First time mom holding her newborn baby
Dads Encouragement Parenthood

Best Advice for New Parents

By Amy Morrison

My great-grandmother always said “babies need air” – meaning that they should go outside every day.

I’m not sure if there is any science behind this (she also told me that I’d get kidney stones from sitting on cold pavement) but when I did have a baby, I made a point of going outside every day even if it was just a walk around the block or sitting in on the porch. I think this little custom helped me more than either of my kids because it gave me a bit of purpose in the haze of 24/7 newborn living, but I do feel like it helped set their little internal clocks, so I think she was on to something.

It’s a piece of advice I impart (if asked) to other new parents as well, but I wanted to know what you guys would tell a new parent (first-time parents in particular). I was blown away by all the great advice! Nothing will fit you to a tee, but I love the wisdom in all of them.

Advice for New Parents (from Parents Who Have Been There)

1/ "Whatever phase they are going through will be over eventually!”- Ciarra

2/ “The post birth hormones are intense. You might cry simply because the store is out of Greek yogurt and that's ok. Sleep deprivation in the early months is as bad as people say, but like all things with a baby, it won't last forever! And the love you will feel for baby is like nothing you've ever felt before.”- Anna

3/ “You will sleep again eventually.”- Sharon

4/ “Don't overlook your own recovery. You spend so much time planning for the baby, don't forget that you need to be taken care of too.”- Ashley

5/ “Work WITH your baby, not against it. Saves a lot of frustration and stress.”- Kirsten

6/ “Don't buy a lot of clothes. They grow so fast that I wish I would've bought fewer pieces for each size.”- Julie

7/ “If a baby book instills worry instead of comfort and empowerment, ditch it.” - Ashley

8/ “The love is overwhelming. It's a love so big, it hurts.”- Dani

9/ “Ignore anyone who tries to make you feel anything but awesome. You will know what's best, or, you will know how to find the answer that works for you and your baby.”- Ashley

10/ “Everything is only temporary. You may not love every minute and that's ok. Let go when you can. Do what you can and don't beat yourself up over what you can't. Do what works for you!”- April

11/ “If you’re going to be up nursing, find a series to binge watch in the middle of the night. It will help with the lonely feeling that often comes with 3am feeds.” - Kayla

12/ “Babies cry. This sounds crazy but I always felt like if my baby was crying I was doing something wrong. Sometimes they just need to let off steam.” – Brittney

13/ “It's okay to put the baby down and cry in the other room when you've hit an exhaustion level you never thought possible.”- Christin

14/ “Babies aren't supposed to sleep through the night, they're not supposed to eat every three hours on the dot, and there is no magic formula to make them hold to a schedule. Take each day as it comes.”- Audra

15/ “There is no such thing as "bad habits" – give your baby whatever it is asking for. You can't spoil a baby.”- Jennifer

16/ “Don’t feel like you need to do an official ‘date night’ if you don’t feel like it. My husband and I just wanted to sit on the couch and watch tv after bedtime. Plus, the logistics of a babysitter just added to my to-do list.” - Kaitlyn

17/ “If you find your baby’s diapers are always leaking suddenly, it’s probably time to go up a size.” - Sarah

18/ “Postpartum depression is real! And really scary! And even knowing it, and trying to reach out for help, it was brushed under the rug by my doctor twice. I loved my doctor, but sometimes it's not just "baby blues" or "you'll adjust"... Sometimes you need more than that and that's ok too. Be honest with yourself about your wellbeing, and be honest with your partner/spouse/best friend/ doctor – even the scary stuff!”- Lauren

19/ “The baby blues are a son of a bitch, that feel like they will never end, and then they end.”- Danielle

20/ “Everyone is going to give you advice.... breast is best, tummy time, etc. screw it all. Do what's best for you and your family and trust your gut. F the mommy guilt. The first year is all about survival.”- Kat

21/ “The irrational irritation that you feel for your pets and partner is just temporary and probably caused by hormones and sleep deprivation. It will pass, don't kill them.”- Jessy

22/ “Be prepared for your best intentions and plans to go out the window! Maybe breastfeeding will work for you, maybe it won't. Same goes for your pregnancy, birth plan, baby sleep... What you picture and reality may be very different, and if you can alter your expectations beforehand, it'll be so much easier.”- Susan

23/ “My husband's best advice is – never do anything when the baby is asleep that you could do when they are awake. Simple, but so helpful in terms of prioritizing during precious nap time!”- Melissa

24/ “I wish more people would've been positive! You hear so much negative ‘there goes your sleep/social life/showers/quiet’ speeches get really old. Having a baby is pure joy even after the hard days and I wish I would've heard more of that. I always make sure to tell new moms to be how amazing it will be!”- Krystin

25/ “I know this is meant for first-time mothers, but I wish someone had told me my second child would not be the same as the first. Intellectually, I knew, but I can't responding like they were the same baby. They're different; so is what comforts them, makes them smile, etc. It's worth stating the obvious.” - Justine

26/ “That you will figure it out, even if you have NO CLUE what you are doing. You will!” - Michele

27/ “Biggest wish I knew was that formula is not poison. I had a low breast milk supply so my baby not gaining weight and waited WAY too long to just get over it and use formula. We are doing much better now.” - Melissa

28/ “Really really really try hard not to compare your baby's milestones to others or let others compare their baby to yours. ‘My baby sleeps 12 hours a night and goes poop on command!’ Your baby is great and perfect and will sleep too (someday).” - Jessica

29/ “It's okay if you don't bond with your baby/babies right away. It can take time, and it's normal. (No one ever told me, and I felt like an awful mom for the first four months.)” - Kristin

30/ “Hold them, watch them sleep, let the laundry pile up, hire a cleaning person to come in occasionally, order take out and do whatever makes your life easier at the moment. You can’t do everything so let others help. Take lots of pics.” - Jennifer

31/ “You don't have to love every single second. Some moments you will actually despise. But it is all worth it.” - Elaine

32/ “You will have moments where you are overwhelmed, where you may question your abilities. You will be tired and consider (even briefly) waving the white flag. It doesn’t mean you are, or will be, a bad parent. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. It’s okay to have these feelings – do not dwell on them. They are fleeting and this too shall pass.” - Laura

What is the best piece of advice you’d give a first-time mom or dad?

Are there any practical tips or tricks you found helpful when you had a newborn baby? What eased your anxiety or what routine made your new life with a baby easier?

Our next reco: Baby Sleep Tips from Seasoned Parents

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