Unfortunately, babies don’t come with a guide book and still, somehow, every person you meet is going to have some piece of advice to share with you. Sifting through all the advice can be tough, which is why we have broken down the most important advice for new parents into little tidbits for you below! Every baby is different and so is every parent, so a lot of parenting is creating your own guidebook full of things that work for your family. Here are some of the basics from our Rookie Mom’s own guidebooks to get you started.
Advice for New Parents from Moms Who Have Been There
For the New Parents Who Feel Like They Have No Idea What They Are Doing
You’re Doing Great
Parenting shouldn’t be riddled with guilt and it’s okay to feel like you’re going in blind. In fact, this whole parenting thing is probably a lot harder to mess up than you think. Do what you and your baby are comfortable and happy with because, in the end, that’s all that really matters.
There is No Right Way to Parent
Despite popular belief, we are all just out here doing our best. This means we mess up sometimes. It also means that it isn’t always fun. Stop comparing your baby, yourself, and your Instagram aesthetic to others. Every child is different, so you have to learn to ignore what so-and-so’s kid is doing on the timeline. Focus on your own kiddo instead because they are probably doing some pretty special things, too.
Everything is a Phase
The struggles will come and go, they are just a part of parenting. Sometimes you will just have to tough it out and live through the phase. However, it becomes a lot easier if you keep in mind how temporary everything is. Waking up 7 times at night is temporary, having a kid who only eats pouches in temporary, no being the only word in their vocabulary is temporary. You will live through it, just like the parents before you did! The crazy thing is, someday you might even miss it.
I also recommend trying to leave behind the negative ideas behind certain stages, like terrible twos. Instead, try to focus on all the positive things this age brings. It’s crazy what changing your mindset can do for both you and your child.
Advice for New Parents Who Can Do it All
There is Help Out There!
It can be really hard to accept help, but this is one of the times in life where it is so worth reaching out. When they said it takes a village, they weren’t kidding! No one is going to think of you as less of a parent for wanting a little help here and there. At the end of the day, the more people around to love on you and your baby is not a bad thing.
I understand that it can be frustrating when people come over to “help” and then really just want to hold the baby. If you really want this time with your baby, let your friends and family know they can help out in all sorts of different ways. They can pick up lunch for you or put the dishes away or brew you a cup of coffee. Some of the most important parenting advice I can give you is that help can mean all sorts of things!
Get to Know Each Other
We hear about the magical bond that happens once our baby is born over and over, but does this automatically mean you know each other? It actually still might take some time to figure each other out and that is okay! Trust me, this doesn’t mean your missing instincts. Soon enough, you will know which cry means “change my diaper” and which one means they’re hungry.
This goes for breastfeeding as well. It can take a little time to get the whole thing figured out. Reach out to other moms and a lactation consultant if you’re struggling! If you want to quit breastfeeding, that is okay too.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Hire someone to clean, order takeout, demand time for a nap or a shower, watch your favorite Netflix show, order groceries solely through Instacart for 3 months straight. Being a good parent doesn’t mean throwing yourself into the duties of parenting and forgetting who you were before this. The happier you are, the better off your baby is.
The Practical Advice Every New Parent Needs to Hear
Take SO Many Pictures
The time really does go fast and you’ll never regret your camera roll full of squishy cheeks and chunky thighs. Of course, mom and dad need to hop in the camera frame with their little one sometimes as well! Your child isn’t going to look back and wonder why your makeup wasn’t done or why you were in sweats. They are just going to see the mom and dad they love.
I would also recommend snapping videos every once in a while! They are so fun to look at down the road and will give you a better sense of what the days were really like “back then”.
Get Outside Once a Day
This will look different for every family. You might enjoy a walk around the block or a visit to a coffee shop, maybe it’s a little stroll around Target. This won’t be an easy task, but it is so important because the beginning of parenthood can be really lonely and isolating. Getting outdoors and taking a breath of fresh air will be so good for you and your baby. Plus, it will give you a little sense of accomplishment when things get tough.
“Do you want this, I never used it?” is A Trap
The person offering you a never used baby item of theirs is probably trying to help, but if they never used it you probably won’t either. Babies don’t actually need that much, besides you. I think it’s better to keep things less cluttered and just invest in the products that really work for your family.
Swaddle That Baby Up
This is my favorite advice to give new parents- learn to swaddle! There are tons of Youtube videos on how to do it and your nurse can also help you practice. There are even swaddle blankets that make it super simple! I know this won’t work for every baby, but each of my babies loved it. They would go from crying and upset to snuggly and calm as soon as I wrapped them up.
Learn to Like Baby Wearing
Some moms love it, other moms hate it. I say at least learn to like it because it makes getting things done so much easier. Putting your baby in a carrier or sling will free you up a bit to make lunch or throw laundry in. If you really can’t stand babywearing, I recommend getting a swing so you can set your baby down for a bit.
I hope you have found some of our Rookie Mom parenting advice helpful for your new journey! Remember, it is all about making your own guidebook and figuring out what works for your family.
What’s your favorite piece of parenting advice? Let us know in the comments below!
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