40 Survival Tips For New Parents
Congratulations on becoming a parent! While this journey is super exciting, it can also be intimidating, especially for new parents. With all the advice out there, it’s hard to know what (and who) to listen to.
The experts at Newton Baby are here to soothe your mind and make this parenting journey a little less intimidating. We’ve created a list of 40 survival tips for new parents. So grab your partner and start taking notes!
Survival Tips For New Parents
1) Ask For Help
This is number one on our list for a reason. When you get overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. More than likely, you’ve already had people offer to help. Take them up on their offer!
Whether it’s a family member, friend, or neighbor, find someone you trust to help out in any way you need. It can be something as simple as cooking a meal for your family, helping around the house, doing yard work, or watching your baby so you can rest or take a shower.
2) Establish A Bedtime Routine
When you’re a new parent, both you and your baby are learning and figuring all of this out together. While it’s hard to keep a newborn on a set schedule, it will get easier with consistent effort on your part.
After the first few months, your baby will most likely be able to stick to a routine, at least most of the time. And the older they get, the more predictable their schedule becomes.
It’s never too early to start establishing a bedtime routine. For example, you could bathe your little one, change them into pajamas, read a story, and then sing songs. Just stick with whatever you choose to do.
Babies — and parents — thrive off of a consistent routine.
3) Make Healthy Choices
Your mind probably went straight to healthy food choices, but we’re talking about healthy choices in general here.
While eating the right foods is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle, intentionally choosing who you surround yourself with, the activities you engage in, and how you spend your time also plays a role.
4) Take Care Of Your Mind And Body
Take care of your mind and body so you can be the best version of yourself for your baby and your family. If this sounds overwhelming, start out slow. Here are a couple of easy ideas to consider:
- Spend a few minutes each day practicing deep breathing to take care of your mind.
- Go for a brisk walk for any amount of time each day to care for your body and physical health.
Making healthy choices (like we talked about above) and taking care of your mind and body go hand-in-hand.
If this is something you struggle with, find someone who will hold you accountable for your choices. Having a friend to walk this road alongside you will make the transition easier.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a partner and get started!
5) Set Aside Time For Yourself
Mom and dad, we know you need a break every now and then, so take one! If you don’t make time for yourself a priority, then who will?
We’ll look at some things you can do to recharge your batteries later in the article, but the first step is simply setting aside the time. Time when you have no distractions. Time when you can clear your mind and just be you.
And the time is now!
6) Set Aside Time For Your Partner
We totally get it. Your new little baby is just so cute! They naturally take up a lot of your time and attention, but don’t let your baby come before your partner.
Your partner doesn’t want to feel forgotten about or pushed to the side. So make sure you’re focusing attention and time on your partner during this phase of your lives.
Sit down together and put a regular date night on the calendar. Write that date on your calendar, put it in your phone, or carve it in stone if you have to!
It’s also important to set aside time each day to communicate, whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening. The exact time of day doesn’t matter as long as it’s uninterrupted time when you can really focus on each other.
7) Get Out Of The House
If you can, try to get out of the house occasionally. Some people are more comfortable keeping their babies home in the early days and months of their lives, but that’s not always the best choice for new parents.
Your home can quickly start to feel like a dungeon. So, for your sanity, get out of the house. Leave your little one with someone you trust — your spouse, a grandparent, or even a friend — and escape for a little while.
Even if you’re breastfeeding your baby, you can plan your outings around their feedings so you don’t have to take them out in public.
8) Treat Yourself
Both moms and dads need to recharge. Tag-team with your partner or call in reinforcements to make that happen. Find something that soothes you and helps you to decompress when needed.
Some suggestions are going for a walk, going to the gym, meeting a friend for coffee, going shopping, finding a quiet spot to read a book, taking a bubble bath, going golfing, or you fill in the blank.
Whatever you choose, make sure it allows you to rest and recharge your batteries.
9) Lower Your Standards
Lower your standards and then lower them some more.
Hey, mom, you just had a baby! You’re not going to lose that baby weight right away. It took you nine months to get where you are. Unfortunately, those pounds won’t fall off the second your baby is born.
And don’t stress about your home. The things in the house can wait. The laundry can stay in that pile, the dishes in the sink (for a little while, anyway).
Consider using paper plates and paper cups to cut down on dirty dishes. Order your groceries online and let your spouse pick them up. Do whatever you need to do that requires the least amount of energy from you as possible.
Now is not the time to become Martha Stewart.
10) Go Outside Every Day
During the early days of your baby’s life, you might not feel comfortable bringing your baby outside. This is perfectly normal, but be careful not to let the walls of your home cave in on you.
A little sunlight will benefit both you and your baby. The vitamin D is good for your mind, body, and soul. (Remember to apply sunscreen and keep your little one covered!)
11) Limit Visitors (Or Not)
This one is totally up to you and your significant other. Some new parents’ motto is “the more the merrier” and others’ is “stay away.” Whichever motto you’re leaning toward, stick with it.
If you’re not comfortable with visitors coming to your house day after day once your baby is born, that’s OK. Just voice your opinion ahead of time so people aren’t caught off guard by your wishes.
12) Seek Out Other New Parents
You’re going to need encouragement during this phase of your life. Find other new parents who can relate to what you’re going through.
We would also recommend finding veteran parents who have “been there, done that” for comfort and encouragement through this stage.
It’s important to have other parents you can lean on when times get tough, when you have a lingering question, or when you just want to brag on your sweet little one.
13) Grab A Nap Whenever You Can
No matter what you do, the laundry will always be there and so will the messes. So get some shut-eye whenever you can.
If your baby is sleeping, push that laundry to the other side of the couch and take a nap! After all, you can’t sleep while your baby is awake, so take advantage of the quiet time while they’re down for a nap.
14) Trust Your Gut
Remember that even with the stacks of books and resources on parenting — Newton Baby is a good one! — you are the expert when it comes to your baby. You’re with them day-in and day-out. You’ve learned your baby’s mannerisms and know when something seems off.
Don’t wait if you suspect something is not right with your baby. Call or visit your child’s pediatrician and put your mind at ease.
15) Prep Your Phone
When you have a little one, it’s best to be prepared for anything. Enter any and all important numbers and information into your phone — that means your pediatrician’s phone number, the address of the closest hospital, everyone’s blood type, any allergies, and insurance information.
Emergencies happen. And it will be a relief to know that all the important details are at the ready, and you don’t have to struggle, stress, or rely on good Wi-Fi if you ever need that info.
16) Make Memories Often
The first months of parenthood are a special time of bonding with your child. Even though you’re tired and might feel a bit frazzled at times, you want to lean in and focus on the wonders of being a mom or dad.
Memory-making can be simple — don’t overthink it. Remember, everything you do with your baby is exciting and new for them!
Cherish all of those precious moments together and the simple beauty that exists all around.
17) Put Down The Phone
We’re all attached to our phones, and it’s OK to pull out the device for a quick photo sesh, but don’t be afraid to disconnect from the tech and just bond (selfie-free) with your baby.
18) Organize Photos Monthly
By the end of the first week, you realize you’ve taken 600 photos of your new baby. That’s great, but let’s be real: You’re not going to go back and pine over 40 photos of your little one on Nana’s lap. Channel your inner editor and pick the best. We promise there’ll be many more.
And just think: A couple of decades from now, you may be asked to pull these photos out again for a special occasion (e.g., graduation or wedding), and you won’t want to slog through thousands of the same image to make the perfect “through the years” slideshow.
19) Make Photo Albums
Now that you’ve cut your photos down to the best snaps per smile, nap, visitor, or cute moment, it’s time to make an album. It’s nice to have the images on your phone, but having a book created once or twice a year with your favorites gives even more permanence.
There are tons of services online that can take your digital images and whip up an album in a jiff. That way, when people come to visit, you have a highlight reel of the first months and years with your baby in one easy-to-share place.
It’s also a great gift for a partner or spouse for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day!
20) Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
There are going to be ups and downs over the 18 years that you’re in charge of your little one. So he had a tantrum at dinner. So her finger paint dripped on the new carpet.
In times of stress, ask yourself: Are they healthy? Are they happy? At the end of the day, that’s what really matters.
21) Expose Them To Diverse Foods
Once they’re on solid foods, expose your child early to a wide variety of tastes. The last thing you want is a picky eater. The wider their palate, the easier it is when preparing meals for everyone.
22) Be A Role Model
From day one, your baby is looking to you for cues of what to do, how to feel, and how to react. Your habits become their habits, your normal becomes their normal. Exhibit the qualities you want to pass on!
23) Make Boundaries
No parent wants to be the bad guy, but remember, saying “no” is not bad. Children need boundaries to learn. Boundaries make them feel safe and cared for and help them build self-worth and self-respect.
24) Let Them Fail
If you thought saying no and making boundaries is hard, letting them fail is even harder. As they get bigger and gain more independence, you want to let them try, fail, and try again.
We’re not saying the big stuff, of course. But if you want to raise a resilient child, it’s best to let them “low-stakes fail” early. Disappointments happen in life, and learning how to pick oneself up and recover is one of the best parental gifts you can give.
25) Live In The Moment
There’s nothing worse than spending all of your days worrying about the past or future and missing what’s right in front of you. Be sure to spend some time really focusing on the here and now with your baby.
Set some time aside each day to just be together, play, and enjoy each other’s company. No distractions allowed.
26) Own Your Mistakes
We hate to break it to you, but you’re going to make mistakes as a parent. While your little one may not see all of your shortcomings, admitting that you’re not perfect to your spouse and apologizing when necessary creates a healthy family dynamic.
27) Stoke The Empathy
When your child has a meltdown, don’t stress; empathize. Think about how they must be feeling and model the behavior you want them to emulate as they grow up.
28) Keep On Budget
With a growing family, there are always financial stresses — children are expensive. To help stay on track, set a budget and talk about the financial decisions you’re going to make for the health of your family.
29) Always Bring A Change Of Clothes
As they say, spit happens. You’ll want to never leave home without a spare ensemble for your baby and perhaps an extra shirt for yourself.
30) Do Not Compare Your Child (Or Yourself) To Others
There’s always going to be someone who reaches a milestone faster. Remember, it’s not a competition. Your baby will walk and talk and potty train when they’re ready. Constantly comparing them to others only makes you and your child stressed and unhappy.
Instead, focus on what your child is doing and celebrate that. Building their self-confidence will help them achieve higher heights! Sky’s the limit!
31) Be Happy For Others’ Successes
Take the don’t compare yourself to others one step further: Practice being happy for others’ successes. Have confidence in your child that their successes will come, and when they do, you’ll have a whole community of cheerleaders in your corner.
32) Be Consistent
It can be confusing for a child when routines change or they are told different things.
Consistency is clarity. When teaching a baby dos and don’ts, you want to be steadfast in your message (and coordinate with a partner or spouse so that they don’t inadvertently undo your good work).
33) Teach Etiquette And People Skills
Once they’re a bit bigger, it’s good to teach your child polite habits that will last a lifetime. Look people in the eye, shake hands, and ask to be excused from the table.
While they’re little, model this behavior so they can see good life skills in action.
34) Model A Growth Mindset
Anything that you’re teaching them, you’re going to have to embrace yourself. You are not a perfect parent, but you’re getting there. You’re always growing, getting better, and learning more about yourself and your child.
35) Keep Traveling
The adventures don’t stop when baby comes along. In fact, they’ve just begun! Traveling with a child can be challenging and can require a bit more planning, but it is so rewarding as well.
36) Dance, Sing, And Indulge In Childhood Pleasures
Don’t be afraid to get silly; your child won’t judge you. They’ll delight in a parent who sings a funny song with abandon. Props are strongly encouraged!
37) Compliment Your Child And Your Partner Liberally
It’s easy to focus on what goes wrong, but you have to turn that way of thinking upside down. Focus most of your attention on what goes right and celebrate it!
Tell your child that you’re proud of them for little things — sleeping through the night, finishing their bottle, or brightening your day with their smile. And don’t stop with just them. Your partner or spouse will most certainly appreciate kind words, too.
38) Reflect On Your Parenthood Journey
Think of starting a parenting journal. There are tons of benefits to reflection, from building confidence to increasing your understanding of yourself. Reflecting on your journey through parenthood can help you clarify your own thoughts and feelings.
A parent who takes time for their own emotional health may better support their child’s emotional health as well.
39) Be Generous With Family
It’s not only you who’s excited about your little one. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are clamoring to meet the latest member of your family. Plan family time to ensure your baby feels surrounded by people who love them.
40) Be Kind To Yourself
The biggest advice we can give you during this exciting yet sometimes challenging time is to be kind to yourself. As with everything new, it takes time to get used to all of the changes and responsibilities.
Being mindful of your own mental health will positively impact your child’s mental health. Here’s to a happier and even kinder next generation!
Thrive As New Parents
Being a parent is hard work, but it’s so worth it! We know the days can be long, but they don’t have to be with better nighttime sleep. Newton Baby provides you with the perfect setup for a good night’s sleep.
Our Crib Mattress is designed so babies can breathe straight through it. This means no more sweaty backs! Plus, it’s much more comfortable than traditional mattresses.
With the survival tips for new parents in this article and Newton Baby’s products, you and your baby can thrive for years to come!