Twenty Tips for New Parents

The first few weeks with a new baby can seem overwhelming. The books you read and the classes you took are never enough to prepare you for the real thing.

Here are a few tips to help parents through those first weeks.

  1. Don’t worry about spoiling your baby. At this point in time that is not possible. Feed them when they’re hungry and don’t expect them to sleep on a regular schedule. After a few weeks have passed you can start working on a schedule by keeping the baby more occupied and activity during the day and keeping the house quiet and dark at night. But your baby may only sleep two to four hours in the beginning.
  2. Be specific about the tasks you need help with. If mom is breastfeeding then dad needs to find other ways to help such as changing the baby and doing the laundry. When friends and relatives offer to help give them specific jobs such as grocery shopping or brining dinner.
  3. Purchase the ingredients for a few crock pot meals. This can be as easy as pork chops and a bottle of BBQ sauce or chicken breasts and cream of chicken soup. Dad can pop everything in before he leaves for work and then mom doesn’t have to give another thought about dinner.
  4. Sometimes the old trick of taking a crying baby for a ride in the car really works. The movement seems to soothe them to sleep which can also soothe a stressed out parent’s nerves.
  5. Sleep whenever you get the chance. It doesn’t matter if it’s ten o’clock in the morning or five in the afternoon. Whether your baby is finally napping or if grandma came by to watch the baby, take the opportunity to nap whenever you can.
  6. When other people offer advice smile and nod — then do what you feel is best for you and your baby.
  7. Taking a first aid and CPR class can help you feel more prepared and less nervous about possible mishaps.
  8. Start out with sponge baths. These are less stressful for you and your baby. Make sure the room is warm enough that the baby isn’t cold.
  9. When you do start tub baths, use a small baby size tub with only a few inches of warm water. Get all your supplies, soap, baby shampoo, wash cloth, towel and clean diaper ready before you start. Never leave the baby unattended for even a moment.
  10. Babies should sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of S.I.D.S. Do not place any fluffy bedding in their crib.
  11. Remove all toys and bumper pads from the baby’s crib.
  12. Make sure you read all the directions that come with your car seat to assure you are installing it correctly and securing the baby the right way. Rear facing car seats must be used for young babies.
  13. If your baby is running a fever or throwing up frequently, not just spitting up after eating, call your doctor. They can tell you what to do and keep you from worrying as much. Don’t be embarrassed to call. They are used to new parents.
  14. Don’t compare your baby’s development to other babies. And stay off WebMD! It will just give you more to worry about.
  15. Check into life insurance if you don’t already have some. If something should happen to the main breadwinner of the family it will be tough for the other parent. When you’re young you can get term insurance cheaply.
  16. Think about starting a savings account for your baby with some of the gift money you received. The sooner you start saving for college the better.
  17. Get out of the house on occasion. When the sun is shining put the baby in a stroller and go for a walk. This can make you both feel better.
  18. Find a mommy and baby class to attend. This can be an exercise class or just for social interaction. You’ll meet new friends who are dealing with the same day to day issues as you are.
  19. After the first month; try to find a way for you and your spouse to spend some time together. Get grandma or someone you trust to babysit while you enjoy a dinner out at an adult restaurant.
  20. Relax and enjoy. Don’t stress over minor details.