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We want it, we crave it, we obsess over it. Sleep is a high priority for parents as we get such precious little of it. But, here's a tip you and your partner will probably both be happy to hear.

If you're having trouble succumbing to sleep even when you do get to lay down, you might want to try... getting laid. As Australian sleep researcher Dr. Michele Lastella determined with a survey of hundreds of adults, people sleep better after having sex.

“What we found was 64% of our respondents indicated they slept better when sex was with a partner and it involves an orgasm," he told Adelaide Now.

Lastella's research is part of a project evaluating the use of sex as sleep therapy. He found that when people but their phones away and instead make time for some evening intimacy, sleep quality improves drastically. "When you're engaging in sex, you're not thinking about what to do the next day, you're not going through your phones. It distracts you," he said.

But, of course when you have kids, the phones are not the only things that distract you. It can be hard for parents to find the right time and place to connect—and, even then, it may not be a top priority.

According to a survey of new parents conducted earlier this year, 34% said sleep is what they miss the most about their pre-child life, while just 17% miss "romantic time" the most.

The lack of concern over time for sex makes sense. Hormone levels in mothers and fathers change with parenthood. And, according to anthropologists at the University of Notre Dame, when new dads experience testosterone dips, they report lower frequencies of sex with their partners.

The research also suggests co-sleeping can impact hormone levels in parents, not to mention the logistical challenges it poses with nighttime romance.

Parents may want to give it a shot though, because the average parent is getting way less sleep than they need. But, as the Australian survey shows, both the 34% of parents who miss sleep and the 17% who miss romance may find themselves happier if they engage in a little intimacy before bed.

[Originally published on December 5, 2017]

Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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My husband and I talked about a lot of things before becoming parents—our values, what kinds of parents our parents had been, and how that informed the kinds of parents we wanted to be. Those were good and important conversations and helped us get on the same page about some overarching themes of parenting.

But you know what we did not discuss? Which parent would be in charge of pediatrician visits. Who would handle researching the best way to introduce solid foods. And, down the road, which parent would take the lead on communicating with teachers. And oh so much more!

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If there is one thing I would love to go back and redo, it is having a very specific conversation with my partner about how parenting duties were going to be shared.

Here's what I wish we'd talked about.

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