For as long as your baby can remember it's been just you and her, so you are understandably nervous about bringing someone new into the picture. Yet you can't wait for the two most important people in your life to get to know one another, and you're really hoping they hit it off. Lots of women in your shoes want to know the same thing — how to introduce your baby to your new partner. Luckily, there are ways of doing it that benefit everyone involved.
Parent Consultant and Child Behaviorist Amanda Houle emphasizes the importance of going slowly and setting realistic expectations. In an exclusive interview with Romper, Houle advises moms to start small by bringing your new partner along to a playground or fun event where there will be a lot of people and very little pressure. Making these kinds of outings together on a weekly basis helps your baby become gradually more comfortable with this new person in her life.
If you are hoping for your partner to spend the night in your home, Houle advises letting the baby wake up without him there for several weeks while gradually introducing him into your morning routine. This may take some creative planning, but it will be worth it for your baby to feel safe and secure with the new person in her life.
Houle also reminds moms that this is a big change not just for your baby, but for your partner, too — they're likely feeling a lot of pressure to make it go well. Try to be patient and not overly insistent that your baby and partner bond immediately. The more anxiety everyone feels, the more stressful the relationship will likely be. Focus on supporting the two people you love, rather than seeing yourself as responsible for their connection.
If it doesn't go swimmingly at first, Houle advises, be sure to reiterate to your partner that it's not their fault. Keep things lighthearted and don't draw too much attention to the tension between them. Keep your voice calm and cheerful, as your baby will likely feel stress herself if you display it, and encourage your partner to engage in games or activities that your little one enjoys.
The most important thing to remember when bringing your new love interest into your baby's life is to take it slow and relax. Remember, everyone will be following your cues, and you know what they say — if mom's not happy, nobody's happy.