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8 Pieces of Advice For New Parents

Advice For New Parents
(Jonathan Borba / unsplash)

Congratulations on starting your parenting journey! Unfortunately, those first few weeks of having a newborn baby can be a whirlwind, so we've put together some invaluable advice for new parents to help them adjust easily.

Take all the Free Baby Stuff.

Yes, that’s right: all of it. If someone offers you a free crib and bedding, take it! If someone gives you a bunch of baby clothes in those cute little boxes with bows, don’t forget to take those too (if they fit). When people offer gifts at your baby shower, thank them profusely and accept their generosity—and don’t worry about what other people think if they also want some of the stuff for themselves. 

Get Sleep While You Can.

When your baby is sleeping, they're not crying. When they are crying, you're awake and frustrated (and probably starting to lose your mind). Save as much of that precious time for yourself as possible by learning how to feed them in a way that doesn't require constant attention from both parents (if necessary). This way, one parent can get some much-needed rest while the other works or gets work done around the house. 

Transitions between feedings are also great times for everyone involved! Try putting them on a schedule so everyone knows what they should be doing at any given time during the day—you'll have more energy after naps than if each waking hour was filled with stress and anxiety over whether or not anyone will sleep again anytime soon.

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff.

As new parents, you'll constantly be bombarded with advice on how to raise your child. You'll hear everything from "don't let them cry" to "let them cry."

The truth is that there are things that matter and things that don't matter so much. Don't sweat the small stuff!

Immerse Your Baby In Language.

One indispensable piece of advice for new parents is to "baby talk" and exaggerate the sounds of words so that it is more fun for both of you—don’t worry about sounding silly or tedious! That will come with time anyway; for now, it is better for your baby if you both make an effort to communicate clearly with them.

Take Time For Yourself And Your Partner.

You are responsible for caring for yourself and each other so that you're healthy and happy to provide the best possible care for your baby. Set aside sometime each day where you and your partner can be together away from the baby. Go together for dinner, or have lunch at work (this may sound crazy, but it works). You'll find that getting out of the house will help restore your energy so that you're in better shape to deal with all those sleepless nights ahead.

Give Yourself A Break, Mom Or Dad.

The first year of a new baby’s life is a whirlwind of emotions, responsibilities, and logistical challenges. It can be difficult for new parents to know where to turn for help when needed, especially if you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. 

Get Ready To Be Stressed.

You might be surprised to learn that stress can be a positive thing in some cases. It can help you focus on what needs to get done and motivate you to take action.

However, too much stress can become overwhelming—and that's why this advice for new parents is on our list. Stress can make it hard for your body to regulate its temperature, which can lead to a condition called postpartum depression (PPD). If left untreated, PPD could harm both mom and baby—so if you're feeling anxious or depressed after giving birth (or before), talk with your doctor about getting help immediately.

Do Your Research On Childcare Options.

Start by checking out local childcare centers and preschools, as well as online reviews of these places. It will help if you also talk to friends and family who have children, including their doctors. 

Your employer may have a list of recommended daycare providers they can share with you. Ask around your neighborhood, too—there could be someone nearby who has an extra room in their house or knows another parent willing to babysit on occasion. 

Sincerely speaking, the best advice for new parents is to break an enormous task into smaller steps and then take on one action at a time. That way, you can burn out less quickly, and you can keep yourself and your family happier in the long run. But if there's one hard-and-fast piece of advice that anyone can give, it's to enjoy the ride—because when it comes down to it, there is no feeling like having your first child!

Alex Smith

Alex Smith, author

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