- Family and Parenting
Best Advice for New Parents
Being a new parent is an exciting and scary experience. After months of preparation and careful care, you suddenly are responsible for another human being who is entirely dependent upon you. Parenting is so often a learn-as-you-go job that many new parents look for help. Here are some tips for new parents.
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1. Sleep when your baby sleeps. This is critically important, because your baby will need to be fed every few hours, and you will not sleep through the night for the first few months. So when your baby is asleep, take the opportunity to get some rest yourself. Do not do any work outside of your job (if you are holding one), as it is important for you to have the time to get enough rest.
2. Do not use swings to get your baby to sleep all the time. If you do, you risk your baby only being able to sleep when put in motion, and this can be a very difficult pattern to break. Use a swing occasionally if you are having a hard time getting your baby to sleep, but not each time. Also, after a few weeks, your baby should sleep in his or her own room or a room separate from yours.
3. Establishing a routine for your baby will help the baby to sleep well and will help you out too. Try to feed the baby on a regular schedule and get the baby to sleep at the same times each day. Get a CD with the sounds of rain or other white noise to help your baby sleep.
4. Take care of yourself. New parenting is stressful and hectic, so do not feel afraid to ask for and accept help when you need it. Have a relative or friend sit with your baby while you sleep, or go out for a night on your own or with your partner. Monitor your own mental state to keep you from getting so overwhelmed that it affects your ability to parent.
5. Set a “baby update” message on your answering machine and turn your phone ringer off from time to time. With relatives and friends all wanting updates on your baby’s life, it can be difficult for you to get the rest you need. Relieving yourself of the responsibility of answering the phone every half hour can make your life just a little more peaceful.