Being a new parent is an exciting time. We grew up without food poisoning, major accidents, or physical harm. But when we enter into parenthood, so many of us become tormented by worry. To the new parents, we all have been there. You aren’t alone in this journey. To make this easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best advice for new parents.
From practical advice to must-have mom and baby items, this list has it all to get you through those early days.
Best Tips and Advice for New Parents
If you are expecting your first baby, don’t cloud your mind with worry and anxiety. Instead, be prepared to experience the joys of parenthood. Check out some of the best resources and words of advice for new parents below.
# Prepare For Parenthood
Yes, it’s true that no tips and advice can fully prepare you for parenthood. But there are some things you can do to help calm your fears and anxiety before you have kids. Early preparation will also make the transition to parenthood a lot easier.
First, develop a budget. Think about the possible expenses for the first 3 to 6 months; if possible, set aside the money for future baby-related expenses. If you are on maternity leave, think about how you plan to return to work and let your employer know about your plan.
Secondly, create a personalized baby registry checklist! If you have already created a checklist, double-check to make sure you have added everything to the list. Here are some genuinely useful accessories you should put on your baby registry.
• A good nursing pillow. We recommend MyBrestFriend’s original nursing posture pillow.
• A baby carrier. BabyBjorn and Boba are the two most popular baby carriers out there. Decide which one feels more secure for your baby.
Finally, getting on the same page with your partner is an essential part of making the first year of parenthood easier. This leads to the second point.
# Stay Connected To Your Partner After Baby
Communication is key, especially when you are a new parent, because your relationship can change in many ways after having a baby. It’s an anxious period for both of you. So, healthy communication early will set things in the right direction.
When you give thought to being a parent, you can discuss a wide range of issues with your significant other. These issues may include: How are you going to handle the diaper changing issues? How will the household chores be shared? And how does each of you feel about parenting responsibilities? Addressing those issues before the chronic sleep deprivation and emotional and mental exhaustion set in will make your parenthood journey a lot smoother. There are also a few things you can do to keep your relationship on track after having a baby.
- Try to communicate your hopes and fears with your partner at a convenient time.
- Find a regular babysitter and go out with your partner once a week.
- Find a few minutes each day to sit together for a coffee or cook together.
These baby steps will keep your marriage base strong through the transition to parenthood.
# Manage Sleep Deprivation
A recent study shows that new parents can struggle with sleep for up to six years after having a baby. The negative sleep effects affect first-time parents most compared with experienced parents. The lack of sleep can lead to several emotional changes in new parents, like depression or anxiety. Even these conditions can cause further sleep disruption. So, what’s a new parent can do?
It’s almost impossible to follow the traditional sleep advice “Sleep When The Baby Sleeps.” If you are lucky, you can manage some regular and consistent naps by letting grandparents take care of the baby. Co-sleeping is one of the best ways to get a good amount of sleep. You will find it easier to feed your baby during the night. It also provides you with more opportunities to connect with the baby. But you need to ensure you can do it safely.
Here are some tried-and-tested tips on how to cope with sleep deprivation.
• Follow Dr. Daniel Weissbluth’s methods for long, quiet nights and excellent sleeping. His book “Happy Baby, Healthy Sleep” is one of the best resources out there on baby sleep.
• Buy the best breast pump possible. It will save you some valuable time.
• Don’t forget to get a white noise machine and a diaper pail.
# Manage Your Expectations
Modern parenthood plays a major role in causing parental stress for new parents. Parents today expect themselves to be the perfect parents instead of just being the best parents they can be. There is also a notion that having a child should totally transform you or that you should put aside all of your own interests and desires in the name of being a parent. These perceptions and expectations can take the joy out of parenthood.
Being a parent is such a huge responsibility, and you already deserve to be called a super parent! So don’t go for the myth of “Super Parent” just to set yourself up for exhaustion and stress. You need to let go of the idealized image of parenthood and enjoy just being a parent.
# Be Kind To Yourself
There will be times when you will feel guilty walking out of the door every morning. There will be many judgy parents ready to tell you how they’re better than you and that your choices suck. Yes, the guilt in the early days of parenthood is real. “It’s OK to feel guilty as a new parent. You are not alone,” says Jamie C. Martin, author of Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy.
Here are some powerful tips for new parents to get over the guilt.
- Don’t always try to “get it right.” There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do parenting. What works for you is the right way.
- Don’t worry about the house. A word of advice for new parents: Your house needs to be clean enough to be healthy BUT messy enough to be happy.
- Forgive yourself. And always remember, “This Too Shall Pass!”
# Beware Of Information Overload
There’s no shortage of information on the internet about pregnancy, labor and birth, and early parenting for expecting and new parents. In addition, when you are a new parent, it seems everyone is an expert. With all of this information and advice for new parents, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
The next time you receive advice on pregnancy and parenting-
- Check the source, facts, and reliability of the source.
- Take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt. Just because something worked for their baby does not mean it will work for your baby.
# Take Time For Yourself
As new parents, it’s hard to manage some alone time for yourself. But taking regular baby breaks is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. If you wait for the perfect circumstances, you will never be able to get started. So look for ways to keep you sane among all the baby-related stress.
Give yourself a break on a regular basis. Try to read, write, or watch TV daily. When you feel low, trapped, or stressed, get help from your friend, co-op, neighbor, etc. Just get out of the house, even if it is just around the corner to the drugstore. And don’t feel guilty when you do take some time off. It is an essential part of being a good parent.
# Do Moderate Exercise
Exercise works wonders for both our physical and mental health. Regular exercise during and after pregnancy helps new moms feel strong, comfortable, and empowered. If anything, moderate exercise helps them deal with the complications of mild depression after pregnancy.
Take your baby outside for a short walk in his pram stroller. If you feel strong enough, try finding a gym that offers childcare while you exercise. It will make you feel good when other people will see you and talk to you and coo over your little baby.
# Eat Healthily
A new mom should eat a well-balanced diet to benefit both herself and her baby’s nutritional needs. Start your day by making conscious decisions to fuel your body with foods that can help you feel better. Prepare simple and nutritious recipes at home to meet your unique needs as a new mother.
Here are two secrets to being a happy and healthy mom.
- Make sure you are drinking enough water while breastfeeding. Bring home your spritz bottle and your giant water cup.
- Take vitamins and invest in equipment that makes cooking at home easy. You will feel better.
# Say “Yes” To Help
A support group during pregnancy can be a really big help for new parents. Try to connect with other new parents online or in person. You will get a lot of healthy feedback about what works and what doesn’t.
Accept help from others. Let them cook, bring food, watch the baby for a few hours while you nap, do laundry, vacuum, etc.
# Seek Professional Help
Pregnancy is expected to be one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life, but for many new moms, this is a time of anxiety, guilt, stress, sadness, and even depression. According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), between 14-23% of women will struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy.
It’s never too late to get professional help, whether you are suffering from a long-term issue or noticing something quite not right in new motherhood.
For any professional help, you can contact any of the following resources:
- Postpartum Support International
- Bellevue Hospital Center
- Postpartum Progress
- The Seleni Institute
- Postpartum Resource Center of New York
- Mary’s Center
Last Piece of Advice For New Parents
New parents often don’t realize how short every phase of new parenthood is. The crazy nights, the weird feeding issues – it all goes by faster than you can imagine. Remember, the goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom. Do whatever you need to do to achieve this.
Are you a parent? What is the best piece of advice you can offer to new parents? Please comment below.