Are you worried about whether you will be able to change the diaper or whether you will be able to understand what they want to convey even before they start communicating? Well, every new parent is anxious and gets mixed feelings about the phase of parenthood. It is usual for them to have a lot of confusion and questions. Parenting does not come with any strategies; it is a natural process.
Every child is different, and anything that works for one child may not work with another child. Starting from preparing your family for welcoming the newborn to watching them grow up is a marvelous journey. During this time, the parents might encounter a lot of unexpected circumstances, and they have to deal with a lot of things parallel to raising their child.
Tips And Advice For New Parents
When a family welcomes a newborn into their life, it brings enormous change into the family. So here are 101 tips that will help you to handle the situation with calmness and enjoy every bit of it.
Preparation Before The Baby Arrives
1.Paternity And Maternity Leave
When you are welcoming a new member into your family, then you need to restructure your budgeting plan as well. Make sure you are considering the paternity and maternity leave as during this time the company will pay you.
2. Necessities For Your Baby
One must include other necessities in their budgets like diapers and baby wipes. You will have to purchase them frequently.
During the baby shower, you will get several important things that will make it easy for you to take care of your child. Prepare the list of all the things that you need during this time.
3. Medical Bills And Doctor Fee
Look into the health insurance and see what it is going to cover. It will help you to avoid unnecessary stress from additional bills.
You can also pay for other bills or keep some money aside so that you won’t have to worry about them in the initial months after the baby arrives.
4. Purchase Baby Products
Car seats, baby strollers, and other baby products can be pretty expensive, so you need to decide whether you are goinṣg to purchase new ones or buy the used ones from your family, friends, or online shops. Check the car seat to ensure that it is not damaged or expired.
5. Prepare The Nursery
Before you go into the labor pain, you need to arrange a room in the hospital and prepare the nursery for your child. If you want to have a separate room for a child, make sure you’re painting or doing necessary renovations before the baby arrives.
6. Call List
When you are anxious and are waiting for your little ones to arrive, you must prepare a list of all the people that you can ask for help if needed.
Prepare a list of all the people whom you are going to call when your little bundle arrives. For example, you can call your siblings, parents, grandparents, neighbors, or other family members.
7. Car seat
In many hospitals, it is a rule that you will need to have infant seats before you leave. Make sure you have it in your car a few weeks before the due date.
Sometimes the baby may arrive early or late, so you need to prepare yourself accordingly. For first time parents, it is obvious not to have the infant seat in their car.
8. Fund For Rainy Days
Every first-time parent won’t have a complete idea about the budget or the other things that they might have to face during this beautiful journey. Unexpected things might also happen, so you need to save for your rainy day’s fund.
If your baby is crying or coughing a lot, then you need to take them to the doctor, which might add up to the unexpected expenses or bills.
9. Find A Pediatrician
Look for a good pediatrician and ask for reviews from your friends or the family. Check whether it is going to be covered by health insurance. The pediatrician will have to make a visit in the first week when the baby arrives, so make sure you have planned everything.
After the baby arrives, you will hardly have any time to do all these things, so you need to use your maternity or paternity leave properly.
10. Prepare The Bags
You must prepare your bag a few weeks before your due date. Do not overpack and make sure it has all the necessary items that you will need like cold spray, granny panties, pads, peri-bottle, tucks, diaper, etc.
Prepare Yourself For The Hospital
11. Prepare The Hospital Bag
If you want to capture the beautiful moments, then you can pack the phone, chargers, and camera. Make sure you are also packing some snacks for the father.
12. Restock The Hospital Room
In some hospitals, they will allow you to take a baby thermometer, mesh panties, nasal aspirator, baby diapers with you when you leave the hospital.
You can tell them to restock the cabinets. You can ask the nurse to bring you the things that you need for your little one.
13. Eat healthily
Once the labor pain starts, you won’t be able to have any food, and you need to survive for several hours on your empty stomach. Make sure you are eating something healthy before reaching the hospital.
The food must be healthy; otherwise, it can make your stomach feel upset, or you might feel sick for several hours that can complicate the process. Some mothers are also advised to stay on a liquid and clear diet.
14. Brace Yourself For Some Birth Plan Changes
Expect some birth plan changes. You might have made up your mind of not taking any medications, but sometimes the doctor might prescribe so you will have to take it.
Make sure you are just going with the flow; otherwise, you will be highly susceptible to postpartum depression.
15. Be Respectful And Friendly With The Nurses
Be respectful and friendly with the nurses because they are going to be by your side throughout the process. They will guide you and coach you when you are in pain.
Do not hesitate or be shy when it comes to talking with the nurses about the things that you want or don’t want.
The hospitals will look after the mother and will provide them with food from time to time, but fathers are not that lucky in this section. So they will have to take care of themselves by taking some meals or snacks in their bag when they visit the hospital.
If you have queries about breastfeeding, then you can ask your doctor or nurse. In some hospitals, you will also get a lactation consultant who will guide you properly with the process. Since it is your first time, so do not be hesitant when it comes to consulting experts about essential things.
18. Talk About Anxiety, OCD And Postpartum Depression With The Doctor
You can talk with your doctor about all these things as it might happen. Ask about the symptoms and the precautionary steps that you will have to take.
19. Ask For Samples And Coupons For Baby
In the maternity ward, you might get some freebies and coupons from the baby manufacturers that will help you to purchase baby products at great discounts.
Since no amount of diapers can be enough at this time, so make sure you are asking for the coupons.
20. Use Adult Diapers Or Mesh Panties To Control Postpartum Bleeding
Even though mesh panties don’t look attractive, but they can be a lifesaver and are highly efficient when it comes to controlling heavy bleeding.
After the baby is born in the first few days, some mothers might experience postpartum bleeding. Adult diapers or mesh panties will help to control it till it gets normal within a few days.
After Having The Baby
21. You Might Not Get Enough Attention
After the child is born, your family or friends may stop asking or worrying about you the way they used to. They will be more focused on the newborn.
There will come a moment when you might feel sad or hurt when you are no longer the center of the universe. Instead, you should look at the brighter picture that you have a newborn in your life and enjoy the little moments.
22. Don’t Hesitate To Ask
Do not hesitate when it comes to asking questions about parenting. You can ask the nurse about how you can take care of the child in the initial days.
You can also ask the nurse to take the child to the nursery because it will give you a few hours when you can rest properly.
23. Be Mindful If You Have Pets
If you have a furry friend in your house, they will also need some time to adjust. Respect the feelings and space of the pet.
You can also bring a blanket from the hospital which the child has used and given it to the pet so that they will adjust themselves with the smell of this new member in the family. It will help in bringing a smooth transition in your family.
24. Ask The Nurse To Take A Picture
If this is your first newborn, then you can ask the nurse to take a picture of your first family. It will become a photo that you will cherish forever.
25. Do The Paperwork
After the child is born the first two things that you need to fill up are social security and birth certificate. You will feel exhausted after giving birth to your newborn, so it is alright to take time for filling out the paperwork.
If you are confused with paperwork, then you can ask them and make sure you are not making any mistakes with the name of the baby.
26. Add Baby To The Health Insurance
Some medical insurance companies will provide you 1-2 months for adding the new child into the policy. One should do it as quickly as possible because it will help in covering any type of expenses of the baby.
27. Search For Daycare
After the paternity or maternity leave gets over, you need to hire a daycare or nanny to take care of the baby when you go to work.
28. Create The Visitors List
When you are in the hospital, then there will be people who will visit you. If you do not want any visitors to come to the hospital, then you can ask them to visit you at your home.
Having a newborn can be overwhelming, so you can ask people to come at the time, which is convenient both for the baby and you.
29. Mother Should Give Themselves Time For Healing
After the delivery, the mother will need some time to heal properly. Do not overdo when it comes to dealing with household work.
If you are not focusing on healing yourself properly, then you might have to revisit the doctor if the stitch gets ripped. Do not make this process harder for yourself.
30. Take Advice
Everyone around you will be ready with their advice for you. Your parents will be there to give you advice and help you out. Listening to advice is essential.
It doesn’t indicate that you are not a capable parent. It is always helpful to take advice from someone who has experience.
Shopping Tips For Baby Clothes
31. Buy White Onesies
Do not buy a lot of clothes because your child will overgrow so they won’t be able to wear them for a long time. Under the clothes, they are going to wear onesies. Purchase the white onesies as it will help you to bleach it whenever the baby is spitting on it.
32. Button Vs Zipper
Buttons are considered to be much easier when it comes to putting on and off whereas zippers are comparatively accessible. Since dressing the little human can be a considerable struggle, so pick them wisely.
33. Consider The Time
Before buying clothes for the baby, it is essential to consider the month. If the baby is born during the winter months and you have purchased all the summer clothes then by the time summer comes, it might not fit them.
34. Avoid buying expensive shoes
Do not buy expensive shoes because the body of the child develops quickly. Instead of focusing on the quantity, concentrate on buying good quality comfortable shoes for your baby.
35. Laundry Bags
Baby’s clothes are tiny, so they will quickly get lost. Try to purchase washable bags for laundry and use it to keep socks, mittens, hats, etc.
One must use gentle and special laundry detergent for cleaning the children’s cloth. If the cleanser is harsh, then the child will face breakouts. Pre-wash the clothes of the child so that they will be able to wear them comfortably.
37. Footie Pajamas
Purchase footie pajamas because in the initial few months you will find it easy to change the footie pajamas. It is also great to wear for the child during the winter months.
Try to buy many socks for the tiny feet. One can also use the socks on their hands to help them keep them warm.
39. Used Clothing
If you don’t want to splurge money on buying expensive clothes that your child will wear for one time, then you can purchase used clothes online or from the consignment shops.
40. Unisex clothes
Try to purchase unisex clothes so if you plan to have another child in the future; then they can use these clothes.
Health Is The First Priority
41. Wake Up For The Newborn In Turns
Wake up for the newborn in turns because it will help both of you to complete your sleep. With the newborn, you can expect to suffer from sleep deprivation.
If you figure out who will wake up the next time when the child cries, then it will help the other partner to sleep properly. It will improve your overall mental and physical health.
42. Maintain Daily Routine
After the child is born, do not forget to maintain your daily routine and take time for yourself. If you love to read then keep reading books and do exercise daily for your physical and mental well-being.
Take out some time to take care of yourself as it will help in increasing the endorphins and increase your energy level throughout the day.
43. Bond With Your Partner
After the child is born most of the time, you will communicate with your partner mostly about your child. It is also essential to grow intimacy and bond with your partner for maintaining a healthy environment in the house.
44. Enjoy Free Time
In the initial few weeks, many people will visit your home to see your child. Do not hesitate to keep the door closed during the night to spend quality time with your child and partner.
45. Observe The Signs
The father needs to know whether the mother is suffering from postpartum depression. The mother will not be able to recognize the symptoms, but you can see the difference in them.
People who are surrounding her will be able to observe the difference more clearly. Talk to her and seek medical help when needed.
46. Visit The Doctor
Visit the doctor after six weeks for the postpartum checkup. It is essential to know that everything is alright. If you are experiencing any difficulty post-delivery, then you can ask them. If you have any questions related to the baby, then you can visit a pediatrician.
47. Stay active
After the baby is born, the parents mostly stay in their homes. Having a newborn does not indicate that you can never enjoy yourself.
You can directly allow your family members, babysitters, grandparents, or nanny to watch your newborn and you can go out and enjoy yourself or do something that you love.
A lot of people will visit you after the child is born so it can invite a lot of germs into your house, which is not suitable for the newborn.
Do not hesitate to ask them to use a sanitizer or wash their hands before they are holding the baby. Especially during the flu and cold season, you should ask whether they are completely fine or are sick.
49. Me time
Do not forget to have some me-time when you can go for a walk, long drive, read a book or relax. Your housework will wait for you so do not put a lot of stress on yourself.
50. Take Help From Close People
Every new parent undergoes enormous stress as they have to take care of their baby and alongside they have to perform cleaning, cooking, etc.
If your close ones are offering to help you with any of these, then allow them.
51. Follow A Schedule
One of the first things that you will need to put your baby to sleep every day is to create a schedule. In the initial months, the child will not have any schedule for sleeping, so you need to create one.
52. Start Slowly
You cannot create a schedule in a day and make the child follow it. You have to introduce it in their daily life slowly. Always pick the time that will work for you as well.
Do not panic if you fail to put them to bed at the right time because you will also need some time to adjust to the routine.
53. Feed The Baby Before Bed
It is essential to feed your child before they go to bed. Feed them a bottle of milk and do not allow them to sleep on an empty stomach.
54. Follow The Rules
Try to follow the rules which the hospital will tell you to follow when you are putting your baby to sleep. It will help you to stay in peace because your baby will be safe.
55. Try Your Best
Instead of holding the baby all the time, you should put them in a bassinet or crib. Once they get habituated to it, they will be able to stay in bed alone.
Try swaddles if you want the baby to fall asleep quickly. When you are swaddling the child, they will feel that they are bundled up-close.
Until and unless it has been recommended to you to feed the baby in every alternate 2 hours then only you should feed them before bedtime.
58. Sleep Indicators
Try to use sleep indicators that will tell them that it is their bedtime. Book, bottle, bath, singing, rocking them, etc. can be sleep indicators.
Use any of them every night before you put them to sleep, and they will surely learn it is their bedtime indicator.
If your baby is one of those children who cannot sleep in a silent room, then you can use a sound machine. From the sound machine, it will play calming sounds. It can be the sound of heartbeat, rain, or lullabies.
60. Clean The Diaper
Change the diaper of your baby into cleaner ones which have a lot of zinc oxide paste in them, which will help in protecting the baby’s skin.
Some babies have the habit of sleeping through the entire night so that it won’t disturb their sleep at night.
61. Baby Tylenol
If someone is giving you baby Tylenol, then you must hold on using it in the initial few months of the baby. Tylenol has a tendency of masking the fever that can lead to a big problem later on.
You will have to consult your doctor about when you can start giving your child Tylenol and ask about the suitable dosage.
After bathing your child, they will become a slippery baby. Try to be cautious when you are carrying the baby after bathing them.
Keep track of when you should give the vaccine to the child. You will have to take your child to the public daycare where they will get the vaccination. If you have any doubt, you can ask about it to the doctor.
64. They Will Roll
When the baby is young, they will wiggle a lot. So try to lay them on the ottoman or couch when you are near to them. Do not leave your child unattended when they are not in a bouncer or swing.
65. Understand Babysitters And Daycares
In the daycare, your child will be exposed to germs and might catch a cold, lice, flu, etc. If your child is suffering from fever, then ensure that you are keeping them at home and opt for medical attention to ensure that they are recovering properly.
66. Cover Their Head
Babies find it hard to regulate their body temperature. So during the winter season, you need to keep the head of the baby covered to keep them warm.
Try to put a hat on their head so that they will be able to raise their body temperature quickly.
67. Temperature Of Bath Water
The temperature of bathwater should be different for every individual, especially babies. The skin of the baby is very sensitive, so if the water is too hot, then it burns the baby’s skin.
Even if the temperature of the water is normal to you still, it can be too hot for the child. Try to be cautious while preparing the bathwater.
68. Temperature Above 101
If the body temperature of the infant is more than 101, then it can be deadly. If the baby’s body temperature is high, then you need to contact your doctor.
69. Baby Proof
Indeed, your baby has not learned how to work now, but they will very quickly. So baby proof the house so that you won’t have to worry when they start walking around. Keep all the sharp objects away from the reach of the child.
Initially, you won’t know which things your child is allergic to. Try to see if there is any reaction on their body when they are using certain soaps or when you are using the detergent for cleaning clothes.
Check for food allergies when they are shifted to a solid diet. If you don’t know the cause of mark or rash on their body, then you need to seek medical help.
Things The Father Should Know
71. Pay Attention To The Mother
After the birth of the child, the mother has to go through the traumatizing experience, and hence their body needs time for healing. Try to be attentive when it comes to managing everything in the house and help her to focus on the healing process.
72. Compliment Her
After the delivery, the mother feels unattractive about their body. Try to give her compliments and tell her how beautiful she is. Let them know that you still admire her as it will help them to boost her self-esteem.
73. Take Her To Dinner
Surprise your partner by taking her to candlelight dinner or cook something for her. Surprise her in the amazing possible ways you can.
74. Take Care Of Yourself
Apart from taking care of the mother and the newborn, you should also make sure that you have your me-time. Becoming a father and adjusting with the new person and a new schedule can be exhausting for the father as well. Take out some time to relax and do something that you enjoy.
75. Walk Away
When the baby cries for long hours, it can get on your nerves, and you might feel overwhelmed. Do not hesitate to put the child in the crib and go to another room to take a few breaths and compose yourself.
76. Learn To Change The Diaper
Learn how to change the diaper and volunteer when needed. One will have to change hundreds of diapers so it is not always possible for the mother to manage everything so they would need a helping hand.
Educate yourself properly on how to take care of the child. You need to put the diaper properly; otherwise, it will make the child uncomfortable.
77. Drive The Car
After the delivery, the mother will have to take care of the child even when she is going out in the car. So you will have to become the driver for a few months because, after a certain kind of delivery, the mother is not allowed to drive.
78. Have Patience
Every day when you wake up after having a baby in your house, the time will fly quickly. You will have to learn to stay patient and adjust to their schedule.
79. Be There
Try to be a supporting partner to your wife by being present. Try to support her mentally and physically. Learn about all the tiny details about the baby so that you can also answer the doctor when he asks anything about the child. It will also help the mother to rely more on you.
80. Spend Time With The Baby
As the father, it is also vital for you to spend time with your newborn. Sit and play or chat with the baby as it will help in building a strong bond with them.
Things The Mother Should Know
81. Take Care Of The Father
After welcoming the newborn into your life, you will fail to put a lot of attention on the father. Both of you will be busy with adjusting yourself with the schedule of the new ones, but it is also important to value the other person who is also living this journey with you.
82. Time Will Pass
The phase of parenthood passes so quickly that your little ones will grow and within no time, you will see them graduate.
83. You Might Feel Awkward
While breastfeeding initially, you might feel awkward so you can ask your family or friends about it.
84. Don’t Get Obsessed With Cleanliness
The baby must stay in a safe environment free of germs. You can ask the visitors to sanitize the hands or wash their hands while handling the child, and you should do that as well.
Do not keep cleaning your hand every time you are opening the car door or touching anything. The baby will be able to develop their immune system gradually, so do not be hypercritical with cleanliness.
85. Compliment The Father
When the father handles the small human, they might feel insecure. Try to give him compliments and encourage him. If he is not able to understand or do something, do not shout or criticize him.
86. Treasure Small Moments
Try to enjoy all the little moments that you share with your baby. Your child will grow up quickly so instead of worrying about the future, enjoy these moments with them.
87. Enjoy Sleep Time
When the baby is sleeping, you should rest as well. If you are nervous or anxious about the baby, then you should use this time to relax. Take a hot shower or do something that you like instead of completing other household jobs.
88. Enjoy The Time When Your Baby Is Away
Take a bath or go out with your friends when your baby is away from you. It not only refreshes your mind but will also give you the boost of energy. Due to monotonous life, you might get into depression which is not healthy for the baby and you.
Apart from that, when you meet your friends, you will be able to have some adult conversations which are needed to catch up with what’s going around you.
89. Follow Intuition
If your intuition says that something is not alright with the baby, then contact the pediatrician.
90. Shedding Baby Weight
During the time of pregnancy, the mother will gain some weight. After the delivery, your body will need some time to shed those extra pounds. Do not forget to follow a workout routine.
91. Crying Is Normal
As babies don’t know how to talk, so their only method is to cry to get their parent’s attention. When the baby is crying, it is there a way of saying that they need you.
It might be an indication that you have to feed them, hold them, change their clothes etc. If the baby is not calming down even after 2 hours, then you should consult a doctor.
92. Burp Cloths
You have to purchase more burp clothes; otherwise, you have to clean it every day continuously. Having a few extra of them lying around can be helpful. One can also use tea towels or hand towels as a burp cloth.
93. Utilize The Phone Properly
Look at your phone as the little black book where you can record reminders, time, dates of all the events. During this phase, you will be extremely busy, so it is normal for you to forget things. So if you don’t want to forget to pay your bills, then you should put some reminders. There are several applications available that will help you to track diaper changes, feeding, sleep schedule, etc., of the baby.
94. Take Turns
Parents should decide on taking turns while taking care of the baby. You can take turns on who will do the laundry or change the diaper or do the dishes. Both parents should participate equally to take care of their little ones and manage the household chores as well.
95. Energetic Moments
There will be moments when you will feel a lot more energetic than usual. Do not push yourself to do everything on your own at that time and try to go with the flow. There is no need for becoming the super parent if it demands you to sacrifice your old well-being.
96. Keep Emergency Kit In The Car
It is more likely that you will always have a diaper bag with yourself whenever you are taking out your child. If you frequently travel by car then keep a bag filled with diapers, extra outfit and baby wipes in it and keep them in the car. So even if you forget to pack an extra outfit or diapers for the child still, it won’t create chaos.
97. Do Not Adjust The Volume
When the baby falls asleep while watching the television do not turn the volume down or adjust the volume of the blender or vacuuming. Try to complete all your daily tasks even if it creates noise because the baby will have to get accustomed to it otherwise they won’t be able to sleep when you are taking them to any special occasions.
98. Take Pictures
Parents have the natural tendency of capturing the moments of their little ones using a camera or phone but do not go overboard. Try to capture their beautiful moments or their firsts.
Try to refrain from becoming obsessive while taking photos. Photos will help you to reminiscence these beautiful moments in the future, but it is also essential to living in the moment as well.
99. Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord will hang out from the belly button of the baby, and it looks gross. When the umbilical cord looks dry like the tree roots, it will eventually fallout.
During that time, it will smell very nasty, and sometimes you can see that it is inflamed and puss is coming from it. This indicates that the umbilical cord is infected. Reach for the doctor’s help during this time.
100. Ensure That The Baby Is Burping
If the baby is not burping after having food, then it can bring a nightmare later on. If the baby is not burping, it indicates that the baby is suffering from indigestion and the gas is building up inside the stomach.
As they have ingested a lot of air during the feeding time so it will cause them to have stomach aches which they won’t know how to communicate with their parents or fix it themselves. So make sure that the baby is burping when you are feeding them.
During this time, it is essential to communicate correctly with one another. Just because one person is telling you to do something, it does not become the ultimate thing. Discuss who will do which task for handling the baby. Communicate otherwise; it can bring frustration later.
These 101 tips will help you to begin with this beautiful journey properly and understand how to enjoy this phase of parenthood. Parenting is a natural process, so you will learn gradually. Don’t stress yourself and concentrate on the well-being of the child, partner, and yourself if you want to ensure positive parenting.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.