Baby Interrupts Intimate Moments

We have been blessed with a 9-month old son. We were wondering if you might have some advice for our situation. Since the baby has been in our lives, our relationship has kind of lost some air.

Our son is mainly breastfed, including at night, which results in him being in our bed. He is also very possessive over his mom.

There will be times when he is completely asleep, I mean you lift up his arm and it drops with a THUD, asleep. My wife and I will try to take a moment for ourselves and within 5-10 minutes of starting to be intimate, he wakes up and it kind of kills the moment.
We have tried everything from music, to trying to be intimate on a different floor of the house, and even trying to be intimate in the same room but very quietly. I kid you not, it makes no difference, he wakes up EVERY time.

He isn't bottle fed at all and we are slowly moving him on to solids.

We would like to take your 7-day sex challenge, which I have purchased; however, we doubt the baby will allow for us to spend the time necessary to allow us to undertake it.

Have you had any experience in this area and what would you suggest? Are there any modifications we could make to the challenge to help it to fit our needs?

The other major challenge is that I work 2nd shift about 1.25 hours away from home. I leave at 2pm and don't get home until 1:15am. If there are any suggestions in regard to the time thing as well, this would be greatly appreciated.

Our Answer:
You and your wife certainly are blessed to have a little baby boy!

What is critical in your relationship with each other, though, is to make certain your blessing from God remains a blessing in every way...and that may demand a bit of creativity and willingness to adjust pre-conceived notions.

We do have some experience with kids--we have nine of them! And, all of them were breastfed until they were weaned to drinking from a cup. Our youngest child is now ten, so we don't face the same struggles now that you are facing--but we have certainly been there!
Babies and young children require patience and self-control! However, here are a few ideas for you to consider in your situation:

* If your lovemaking is halted because of your child, he will become a source of resentment for one or both of you. You can't let that happen. Sex is a need that must be met. Obviously, you need to adjust with a baby--but that doesn't mean not having sex at all! Your relationship and the meeting of each others' needs is priority: you will be better able to be great parents for your son when both of you feel your own needs are also met.

* We strongly suggest you both reconsider having your son sleep with you; we think it is a mistake. Granted, it makes night feedings easier, and helps you hear your baby when he wakes up, etc, but the negatives outweigh the positives here. Try moving him to another room.

* In fact, for all of our children, we had our infants sleep in a separate room. If you don't have the space, a crib in the far corner of the room perhaps--but not in your bed! The best arrangement is a separate room. You must protect your privacy--and make it a priority. For many, many people babies sleeping in the same room as the parents just does not happen, and for good reason.

* If there is no way in the world your baby can sleep anywhere than in your room (but never in your bed!!), turn up the creative energy: if he is going to wake up every time--so be it. But let him cry somewhere that you can't hear him. It won't hurt him at all to cry for a little while. Understand, though, that you may have to let him "cry it out" once in a while for more than a few days. His adjustment to not being tended to every time he wakes up will not happen overnight!

* Establishing a new routine for your son will help. Whether that new routine includes a new location for him to sleep or letting him cry back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of his sleep, remember, there are no tricks to speed this up except to be as consistent in the new routine as possible.

* Another option is to have your wife express some breast milk for a few feedings--and call in grandma or an aunt to babysit and feed your young son. Then the two of you can find a private place to make love!

* Another consideration... we'd expect that your son, at nine months, is definitely able to digest solid food. Perhaps he is such a light sleeper because his tummy is getting hungry! Try feeding him solid food at dinner time and see if he doesn't sleep better at night! Also, if you, the dad, were to help feed him solid food, you'd develop a relationship with him; perhaps then, he wouldn't be so possessive of his mom.

In regards to modifying the 7 Day Sex Challenge for your own use... begin by committing to doing all parts of the Challenge every day except perhaps for having sex. Instead, you and your wife could agree to having sex, for example, three times in the week... just be sure it's more often than it is happening now! The daily verbal expressions of your commitment to one another (that are part of the Challenge) will remind both of you the importance of making your marriage relationship a priority in your family life.

Your shift work is certainly a challenge to try and work around! If finding a job closer to home or moving closer to your place of work are not options you can consider, then you will need to be creative, determined, and committed to fitting in and scheduling times for sex. You and your wife need to talk about how often you expect to have sex each week. Then plan when and how to make times of intimacy happen. Without a plan that both of you commit to, it will be easy to give up on trying to make sex happen. For example, let's say you and your wife decide to have sex on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights after you've gotten home from work and had a shower. Deciding this will help both of you prepare for it. Your wife might choose to have a nap in the afternoon and she expects you will sleep a little longer that morning. You have probably heard of the saying, "If you aim at nothing, you will surely hit it!" Don't let that be true in regards to your times of sexual intimacy. Discuss, plan, decide, and commit to your plan.

Of course, there will be times when sex doesn't happen when you planned for it to. Talk in advance about how you will handle this. If you don't, then the disappointment of unmet expectations will easily cause resentment to grow. That is something you must not allow!

We hope this is helpful!

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