8 best parenting tips for new moms and dads

Author: one tough job

New parents and parents-to-be are bombarded with advice—some good and some not so good. We’ve compiled a list of eight of our most helpful pieces of advice and encouragement for new moms and dads.

  1. It’s normal to feel like you have no clue what you are doing. Every parent experiences the fear of realizing how much they really don’t know. Whether it happens when you are leaving the hospital or the first time your baby cries and nothing seems to work, remember there are many moms and dads going through the same feelings and challenges.
  2. Everything is temporary. We’ve all been told to enjoy our babies when they are small because time passes so quickly, but remember that the bad days are temporary too. There are some days when you have every bodily fluid known to humankind on you and none of it is yours, when you are so sleep deprived it feels like you are on another planet, and when you feel like you can’t go on. Remember, these moments will pass.
  3. All babies cry, some cry a lot. It’s OK to let your baby cry sometimes. Put your baby in a safe place, walk away, and take a moment to care for yourself. Your baby will be fine and you will be a better parent for taking the time to regroup.
  4. You are not perfect and you will make mistakes. Forgive yourself. Every parent has moments they are not proud of. The most important time in your child’s life is the present, and so you don’t need to guilt-trip yourself about past mistakes.
  5. You don’t have to do it alone. Think about your family, friends, neighbors, and other parents you know who can help you. Sometimes the difference between the worst day and a difficult one is just reaching out and talking with someone who knows what you are going through.
  6. Say yes to help. When you have a new baby, people often offer to help. Don’t be afraid to be specific about what you need. If you’d really love help with laundry, mowing the lawn, a home cooked meal, or for someone to watch the baby for a couple of hours so you can take a shower and a nap, tell your support network how they can help.
  7. Your relationships with friends may change and this will be hard. Having a new baby changes many things and sometimes you may lose touch with even your closest of friends. Reconnect with friends when you can and don’t feel bad that you’ve made new friends. Many friendships wax and wane over the years and you may be surprised who comes back into your life after time apart.
  8. You are the expert on what is best for you and your family. You can read every how-to book, consult multiple experts, and talk to many parents, but whatever works best for you and your family is going to be the best choice. Whether it’s how to put your baby to sleep, when to wean him from breastfeeding, or something you know in your gut is best for you baby, trust your instincts.

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