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Can we have sex while our baby is sleeping in the room?

Asking yourself if it's normal to have sex with baby in the room? Our advice columnist shares her take on post-baby intimacy.

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Dear Is This Normal,

How do my partner and I reignite our sex life post-baby when our baby is still sleeping in our room. I can’t get in the mood knowing my newborn is a few feet away. How do other parents maintain intimacy when their baby is just chilling next to the bed? 

Signed,

Three’s a Crowd

Dear Crowd,

Ah, yes. The age-old question every new parent faces at some point on this crazy ride we call parenthood: how do I get it on with my partner when my kid is never more than an arm’s length away? This is a totally normal (and somewhat tricky) adjustment period to navigate, and I’ll be honest: there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. It will depend a lot on your own comfort level, your sleeping arrangements, how soundly your babe sleeps (and how low-key you can keep the nookie noise levels). Is it normal to have sex when your baby is sleeping in the same room? Yeah! It’s fine! Is it normal for you to not be completely comfy with it? Absolutely. 

By and large, experts agree that having sex with your partner while your baby is asleep in the same room is totally, completely normal. In fact, practicing healthy intimacy and being fulfilled in this area of your life will actually make you a happy, healthier parent! Keep in mind, your newborn can (and will) sleep through just about anything. Not only that, but newborns and babies (and yes, even toddlers) have zero understanding of the concept of sex and intimacy. Even if your babe was awake while you were getting it on, they would have absolutely no idea what was happening. So if your baby happened to catch a glimpse of what was going on, it would not register in their brains.

But, you being comfortable with being intimate and having sex while your baby is sleeping in the same room is a horse of a different color. That’s your personal preference, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you not being 100% down with that. Plus, your discomfort with the situation can definitely lead to an inability to be aroused or turned on (again, totally normal!). Engaged intimacy is so important, so if your baby sleeping in the bassinet right next to your bed is a roadblock for you, then maybe try and switch things up on the nights (or days) you and your partner are feeling frisky. If you have a walk-in closet or ensuite bathroom, try moving the bassinet into one of those spaces with the door cracked and the baby monitor close by. Or even just positioning the bassinet at the foot of the bed or farther away from where you are may help! Queue up the white noise machine for a little noise cover/mood music while you’re at it. 

If you still can’t get into it with your baby in the same room, there are so many other ways to be intimate and sexual with your partner. Think outside of the box. Sex doesn’t always have to happen at night…or in your bed—take advantage of daytime naps for some afternoon delight in another room. If your babe is sleeping soundly in the living room, pop into the kitchen or closet for a quickie. Grandparents babysitting for date night? Order takeout and grab a hotel room for a few hours. Or better yet, pack some blankets and snacks and wine in the car and head up to your local lover’s lookout (every town and city has one) to take it back to your high school and college days with some canoodling under the stars. Keep things spicy, even out of the bedroom; send sexy texts messages or photos to each other, or leave a saucy little note on the bathroom mirror that your partner will see first thing in the morning. 

Intimacy isn’t just about sex, and sex doesn’t happen just in the bedroom after lights out. Your pre- and post-kid life is going to look different in a lot of ways, and this is one of them (albeit a temporary one). It’s all about finding what works for you and your partner. If you’re not feeling it, don’t force it—just find an option you’re comfortable with! You may be surprised by how changing things up can also spice things up in your sex life…a daytime quickie in the closet is hot AF, I’m just sayin’. 

Gets Yours,

Is This Normal

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