Tips and Advice for First Time Parents

When you welcome your first baby into your family, it can certainly be overwhelming at times as you are learning an entirely new way of life. Though it may feel like you are going through this transitional phase on your own with your partner, there are countless resources available to you to help you make better informed decisions, during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and early parenthood.

This 5-part guide provides the following sections:

• Page 1 – Overview – Guide for First Time Parents: Caring for a Newborn Baby
• Page 2: Tips and Advice for First Time Parent
• Page 3: Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms and Health
• Page 4: Birth Plan and Baby Checklist
• Page 5: Newborn Baby Care

Note: This guide offers tips, information, and resources for first time parents. Please consult your doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals with specific questions.

Advice for New Parents

It’s important for new parents to know that all first time parents experience the feeling of being in over their head at one point or another throughout the first few months of their newborn’s life. Each parent also handles and feels it differently, as new moms and new dads may tend to feel different emotions.

Tips for New Parents

As new parents, this is a transitional time in your life when you leave the hospital with your newborn. You will experience many first-time emotions during this new life change.

Many first time parents share these top tips for new parents:
● You may not love every minute, and that’s okay. In other words, frustration and exhaustion are merited but all of the hard work of parenting is worth it.
● Do whatever makes life easier at the moment. This could be hiring someone to come clean your home for you, ordering takeout, or anything else that makes the more difficult tasks convenient.
● It’s normal if you don’t bond with your baby right away. Knowing this is a normal occurrence may comfort you if you aren’t feeling the close connection immediately after birth. This should not make you feel like a bad parent, as it can take time.

What to Expect: First Time Mom Advice

First time moms tend to receive a plethora of advice from other mothers, doctors, and from online resources. This is the best way to prepare for motherhood, but we recommend finding what works for you.

For instance, some moms will tell you to nap while your baby is napping. But if you don’t like to take naps, then this isn’t practical advice that will fit well into your life.

Here are the tips we suggest for first time moms:
● It will help you to not obsess about germs – you can be smart about your baby’s hygiene and where you bring them outside of your home, but obsessing will only unnecessarily exhaust and preoccupy you when it is not fully in your control whether your baby will get sick or not.
● Ask for help if you need it – Moms don’t become pros overnight. It’s encouraged to ask for help, whether that’s asking for a friend or family member to bring over dinner or just to hold your baby while you fold some laundry.
● Write things down – the first few months go by so quickly, and many milestones occur during this time. Take note of every “first”, as the idea of tackling a baby book may be too overwhelming when you have a newborn to care for.
● Take advantage of nap time – Don’t feel guilty if you look forward to when your baby goes down for a nap, as it’s a break in the day for you to relax or get some things done around the house that are much harder when your baby is awake

What to Expect: First Time Dad Advice

First time dads have a different experience with having a newborn than first time moms, as they are often still going to work and not spending the entire day with the baby in the first months of the baby’s life.

You will reap the most reward by making spending time with your family and your new baby a priority as a new father. You won’t regret not working long hours, but instead will be grateful for the extra time playing with your new baby and forging a good relationship.

Here are what we think are great tips for first time dads:
● Don’t be afraid to take your baby out with you – it’s easier before they can walk, contrary to what you may think. Stimulation is great for babies, and this will develop a good habit of the baby adapting to your life and being active.
● Be extra patient and supportive with your partner. Hormones do ebb and flow after childbirth, so this is a crucial time to be available and understanding to your partner.
● When considering your schedule, add in some buffer time because everything takes more time with a baby involved, such as your morning and evening routine.
● Talk to new fathers about their experiences. There are many more groups available to women to learn about being a new mom, but if you have friends or family you can talk with, you can gain some sound advice from them.

Best Books for New Parents

Books are a great resource for first time parents, both baby books and mommy and baby books for daddy. Friends and family can give great advice, but seeking professional expertise can sometimes be more objective. Take a look at some of the best baby books for new parents:

● The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby from Birth to Age Two: This book is considered the bible when it comes to new parenting. It is unrivaled in its authority and presents a contemporary approach to parenting that is relatable to society and the way we live today. Eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort and the essential needs of babies are what it focuses on.
● The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer: Claimed to be “life-changing” by many new parents, this book is considered part of first time parents’ baby book repertoire. It teaches parents how to activate an automatic “off-switch” for their baby’s crying. Never again will you have to worry about being helpless and frazzled while your baby cries and cries.
● Touchpoints – Birth to Three: This is a soothing book for anxious first time parents. Universal concerns of parenthood are addressed by T. Berry Brazelton, as well as complex feelings of parenthood.
● Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connects, and Communicate with Your Baby: This book was a bestseller soon after its release as parents were becoming “whisperers” with their newborns. This book goes over every coo and cry so that you can decipher your baby’s communication for hunger, being tired, or just in need of some attention.

Best Baby Books for Dad

● The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-be: This book presents a wealth of information for both pregnancy and for the transition into parenthood once your newborn arrives. This book helps the expecting father to figure out his role and understand all of the changes taking place, and is considered one of the best baby books for daddy.
● Don’t Just Stand There: How to Be Helpful, Clued-In, Supportive, Engaged, Meaningful, and Relevant in the Delivery Room: Focusing on labor and delivery, this book is a lighthearted read that covers the basic stages of labor, what mom-to-be may be going through, what to bring to the hospital, and how the expectant father can be there for his partner.
● Dad’s Pregnant Too! Expectant fathers, expectant mothers, new dads, and new moms share advice, tips, and stories about all the surprises, questions, and joys ahead: This is a book filled with personal accounts and real-life anecdotes, and is considered an everyman’s guide to pregnancy, labor and delivery, and new parenting.
● On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep: Dr. Robert Bucknam and co-author Gary Ezzo are two of the leaders on infant management concepts.
● Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months: This book centers around one thing: focus on what you can be doing for her rather than what’s happening to her.

Pregnancy Books

● Mayo Clinic: Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy: This is considered an essential book for moms-to-be, as it is written by trustworthy professionals in an easy-to-read manner. It is organized into three sections: pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn, going into each of the stages and everything you need to do to successfully arrive at the other end.
● The Pregnancy Countdown Book: Nine Months of Practical Tips, Useful Advice, and Uncensored Truths: A book that talks about it all, it does not spare every detail you wonder about, like whether you will get stretch marks, what food to eat and stop eating, when to fly or not, and how to tell family and friends. It is also great for an expecting father, as it goes into what pregnancy means for both partners.
● Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide: Starting with the progression of mother and baby during pregnancy, this book includes great tips about diet and exercise, which aren’t covered in detail in other books. It also discusses natural childbirth as well as medicated, allowing you to make the best decision for you.

Baby’s First Year Book

When you’re in the middle of changing a diaper during a sleepless night, it may be hard to remember to take note of all of your baby’s “firsts”. If you make a list ahead of time of key milestones, it may make it easier to take a minute to write down your baby’s first laugh, first time sitting up, and more.

Whether you choose to document your child’s first year in an old-fashioned book, or an innovative app, simply jot down memories like these:
● When baby rolls from belly to back
● First sounds and coos
● Surprises to mom and dad about parenthood
● When baby sits up on their own
● When the first tooth arrives
● What the baby’s nursery looks like

Parenting Classes: Childbirth and Pain Management

Many first time parents seek childbirth classes, as well as parenting classes, that better equip them to know what to expect throughout both experiences of labor and delivery as well as parenthood for the first time.

There are several techniques that are worth exploring to see what method is best for you. Hypnobirthing classes and Lamaze classes are popular childbirth education classes for new parents.

Types of Childbirth Education Classes

Hypnobirthing Class

This curriculum has recently become popular, as it teaches mothers in labor a mindset to be able to intensely relax rather than feel severe fear and tension.

What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing allows you to give birth in an atmosphere of calm relaxation, rather than holding onto fear, which prevents your body from functioning as nature intended it to. This practice focuses on increasing endorphins and decreasing stress hormones than conflict pain during labor.

The philosophy of hypnobirthing claims to be a “rebirth” of the concept of birthing as it existed thousands of years ago. It teaches pregnant women that without fear, tension, or special medical circumstances, severe pain does not have to be part of labor.

Hypnobirthing Technique

The self-hypnosis techniques of hypnobirthing teach women how to release all prior impressions about birth to then be able to think of the labor and delivery experience without any negative influence of pain or fear.

In a series of five classes, mothers learn what makes labor hurts but more importantly, learn the logic behind why it doesn’t have to hurt and how moms can make that change. Being aware of the fight, flight, or freeze response helps mothers to choose “calm”.

Lamaze class

A nonprofit organization, Lamaze, promotes natural and healthy approaches to pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting. It is a great resources for parents to set expectations and provide all available information for decision-making when it comes to childbearing.

What is Lamaze class?

Lamaze uses a modern curriculum that supports birth as normal, natural, and healthy, and prepares women and their partners to be able to make informed decisions about their labor preferences.

Based on current medical evidence, Lamaze classes can help reduce the use of unnecessary interventions and improve the overall experience of birth for both mothers and babies. In summary, Lamaze aims to simplify your birth process.

Other pain management methods

● The Bradley Method – This pain management method helps women who want a natural labor and birth without the use of medication to understand the processes of labor, and to care for your body throughout your pregnancy to ensure a healthy labor. A mother-to-be learns about the importance of nutrition and exercise, relaxation techniques to manage labor pain, and more.
● BirthWorks – This approach focuses on their core message that “birth is instinctive”. Through emotional preparation for birth, BirthWorks helps women develop more trust and faith in their ability to give birth.
● Alexander Technique – This technique helps a woman prepare for labor by teaching her to sit and squat comfortably, to release the pelvic floor with gravity as the baby makes its way through the birth canal during labor. Breathing and staying calm, focus, and facilitating dilation of the cervix are covered throughout this method.

New parenthood can be daunting, but with resources like baby books and childbirth education classes, you have the information available to you to feel more prepared by the time your newborn baby arrives.

Sources and Additional Readings: is a social media website for reading and showcases reviews and book summaries: is the website for the magazine “Parents”, with healthy and supportive information for babies and children:

WebMD is known as one of the most reputable health and medical resources online.

The American Pregnancy Association is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, support, advocacy, and community awareness.

Continue Reading

• Page 1 – Overview – Guide for First Time Parents: Caring for a Newborn Baby
• Page 2: Tips and Advice for First Time Parent
• Page 3: Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms and Health
• Page 4: Birth Plan and Baby Checklist
• Page 5: Newborn Baby Care