23+ Helpful Tips For First-Time Parents

Tips for new parents.

Becoming a parent for the first time is a great feeling, but can be a bit overwhelming.

How do you make sure that you give your newborn the perfect start to their life? What if to do if he/she cries or poops?

We have reached out to 23 experienced parents and asked them: what is the number 1 tip you would give first-time parents?

Without further ado, here are the tips they give you:

1) Expect nothing, welcome everything
2) No app can replace you
3) Don’t keep your baby/toddler awake too long
4) Keep a record of the special moments
5) Talk it out
6) Get as much sleep as you can
7) Never compare your child to other kids the same age
8) Make some noise
9) Have a support system
10) The parenting road is long, pace yourself
11) Remember that each stage won’t last forever
12) Help yourself
13) You cannot spoil your newborn
14) You are the role model
15) Introduce tummy time
16) Ask for advice, then disregard most of it
17) Pay attention to your mental health
18) Don’t panic over everything
19) Use math language from the beginning
20) Discuss roles and responsibilities
21) Let them know they’re loved
22) Reward yourself

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical or parenting advice. Always consult your pediatrician or healthcare provider for any questions or concerns about your child’s health, development, or well-being.

Now, let’s let the parenting expert explain their tips.

1) Expect nothing, welcome everything

“There are a million ways to do one thing, and even if a very reliable book about infants says that this is the proper way – it may not work for you and your baby. Most of the time, I find myself combining different ways to do just one thing. A great example would the topic of co-sleeping. Most nights, my twins slept in their crib. But there were times when I didn’t have the energy to pick them up from their cribs and breastfeed, especially if it was in the wee hours of the night.

Eventually, I ended up co-sleeping with them, because it meant I get longer sleep. I need not stand up and carry them, I just had to turn my body toward their direction to breastfeed. Listen to your body, listen to your instincts, ask people on forums, ask your mom friends, read and educate yourself. Nothing is concrete, and the 1% out of the 99% might even be you and your baby. And that’s okay.”

Geninna Ariton

2) No app can replace you

“Contrary to the belief that apps and connected playthings will make babies smarter and better at learning languages, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, technology can interfere with parent-child attachment and slow language learning and brain development. Babies need their parents’ direct eye contact, words, hugs, and love, not only so they can learn to speak, but also to develop the intuition to “read” faces and interpret other people’s emotions.

If the mutual bond between baby and parents is strong, a child will be more self-confident and emotionally steady, and ultimately more successful in academics, career, and life.

Early childhood is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when a child is unplugged and free and can spend full time getting to know his or her own mind and body. As I like to say, kids need to learn their own operating systems before they’re introduced to any others!”

Jenifer Joy Madden

3) Don’t keep your baby/toddler awake too long

“The #1 tip I would give new parents is not to keep their baby or toddler awake too long between sleep periods. Keeping a baby or toddler awake to “tire them out” is the biggest myth we have battled every single day for the last 10+ years. Instead, our bodies release hormones to fight fatigue and we get a “second wind.” When this happens, a baby or toddler will have more trouble falling asleep, wake up more frequently, and wake up earlier the next morning. Keeping awake time to an age-appropriate amount of time will help them sleep more and, most importantly, stay asleep!”

Nicole Johnson

4) Keep a record of the special moments

“There will be many special moments in your child’s life—it will be impossible to keep track of them all. That’s normal and perfectly ok. However, there will be times when your child will say or do something that is especially cute, heartwarming, or just downright hilarious. When it happens, you think you’ll remember it until the end of time. But add in the chaos of a few busy years and additional cute and memorable moments, and before you know it, that little memory is lost.

Whether you keep a paper journal or simple text file on your computer, take a moment to jot down your child’s special moments. You’ll thank yourself later when you can read through the memories together and share a smile.”

Lisa Torelli-Sauer, mom of two boys

5) Talk it out

“My tip is focused on the sustenance of the relationship having seen many couple’s relationships deteriorating after a child has been born. Usually couples make it through the difficult early years begrudgingly only to separate when the child is about 3-7 years old but I believe the issues arise in those early months/years when parents are new.

It’s a trying time for everyone so my tip for new parents is to talk it out, even when you don’t feel like it. Act on those thoughts as well, don’t just let someone’s comments slide and continue to do the same thing.

There needs to be a bit of a pact early on I think, before the young one arrives. You realise that both of your lives are about to change and that you may discover differences in one another that you didn’t recognise before is inevitable. Having each other’s backs is important when you embark on this parenthood journey together.”

Andrew Taylor

6) Get as much sleep as you can

“My best advice to first time parents would be to get as much sleep as you can. Parenting is a joyful journey with sleep deprivation as the road. Not getting enough sleep brings first time parents to tears and can cause serious mood swings and accidents. So, work out something with your partner where you can both get sleep.”

Amy Olson

7) Never compare your child to other kids the same age

“When I had my first daughter, I was constantly comparing her to what other children were doing, and I was constantly worried that she was behind with some of the development. There is so much competition amongst new moms that causes so much unnecessary stress.

If there’s one thing I learnt is that each child reaches their developmental milestones in their own time. Some will learn to crawl quicker than others, some will do better at walking, others will do better with their first words.

Unless there’s a serious reason to be concerned, stop worrying and just enjoy those first few months with your little baby!”

Monica @ Conquering Motherhood

“I run a parenting blog for new dads and I’m a father of two. I’ve read a ton of parenting books to give good advice to other parents as well.

My top advice is to avoid comparing your baby to others and take your little bundle of joy the way he or she is. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take note if your little one misses critical developmental milestones. But don’t worry, for example, if your friend’s daughter starts to walk, but your kid doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. Comparing your baby to others can cause stress and take a lot of joy out of parenting.

When a daughter of one of my friends turned one, she could build neat towers out of blocks. My one month younger boy, on the other hand, mostly occupied himself with chewing on them. It would have been so easy to get worried, but I took a laid back approach. Another four to five months went by, and my boy was also a skilled tower builder.”

– Gert Mikkal, DadProgress

8) Make some noise

“Making noise is an important part of making sure a baby sleeps well.

New parents often make the mistake of trying to be extra quiet so that their baby will stay asleep. That could become a problem. If a baby becomes accustomed to quiet or silence, he or she may become too sensitive to sleep when there is noise or action going on around them. If new parents go about business as usual during a baby’s nap time, and speak at a normal volume from day one, the baby will be more likely to sleep comfortably no matter what is going on.

Playing music, audibly but softly, during a baby’s nap may increase his or her music appreciation later in life.

Playing music during nap time may be somewhat soothing to most babies. Playing a variety of music will introduce the baby to different musical styles at an early age. Alternating nap styles, both with music and without, might also be a good idea. It will discourage dependence on music for napping.”

Tangela Walker-Craft

9) Have a support system

“Having a support system in place is important. Sometimes, you might have to ask them for help after having a new baby, and it’s absolutely okay to ask. Not everyone knows if or when you need emotional support.”

– Tonya Mickelson, The Writer Mom Blog

10) The parenting road is long, pace yourself

“New parents often get the message that, if they make one false move, they can ruin their child. This is so far from true. There is time to learn. Time to make mistakes. Time to course correct. As a parent of young adults, I wish I had given myself the permission to grow into my role as a parent versus just avoiding all the ways I could screw it up.”

Macall Gordon, M. A.

11) Remember that each stage won’t last forever

“When you are in the stressful part of parenting such as trying to breastfeed and the baby may not be eating well, when your baby is not going to sleep, or waking frequently, and when you feel exhausted or afraid that you won’t be a good parent, remember that each stage won’t last.

Having a baby is a new experience if you approach each stage with a flexible attitude, without expectations, and know that each day will get better, you will feel less stressed and be able to enjoy your baby much more.”

Lynell Ross

12) Help yourself

“As a new parent, it really comes in handy to have a couple go-to practices to help ground you in the present moment. I can attest, having a toddler challenges me daily and there are times I have to simply place my hand on my heart, focus on my breath and then I strive to proceed with responding versus reacting. To be honest, at times I feel pure joy, while other times I feel challenged, defeated and utterly exhausted. Being a parent is such a blessing but it’s hard, and that’s okay. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to talk honestly about how you feel and it’s okay to not always have it together.

Funny story that wasn’t funny at the time: Jane was 3 months old; I was a new mom and on one of our first outings to a mommy & me yoga class. I was excited and “thought” I packed well. Definitely didn’t go the way I pictured in my head. The parking lot was pretty full, and we had to park far away. I set up our stroller – gosh that was not easy but Jane was comfy with her blanket and stuffed bunbun. Then all of a sudden the wheel that was supposed to be attached to our stroller started rolling away and I caught the stroller and Jane before it crashed onto the cement. Fast forward, once we walked inside I heard a RUMBLE – Jane had a blowout and I’m talking about a massive explosion of poop that was all the way up to her neck. I cleaned her up while everyone was breathing quietly, then realized I didn’t have a backup outfit. Jane started to cry and it was now time to breastfeed – since I never had done this is public and I’m pretty modest, I turned my back to class and breastfed Jane. We eventually rolled around on the mat – Jane was in just her diaper but she didn’t care about anything that had transpired.

It’s those times when things aren’t going as planned and everything seems chaotic that emotional regulation can transform your experience, how you parent and show up in the world.Our role as a parent goes well beyond providing for the child’s basic needs such as providing a home, food and changing their poopy diapers. We play a crucial role in helping our children regulate their emotions, which requires a lot of self-control and an ability to regulate our own emotions. One parenting strength is to have emotional regulation because this is the fundamental concept for the development of resilience and wellbeing for your whole family.”

Jenny Morrow, Mom

13) You cannot spoil your newborn

“My #1 tip for first-time parents is —You cannot spoil a newborn baby! Hold your newborn as much as you want, let them take naps on you, baby-wear during the day, let them nurse for comfort, and give as many snuggles as you want. Holding a newborn baby a lot is not going to spoil them and make them needy or set you up for failure.

Holding them is making them feel secure and loved and safe. There will be plenty of time for setting boundaries and teaching them to self-soothe, but for the first few months throw all that out the window. Snuggle and hold your newborn as much as you want.”

Heather Hoke, Mother of 2

14) You are the role model

“One of the most important things and tips to remember for new parents is that they are the role models their child will follow. Kids rarely follow what they are told to do and tend to do what they watch their parents do. So the pro tip here is to act like you want your child to act when they grow up. I’m sure you don’t want your child to be called a spoiled brat, so you better behave in a civilized manner so that your child follows in the footsteps and be a civilized and well brought up individual. Also, don’t be stressed to have a child; instead, feel happy and joyful about it so that your child wants to be a parent one day and make you grandparents.”

– Brandon Walsh, CEO at Dadsagree.com

15) Introduce tummy time

“The one tip first-time parents should follow is to introduce awake tummy time from day one with their infant.

Awake tummy time means putting your infant on their stomach, when they are awake and when they are also supervised. While it is critical that babies be placed on their back to sleep, it is equally important that they be placed on their tummies regularly when they are awake. Awake tummy time is one of the best things that a parent can do to help their infant’s development. Start with 3 times a day for 3 minutes and parents will help their child’s development exponentially. Parents can gradually increase awake tummy time for their baby. Awake tummy time should always be supervised. Putting age-appropriate toys in front of their baby and within reach, as well as talking or singing to their baby during tummy time will make it fun. Awake tummy time will help babies develop their muscle strength and motor skills. It will also help prevent flat spots from developing on their baby’s head. Introduce awake tummy time from day one and help your baby with the building blocks they need for visual tracking, eye-hand coordination, rolling, sitting, crawling and walking.”

Christel Seeberger

16) Ask for advice, then disregard most of it

“When it comes to parenting, asking one question will often get you a dozen (often contradicting) answers. So while it’s a great thing to ask questions and hear others’ experiences, be prepared to assess and choose the option that works best for your unique child and your unique situation.

One of the most beautiful (and at times overwhelming) things about being a parent is that you have a one-of-a-kind kid. This means that you’ll need to sift through what others say and find what works for your child and be prepared to kindly disregard all other solutions that aren’t right for your family!

If you can accept and implement this early on, it will save you a lot of new parenting stress and worry. You are the best parent for your child, and you can trust yourself to figure out what’s best for them!”

– Stephanie @ Mama Shark Blog

17) Pay attention to your mental health

“I think one of the biggest, and most overlooked pieces of advice for new parents is to pay attention to your mental health. Between the sleepless nights, and especially now during the pandemic, where support may be lacking, it can take a toll on new parents.

1 in 4 women typically experience some sort of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.

Partners may need additional support during the adjustment period after a baby is born. If the mother is experiencing anxiety or depression, the entire family is affected. Pregnancy and postpartum mental health is a family issue. Dads, partners, and other helpers need support, information, and connection too.

Partners can also feel depressed or anxious after the birth or adoption of a child. In fact, 1 in 10 fathers will experience postpartum depression. While men may not experience the full range of hormonal changes or other factors that affect women, they do experience a change in their role. The pressure to be a good dad, the desire to succeed as a father, along with lack of sleep, frustration over trying to soothe a fussy baby and fears of making a mistake all take a toll.

Sometimes it is more difficult to diagnose depression in dads because its signs are more complicated for men. Common perception is that depression includes sadness and crying. But depression in men can include sleep deprivation, irritability, anger, working constantly, drinking and gambling, or having an affair.

It’s important to reach out and have support and resources at your hands when having a new baby. There are numerous options–from local and national support groups, help lines, and even the hospital or facility you give birth at may have groups specifically for new parents.
Bottom line, don’t suffer alone and reach out if you find one or both of you are struggling!”

Karin Mahoney

18) Don’t panic over everything

“My one tip for first-time parents would be this: I know it’s hard, but try not to panic over everything.

Babies get a runny nose sometimes and it doesn’t mean they’re ill. They cry and are unexplainably fussy at times, but it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. They sleep great and then suddenly keep you up all night but it doesn’t mean your bedtime routine is broken.

Not everything with your newborn needs to be “fixed.” This is supposed to be hard and if it feels like you’re just barely surviving, you’re probably doing it right.”

– Evan Porter, Dad & Parenting Writer @ DadFixesEverything.com

19) Use math language from the beginning

“Talk and play with your baby and use math language from the very beginning. Math language is nothing complicated. Simply use words to describe the quantities and qualities of objects and people in your baby’s environment.

For example, if they are grasping your fingers you might say, “Oh! You grabbed TWO of my fingers!” When playing with them with a stuffed animal you might hold it in front of them and say “The teddy is far away. Here comes teddy! (hug your baby with the teddy) Now teddy is very close to you!” Words like “near, far, larger, smaller, over and under” are called Spatial Relations words and are a component of mathematics in early childhood.

By building this early habit of using math language in daily life, you are preparing your baby for their toddler and preschool years. Who knows? You might be raising a math genius! But it starts with you and it starts with language.”

– Patrick Greenwood, inventor of award-winning toy STEM Blocks @ Kontukids

20) Discuss roles and responsibilities

“Parents discuss cribs and diapers but often miss the vital conversation about roles and responsibilities. If the mother is breastfeeding, will the father help with the laundry and ensure the wipes and other supplies are purchased regularly. If dad gets up at night for a feeding, will mom drive the older sibling to school. Planning the schedule and mapping out who will do which tasks isn’t fun but it is vital to ensure both parents are aligned on expectations and how the new family will manage all the household duties.”

Elizabeth Malson

21) Let them know they’re loved

“Remember that as a parent, your job isn’t to make your baby stop crying, your job is to be with them as they cry and let them know they’re loved.

Once you’ve checked on your baby’s needs (are they hungry? Do they need a diaper change?) and fulfilled them, it’s not your job to “fix” your baby. Just be with them. It takes a lot of pressure and stress off you, and it’s good training for later, for everything from when they’re two and melt down at not getting cookies at the grocery store to when they’re a teen with their first broken heart.”

– Samantha Radford, Evidence-based Mommy

22) Reward yourself

“If I could give three pieces of advice to those who are struggling with parenthood it’s to always be informed, to not be too critical, and reward yourself.

As a new parent, you need all the help you can get. That’s why it’s best to expand your knowledge and reach out to friends and experts for advice and maybe read books about parenthood. Knowing as much as you can about this journey will help you prepare for situations more.

Second, it’s important for you to not be too hard on yourself. Though it’s great that you want to be the parent you can, it’s important for you to realize your own humanity. In order to learn from mistakes, you must first acknowledge and validate them. Doing so will help you attain the strong mindset you need to have.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to relax and reward yourself. Parenting is a hard and long process and one thing that helps you move forward and be better is if you take breaks and prioritize your health.”

Simon Elkjær

That’s it! These are the top tips from experienced parents.

We wish you all the best in your upcoming parenthood 🙂

Leave a Reply

Shopping cart

0
image/svg+xml

No products in the cart.

Continue Shopping