Top 10 Pieces of Advice for New Parents
If you’re a new parent or soon-to-be new parent, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Taking care of a tiny person is intimidating! Believe me, I get it. I want to use this opportunity to offer you some advice that I wish I would have known when I first became a parent. Here are my top 10 pieces of advice for new parents!
1. Take care of yourself
Welcome to parenthood! It’s a wonderful, chaotic time filled with lots of new challenges and responsibilities. One of the most important things you can do as a new parent is to take care of yourself.
I know it sounds counterintuitive – shouldn’t you be focused on taking care of your new baby? But the truth is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your baby the way you want to. You’ll be tired, irritable, and run down, and that’s no fun for anyone.
So make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and take some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just a few minutes. Your baby will benefit from having a happy, healthy mom – trust me on that!
- Take a bath
- Meal prep freezer meals
- Get horizontal -even if you can’t sleep, sometimes just laying down for a while can help to alleviate some of your exhaustion
2. Don’t forget to spend time with your partner
Having a baby is a huge adjustment for your relationship, too. As a new parent, it’s important to remember to nurture that relationship, even though it may feel like you don’t have the time or energy.
Take a few minutes every day to talk to your partner about something other than baby-related things. Whether it’s catching up on each other’s days, talking about your hopes and dreams for the future, or just sharing a laugh, those few minutes can make a big difference.
And don’t forget to schedule some time for intimacy! Not immediately, of course. Give your body a break. But when you do feel that your body is ready, even though it may not be at the top of your list when you’re sleep-deprived and dealing with diapers and feedings, making time for physical intimacy is important for both you and your partner. Just remember to take it slow.
3. Accept help from family and friends
Being a mom is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. But it can also be tough, especially if you are a new parent. One piece of advice I would give to any new mom is to accept help from family and friends.
Trying to do everything on your own can be overwhelming, and it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through this journey alone. Family and friends can offer valuable support, whether it’s watching your baby while you take a break or simply offering a listening ear. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I promise it will make the whole parenting experience a little easier.
Sometimes, parenting can tend to feel very lonely -especially as a new parent. This is why it’s so important to build a supportive community of moms. Whether it’s joining a mom’s group or simply connecting with friends and family, having people you can rely on will make all the difference.
Practical tips for finding your mom tribe:
- Join a mom’s group: Attending regular meetups is a great way to connect with other moms in your area. Not only will you be able to share advice and support, but you’ll also get to enjoy some much-needed adult conversation!
- Utilize social media: With so many online mom groups, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you. Search for groups based on your interests or location, and don’t be afraid to reach out to other members.
- Schedule playdates: Spending time with other kids can be just as beneficial for parents as it is for kids! As you chat with other parents at the park or playground, you’ll quickly develop bonds that go beyond playtime.
No matter how you choose to connect with other moms, remember that you’re not alone in this journey. Lean on your mom tribe for support, and offer help whenever you can. By working together, we can all find joy in parenting.
5. Take advantage of the resources available to you
In our day and age, we are lucky to have tons of parenting resources at the tip of our fingers. Whether it’s a mommy-and-me class with other new or experienced moms, parenting books, or blogs such as this one, utilizing resources is a great way to gain some confidence in this new and scary role as a parent.
6. Everything is temporary
Being a new parent is hard. You want to do what is best for your new baby but you’re also exhausted and don’t feel like your usual self. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you are never going to get a break. But I want you to know that everything is temporary. The late nights, the crazy hormones, the never-ending cycle of diaper changes – it will all eventually end. Your kids will grow up and you will have more time for yourself again. But believe it or not, you’re really going to miss these days.
Take heart, mama. Everything is temporary and this too shall pass.
7. Take it easy on yourself
One of the most important things I’ve learned as a mom is to take it easy on myself. There will be good days and bad days, but I try to remind myself that I am doing the best I can. On the days when everything seems to be going wrong, cut yourself some slack. Take a deep breath and know that you are doing an amazing job, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
8. Respect your body
Your body has been through a lot of trauma. Whether you gave birth vaginally or via c-section, it’s important to give your body the time it needs to heal. Don’t try to do too much too soon – your body will let you know when it’s ready. According to familydoctor.org, it can take months for your body to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. In the meantime, take things slow and be kind to yourself. The dishes can wait! Use this time to rest as much as possible and enjoy all those sweet baby snuggles.
9. You don’t have to take everyone’s advice
One of the best things about being a parent is that there are a million different ways to do it. You can read all the parenting books in the world, but at the end of the day, you have to do what works for you and your family.
Everyone is going to have advice -some welcome and some not so welcome. You have to be able to discern when to actually take that advice and when you should nod politely and forget everything Aunt Betty just told you. In the end, you are the expert on your child. Trust your gut and do what you feel is best for your little one.
10. Your hormones will be crazy -give yourself grace
Having a baby is a huge life change, and it can also have a big impact on your hormones. During pregnancy, your body produces extra hormones to help support the pregnancy. After you have the baby, those hormone levels start to drop. These changes can cause a variety of symptoms, including mood swings, fatigue, and weight gain. It can take a few weeks or even a few months for your hormone levels to return to normal.
Friend, that hormone drop can make you feel all types of whacky. In those first several weeks, I remember literally crying to my midwife because there were times I looked at my baby and felt absolutely nothing. To be honest, there were times I looked at him and felt like he wasn’t even mine. I was overwhelmed with guilt and couldn’t understand how I had already managed to screw up this new parenting thing.
Guess what? That’s what crazy hormones can do to you. I wasn’t a bad mom, I was a woman whose hormonal balance was way off track.
Seriously mama, don’t be hard on yourself if you feel similar things. I encourage you to reach out to your friends and family if you start to feel like this. They may be able to offer you more insight and encouragement. Also, do not hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider! Postpartum Depression is very real and can be detrimental if it goes unchecked.
You got this!
Parenting is hard, but it’s also rewarding. By following these tips, you’ll be off to a great start as a new parent. And if you ever need help or just want to chat with other parents, there are lots of resources and support groups out there. You’re not alone in this!
I hope you enjoyed my top ten pieces of advice for new parents! Mamas, did I miss anything? Have any wisdom that could seriously help all those new mamas? Please let us know in the comments below!
Abbie Clark is a writer, blogger, and founder of Hey She Thrives, RideRambler, and The Bearded Bunch.
Abbie loves helping people, whether that be with an encouraging word for fellow mamas or sharing diy tips for car restoration.
Abbie is a mama, wife, and friend of Jesus.