The reality stars, who fell in love on season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise, welcomed their daughter Emerson “Emmy” Avery in August and now reveal to PEOPLE the ways their lives — and marriage — have shifted.
“It changes your priorities in life and makes you think of things a little differently,” says Tolbert, 30. “Watching Jade be a mom has been pretty awesome.”
Adds Roper Tolbert, 31, “I love being a mom. We’ve been enjoying just being new parents and every new thing is so exciting for us. She’s a little treasure.”
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Of their 6-month-old’s most recent milestones, the couple says she has started eating solid foods, rolling over, making consonant sounds and teething. They also took her traveling for the first time in January on a trip to St. Lucia.
“It was awesome, but in hindsight, we probably should’ve brought my mom or someone to babysit so we could have a little bit of alone time because that was tough,” Tolbert says.
Finding alone time to spend together in general is tough for the two these days, but Tolbert says that luckily his mom moved back to Kansas City, Missouri, and has become their “resident babysitter.”
“If we do date nights, it’s something easy like a movie where we’re gone for a couple hours and then we always just end up talking about her anyway,” Roper Tolbert says as her husband adds, “The first date we went on, we went to a movie and Jade started crying.”
“That was when she was really little,” Roper Tolbert explains. “She was maybe 4 weeks old and the hormones, they get you. Now it’s nice.”
Roper Tolbert’s next trip will include a visit to see her fellow Bachelor in Paradise alum and best friend Carly Waddell at the end of March so she and Emerson can meet Waddell and husband Evan Bass‘ new baby girl, Isabella Evelyn, whom they welcomed on Feb. 15.
“We’ll get to meet her baby and see if they’re little besties,” she says. “It has been fun being able to relate to her because not a lot of my friends have babies yet.”
As to how Roper Tolbert thinks Waddell will be as a mom, she says, “I know she’ll do great,” adding, “Even what I’ve seen so far, you can already tell she has taken on motherhood so gracefully.”
Like Waddell and Bass, the Tolberts tied the knot in a televised ceremony in Mexico in February 2016. One day, they plan on sharing the story of how they met with Emerson.
“She’s the first Paradise baby,” Roper Tolbert says. “She has her own little Instagram account and so a lot of it has to do with that. I feel like someday she’s going to want to know, ‘Why are all of these people following me?’ We’ll have to eventually share the story.”
Whether they would let her go on one of The Bachelor franchises like her parents, Tolbert says, “I don’t know if the show will be around that long but if she wanted to, who are we to say no? It’d be pretty hypocritical of us if we told her no.”
“I would like to say, ‘No, I wouldn’t let her go on the show,’ ” Roper Tolbert says. “But also, if that was something she was really interested in doing, then I would support her.”
Despite their busy new lives as parents, Tolbert is working on getting rid of his “dad bod” with Nutrisystem For Men.
“I didn’t even realize that I had gained some weight during her pregnancy because I never used a scale or anything like that,” he says. “I wear a lot of sweatpants. I started Nutrisystem and lost 16 pounds in six weeks. I’m back to my normal weight and feeling a lot better.”
Plus, their life might get even busier soon, as they both want additional kids. “We’re definitely going to at least try to have some more,” Tolbert says. “We’re debating between three and four right now.”
Roper Tolbert agrees. “He wants that boy so if the next one’s a boy, then we’re probably going to have three.”