Dr. Ruth has some advice for new parents

The renowned sex expert shared some eye-opening tips.

Dr. Ruth has some advice for new parents

Valentine's Day is here, but new parents may not be looking for romance as much as they're looking for a nap. It is so tough to balance the demands of parenthood with the desire for physical connection with our partners, but renowned sex expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer has advice for new moms.

The 90-year-old sex therapist and subject of an upcoming Hulu documentary, Ask Dr. Ruth, spoke with Motherly about how new parents can make room for sex in a busy season of life.

1. It doesn't have to be intercourse

If you're in a heterosexual relationship, consider other forms of sex that don't involve penile penetration. "What I suggest to new moms is it doesn't have to be intercourse. Just pleasure each other. Give him an orgasm and then let him give you an orgasm," Dr. Ruth tells Motherly.

"In order to speed it up a little, because I understand that people are tired and that the child demands a lot of attention, ask him just to give you an orgasm either manually or orally. It does not have to be intercourse."

Dr. Ruth suggests that postpartum couples can move toward intercourse when both are comfortable with it, but if there's any pain or dryness, she suggests talking to a doctor (and making sure you have enough lubricant).

2. Consider a babysitting swap

According to Dr. Ruth, regular date nights away from the baby are very important for keeping the romance going. She says new parents should accept help from grandmothers and other relatives whenever they can, and use that child-free time to really connect with their partner as lovers, not co-parents.

"If there's no relatives nearby, then do what I used to do when I raised my child. I switched with a neighbor in the building, so that one day I went to school and another day I took her children and she went to school. Find somebody, another new mother that you can switch off with," says Dr. Ruth.

3. Get a room (but don't stay overnight)

"[It's] very important that you plan the time, not just on Valentine's Day, to make sure get a babysitter, or get a relative that can babysit, and go out," Dr. Ruth tells Motherly.

"What I also suggest to parents, is from time to time, check into a motel. You don't have to stay the whole night. Just check in. Make sure you have some bubble bath. Make sure you have a little champagne, and stay for a few hours. Have a babysitter, or maybe somebody from the family to watch the children, so that that sex life doesn't fall asleep."

4. Know that this isn't how sex will always be

New parenthood can make a person feel unsexy. When you're sleep deprived and walking around with spit-up on your sweatshirt and three days worth of dry shampoo in your hair, it's hard to feel sensual at all (and sometimes it feels like you'll never feel that way again).

But Dr. Ruth has some advice for new mamas who are feeling like sex has lost its appeal or its place in their lives: "Know that it'll pass. The children will grow up."

As the children grow (and you get more sleep) your sex life can change and evolve, but you have to make the space and time for romance to blossom. "It can be just going to a restaurant for a quiet talk, so that the interest in each other does not fall asleep," says Dr. Ruth.

It's a point Dr. Ruth made multiple times during her conversation with us: During a time of life where we really want to fall (and stay) asleep, we should do what we can to keep our interest in our partner awake.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

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Water play set

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Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

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Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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