Review: Baby Bomb by Kara Hoppe, MFT & Stan Tatkin, PsyD

Baby Bomb is the latest book on keeping your relationship healthy after you have a baby. Although Hoppe says there really aren’t books on this topic, I often suggest John Gottman’s “And Baby Makes Three” or Stacie Cockrell’s “Babyproofing Your Marriage” (my favorite). However, I was compelled to read this book because I really do love Stan Tatkin’s theory that combines attachment theory with neuroscience. This book is not significantly different than the other two, but does originate with Tatkin’s PACT approach, so if your client is already familiar with that, this might be the preference.

Hoppe organizes the book around ten guiding principles, the first of which is “the couple comes first.” This is something those familiar with Tatkin will recognize, the idea that no matter what happens, when you commit to someone, your “couple bubble” comes first – before anything, and that includes your baby. Hoppe reviews the attachment styles and also encourages partners to know their partner’s “tells” – the small ways your partner reveals their feelings (such as tensing up, a frown, etc).

The remainder of the agreements talk about learning how to co-regulate or take care of each other; how to make and honor agreements; making decisions as a team; valuing your own and each others needs; keeping family and work life balanced; redefining and reconnecting to romance; fighting fair and treating each other with sensitivity and respect. Hoppe does a good job of giving examples of couples not doing each principle well, and then turning it around to show how they would do it well.

I think we all know that the title of this book is true; having a baby is kind of like having a bomb go off in your relationship and most couples don’t plan for it, and are surprised by it. I’m happy to see another book on the topic. It’s been awhile since I read the other two that I recommend, so I can’t say definitively which one is my absolute favorite. But I do love Stan Tatkin and his philosophy and this is a solid contribution to this genre.

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