-parenting. Make time to regularly discuss the care of your newborn, even if it means scheduling a “baby conference call” on your calendar. It’s important to be open and honest with each other (yes, it is fine to admit you have no idea what you’re doing as a parent!). By communicating effectively, you can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that you’re both on the same page and feel supported and involved in the parenting process. Oh, and don’t forget to show each other some love too – because let’s face it, we all need that from time to time…especially when raising a baby as it’s no easy feat!

Self-care and couple time are non-negotiable (unless the baby is crying, then all bets are off)

  • Take care of yourself and your relationship to be better parents and better able to handle the challenges of raising a child
  • Make time for self-care activities, such as exercise, hobbies, or relaxation
  • Set aside time for date nights or other couple activities

We know the phrase “self-care” gets thrown around a lot these days, but let’s be real – it’s not easy to prioritise yourself when you’re looking after a newborn or baby. But just because you’re now responsible for a tiny human doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your own needs. Try not to forget to give yourself some “me time” – whether it’s hitting the gym, taking up a new hobby, or just relaxing with a good book. And don’t forget about “couple time” too (wink wink)! It’s important to set aside time for fun date nights that allow you to connect and strengthen your relationship. Just think of it as refueling your own tanks so you can be the best parents you can be.

Babies are cute, but they’re also expensive

  • Consider the financial aspects of raising a child
  • Adjust your budget to accommodate the cost of nappies/diapers, formula, clothes, etc, etc… (the list just gets bigger!)
  • Come up with a financial plan that works for both of you

On top of all the practical and emotional responsibilities of parenting, let’s not forget the financial aspects of raising a child. Yes, babies are cute, but they’re also expensive. Between nappies/diapers, formula, super cute clothes, and all the other baby essentials (and an occasional drink for you once in a while), you may need to adjust your budget. So it’s important to discuss these financial responsibilities with your partner and come up with a plan that works for both of you. Maybe you can sell some of your old stuff on eBay or start a side hustle? Just kidding (sort of, maybe?).

Co-parenting with a newborn can be overwhelming at times. There will be moments when you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water, but it is also such an incredibly rewarding experience. So take a deep breath, embrace the challenges and joys of parenting, and remember – you’ve got this (even if you don’t always feel like it). And hey, if all else fails, just keep repeating “fake it ’til you make it” until it becomes a reality.

Good luck!

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