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And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives
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And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  976 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Having a baby is a joyous experience, but even the best relationships are strained during the transition from duo to trio. Lack of sleep, never-ending housework, and new fiscal concerns often lead to conflict, disappointment, and hurt feelings. In And Baby Makes Three Love Lab(TM) experts John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman teach couples the skills from their successfu ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  976 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Julia Murtha
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book came highly recommended from my early childhood teacher. The idea and concept of the book is excellent as most people experience difficulty in maintaining their relationship after bringing home a baby. The author does a great job of outlining basic ways to get and stay connected to your partner. The disappointing part of the book is that the author provided examples of partners that held very traditional roles-- father works and is hands off and mother is the main caregiver. Also, he a ...more
Erika RS
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A baby puts stress on a relationship. How well a couple weathers that stress is important both for the health of that relationship and on the longer term happiness and well being of the baby. The effects are both direct and indirect: stress can lead directly to distress in everyone in the family, and it can also lead to eventual divorce and the negative consequences of that.

This book takes a practical and concrete approach to helping couples handle the changes that a new baby brings. Unlike much
Heath Salzman
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book has been so helpful. I wish I had read it when my wife was pregnant, but better late than never. The content covers so much helpful ground and gives practical steps for couples who are welcoming their first child. I had no idea what to expect and this book really helped to normalize the experience of being a first time parent, driving away shame and offering encouragement. As a pastor, I plan to use this with any first time parents in my congregation. All that said, like any good ...more
Lori Ben-ezra
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you've read other books by the Gottmans, then you've already read most of this book. It's basically reiterating their research and clinical theories, with a few extra chapters on how this applies to couples expecting their first child or new parents. There's great information presented in the book, just don't expect any new information if you're familiar with their work. ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Somewhat formulaic at times and life isn't really that way, but overall great review/discussion of some of the pitfalls of relationships, especially after having a baby, with lots of suggestions for important and productive conversations to have to avoid the pitfalls. ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marriage-family
"Small things often"- this is the advice the Gottmans give to couples to help their marital relationship survive and develop further after a new baby arrives. I especially appreciated their tips on making arguments/disagreements more respectful, tips like: give compliments, make light jokes, and listen to feelings during arguments. Restate your spouses' position before giving your own. Compromise, don't overgeneralize. This is real practical advice, and there's years of research behind what he's ...more
Michael De Paola
Nov 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Coming up on the halfway mark... some good ideas, but too much of a rehash of earlier books.

Early on this book starts out as a condemnation that if you're not always acting on the best behavior in front of your spouse during pregnancy that your children will have all sorts of development problems. The evidence is okay, but not completely damming. Either way though, real life gets in the way and it didn't seem to offer many solutions. The second half of this book was much better than the first. I
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brian and I took turns reading this out loud. It was slow-going, but worth the effort. If you've read other Gottman material, you'll definitely notice some repeated material. The exercises and discussion prompts were the most valuable aspects of the book, since we don't normally ponder matters such as the dreams behind our mundane wishes or how we hope to instill a family legacy. The book also encouraged good, frank discussion about our fears and sex and family history. ...more
Liz De Coster
Basically the same as all his/their other books, and for the most part could be easily summarized in a blog post.
Lauren Gilbert
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book contains some good info that I think will be helpful to most readers. The exercises and the research conclusions are very interesting to me. However, most of the research is outdated (the edition I had was from 2001, I believe). Some of the advice is just so glaringly sexist and obnoxious. Furthermore, the style in the book is very disjointed. I know there are two authors, but there were at least three written voice styles. The parts expounding research read like they were from a whole ...more
Joshua Marx
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 stars, but rounded up. The material in the book was really good, but it is very redundant, hence the mark down. Read this with my wife while she was pregnant and it was really good so we could discuss the baby and foresee the stresses on our relationship. It is great to focus on each other now that we have the baby, and to make sure we all get what we need. It does seem to cast fathers in a semi-negative light, like we don't know how to care for a baby or might not want to; not really overtl ...more
Melissa Erb Burgess
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Some helpful research data but also mostly super obvious examples of how not to treat each other like shit once your baby is born.
Stephanie Kline
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's not entirely this book's fault that it didn't really resonate with me. Maybe I expected too much. As a new mom of a 4 1/2 month old, I have certainly seen first-hand how life with a newborn can impact a marriage - even one that seemed like the most solid, can't-touch-this kind of marriage. My husband and I were surprised that it was easier for us to use tense words with each other, and to feel more frustrated in our relationship once our son arrived. Although things have MUCH improved now t ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
"When we savor each other, our abies rest in the cradle of our contentment". -John Gottman

I thought this was a great book, that gives great tips on how to preserve intimacy and romance after baby comes. I also read John Gottman's Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, and found a lot of the same information and tools in this book as he used in that book. I love Gottman's idea of Love Maps.

As with any Marriage book you take what you like and leave what you don't. There are some things in the
Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it
The book is great, and I am a big fan of Dr Gottman's work.. but GOD so much emotional correctness! I don't believe in all that sharing and talking about childhood and stuff! it can backfire.. AND seriously! if a couple can spend hours doing "exercises" to improve their relationship I suggest they better go out and have one!!! So annoying! so far Susan Page is my all time favorite author when it come sto relationship.. ...more
Rob Cummings
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
If you have read any of the other Gottman books, such as Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child or any of his relationship books, you can pass on this one since it contains much of the same material.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, marriage
It is very human to be much more forgiving of ourselves than our partners. Psychologist Fritz Heider called this “the fundamental attribution error.” Translated, it means that it’s human nature to think, “I’m OK; you’re defective,” and it leads to “I’m right; you’re wrong.”

...neither party in a dispute be able to persuade the other party they were right until they could state the opposition’s point of view to their satisfaction.

We need to be able to state our version of our partner’s poin
George Nash
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that the best part of this book is how much it highlights the importance that dads have in raising children. It points out the typical differences between moms and dads when it comes to play and care of children.

I read this book in an audio format from the library. The book is full of lists of things that don't really translate well to an audio format. This may be one of those books that I will end up picking up so I can reference its pages.

Some of the difficult things from the book. New
Jonathan Ehrich
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I went really back and forth on this throughout the process of reading this. Overall, I think it's good and helpful, but there's a lot of dreck to skim past or wade through depending on your reading style.

The good: the work clearly and concisely summarizes the results of various studies that suggest properties of successful relationships that can withstand the stresses of early parent life, and is full of great exercises designed to help partners reconnect and thrive during one of life's hardest
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Practical and positive, science-based (the science is described in their other books, this one is more practical). Exercises and discussion prompts in particular are great. Did not like all the introductory/fill-up text (mild sexism), but it should not make you shun all its good advice.

(Ok I can't resist a good rant about sexism and traditionalism. They are like 'I wanna be read by all kind of folks so I'm not going to be prescriptive when describing an unequal situation. I'll say each partner h
Lacey Louwagie
Let's just say it: if you've read one John Gottman book, you've read them all. I should have bypassed this in favor of a marriage-with-baby book by a different author, because this is basically just Gottman's 7 principles for making marriage work repackaged with more examples that include mention of a baby. There were also sections that just felt like "filler," such as the history of childbirth/fathers being in the room at birth, the long sections about baby's development, etc. It would have bee ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was given this book when I was pregnant, but didn't get to it. When I did have my baby, I was exhausted and if I had any time to read, reading about having a baby was perhaps the last thing I wanted to do. Some of these self-help type books and parenting books are poorly written, redundant, and overuse exclamation points to the point of great annoyance. I actually thought this was pretty well written. I think having a new baby puts a strain on any relationship, no matter how strong. I found th ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
eh. I had high expectations for this book but rather than finding more practical advice about life specifically after having a baby, it was mostly just relationship advice that I’ve read in his other books specifically about relationships and marital satisfaction. If you have a great relationship, I don’t know how much this will apply to you.
I particularly didn’t enjoy the part where it said “great dads don’t have to be male,” and explained how if women learned how to play as well as dads then
Feb 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Sooooooo cis-hetero-white normative, and old, outdated normative at that. The ONLY time other perspectives got shared was one sentence about communicating sexual desires: “Gay and lesbian couples and Latino couples talk about their sexual desires, and we can learn from them.” WE!!! THEM!! That’s it. That was the only acknowledgement that not-straight non-white people received, and then it was in an “us-them” dichotomy. For a book written in 2017 by folks in Seattle, I am very disappointed.
As for
Shane Fozard
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you recently had a baby, or are about to, and you want to be informed about how to make sure your relationship with your partner stays in great condition?

Then this book is for you!

John Gottman and his wife, combine years of scientific research into relationships and couples along with their own mistakes, oversights and experiences as young parents, into a easy to follow, and easy, yet necessary ways of behaving in your relationship now that a baby has hit the scene!

The dynamic of your relat
Samantha Olson
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for new[ish] parents (okay, ALL parents). I started reading this when I was pregnant and have most recently finished it as a new mama, and I found this book to be SO validating and enlightening! The Gottmans are obviously gods when it comes to couples, so throwing in their research and knowledge about couples and babies was biblical for me. Just like their other books they're not only introducing research and knowledge about what helps make things work in the relationshi ...more
Maggie Athridge
This was a pretty good book - I think its less useful for people who have been married a while or already have good communications strategies in the relationship. I think it would have been more helpful if we had had our baby in the first few years we were married - the strategies they discuss are solid and well researched and I know people who would probably benefit from the book it just wasn't personally that useful. ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book as it opens your eyes on the importance of communication, common values, team work, sexual life and past heritage and how all come together and even surface when a baby comes. I really appreciate the exercises after each chapter and loved the most the practical advice.
It landed good with me as I read it when I was pregnant and took me away from baby books and anchored me also into the importance of the love and wellbeing of the couple that brings the baby to this world.
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John Mordecai Gottman is an American psychological researcher and clinician who did extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability. He is also an award-winning speaker, author, and a professor emeritus in psychology.

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