November 05, 2015 03:00 PM

Preparing for baby number three while already managing two toddlers is stressful for any couple. But Kristin Cavallari says she and husband Jay Cutler have a strategy to keep their marriage strong: therapy — and lots of it.

“I’m not ashamed to say that Jay and I consistently go to therapy,” Cavallari, 28, tells American Baby for its December/January cover story. “It’s been extremely beneficial for our relationship.”

Like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who said therapy is key to their “healthy” marriage, Cavallari says the time she and her NFL player-husband spend on the couch teaches them the tools to disagree effectively.

“For example, when you’re fighting you should never place blame on your partner by saying, ‘you do this’ or ‘you do that,’ ” she explains. “You should say how those actions make you feel. It goes a long way.”

American Baby

The couple are preparing for their first girl who will join big brothers Camden Jack, 3, and Jaxon Wyatt, 18 months — and the reality star turned fashion and jewelry designer says she can’t wait to see her husband fall for their little girl.

“She’s going to steal Jay’s heart, which will in turn melt mine!” she declares. “I’m excited for the boys to grow up with a sister. I think it will help them to better understand and respect women.”

American Baby

For now, Cavallari says she’s helping them better understand themselves, which starts with trying to tune in to their needs when they start melting down.

“It would be easy to get frustrated and start yelling, but I find that what a kid really needs is a hug. I’ll say, ‘Buddy, what’s going on?’ That’s more effective than me scolding him or throwing him in a time-out.”

American Baby

She also says the boys are very different from one another — and she’s ready for their little girl to be an individual, too.

“My two boys are opposites. Camden was such an easy baby. Jaxon is more of our rebel wild child, but he’s also a mama’s boy,” she explains. “Our little girl will have her own personality. I know I can’t change who they are. It’s important to let kids be themselves and to let them make mistakes. Self-discovery goes a long way.”

American Baby

— Kathy Ehrich Dowd

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