First-Time Parenting: Happy Guide



Are you expecting a bundle of joy? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding journeys of your life. As a parent, your responsibility is to raise your child in a way that will make them into an adult who can function in society and make their own decisions. For some people, this is easier said than done — after all, it’s hard to raise happy and healthy children when they have an abundance of toys but no food in their bellies or aren’t able to get enough sleep! However, if you prepare yourself for what’s ahead by doing some research and talking with friends who have experience being parents themselves (or even professionals like pediatricians), then things will go much more smoothly on both sides:

Be prepared: Learn all you can

You can’t be prepared for your baby’s first years if you don’t know what to expect. You must educate yourself on all of the following topics, and more:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Your baby’s development during pregnancy
  • Parenting techniques (including breastfeeding, sleep training, potty training, and discipline)
  • Baby safety (car seats, cribs, toys)
  • Child nutrition (breastfeeding vs formula-feeding; common food allergies; types of teething rings) * Childcare options (family daycare center or nanny/babysitter)

The best way to prepare is by talking with other parents as well as reading books about parenting. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new parents take advantage of their hospital’s New Parent Education classes offered at no cost in most hospitals.

Get ready early

Before your baby arrives, make a list of things to do. You’ll probably need to:

  • Get your home ready for the new arrival. This includes getting nursery furniture and decorating the room with posters and other items that you think will be fun for the little one. The more prepared you are for the baby’s arrival, the better!
  • Make sure you have enough clothes for your little one, as well as diapers and wipes. These items can get expensive when purchased in bulk so it helps to plan by purchasing them before birth rather than after (unless you know someone willing to lend a hand).

Talk to your partner about your parenting beliefs

The most important part of parenting is having a good relationship with your partner. If you and your partner don’t agree on how to raise your child, it will be much more difficult to have a happy home.

Make sure you talk about your parenting beliefs and how they might clash with those of your partner. It’s okay if you disagree, but make sure that you’re both aware of where one another stands and why. This can help avoid arguments down the road.

If certain topics are contentious for either or both parties—such as spanking or circumcision—it may be best to steer clear of them during this conversation because they’re likely to cause conflict between the two of you at some point in time.

Consider taking a childbirth class

Taking a childbirth class can help you prepare for the birth of your baby. During these classes, you can learn about what to expect during labor and delivery, as well as gain confidence in knowing that you can do it. Your instructor will also help guide you through pain management techniques and breathing exercises that will come in handy during labor.

Start buying baby gear early

As a first-time parent, you may be surprised at how many different types of baby gear are available. To help you navigate this maze, we’ve created a list of the most important things you’ll need to buy for your newborn.

  • Crib
  • Changing table/dresser
  • High chair
  • Stroller (and car seat if you plan on using it)
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Choose friendly toys

Choosing age-appropriate toys is the first step. It’s important to keep in mind your baby’s developmental stages and what they may not understand yet. For example, an infant toy with a lot of buttons might be too advanced for your little one, even though it might look like fun. The same goes for toys with small parts: babies tend to put everything in their mouths (it’s natural!), so you should make sure any toy has no choking hazards or sharp edges. This also means choosing eco friendly toys made from non-toxic materials such as wood and fabric instead of plastic or metal if possible!

As far as safety goes, it’s important to clean all new toys before giving them to your child–and always supervise them when playing with those new gadgets because there are always risks involved when dealing with kids (and especially young ones). Make sure that whatever you’re buying will last through multiple play sessions by checking out reviews online and making sure other parents agree that these products are durable enough before buying anything yourself.”

Choose your baby’s doctor or midwife

If you’re like most new parents, one of your first questions will be: “Who will be my baby’s doctor or midwife?”

You want to choose a healthcare provider who is familiar with your medical history and will be available when you need them. This may mean finding a pediatrician or family physician who can also provide obstetric care, or looking for a midwife who has experience with your particular health condition.

Talk to your employer about maternity or paternity leave

As you prepare yourself for the arrival of your little one, you may be wondering how to balance work and family life. If you are expecting a new child and thinking about taking maternity or paternity leave, you must understand the benefits and implications of each option.

First things first: before deciding which kind of time off is right for you, talk to your employer. Most companies offer some form of paid leave or flexible scheduling options for new parents, so make sure they know what resources they can provide—and be prepared with any additional information they might need (such as the date that your wife’s due date falls). If there isn’t anything available at work, don’t worry; there are plenty of other ways to get paid time off during this exciting period in your life!

If possible, try asking for an extended vacation from work around the birth of your child instead—this allows not only more flexibility but also more bonding time with the baby when he arrives home from hospital care (which usually takes place within 24 hours after birth). You could even negotiate longer leaves than usual after returning from vacation while still maintaining healthy relationships with coworkers.”

Ask for help with chores and errands

In the first few months of your baby’s life, it can be difficult to keep up with everything. You’ll be adjusting to a new sleep schedule, feeding and changing diapers, meeting lots of new people who want to see the baby, and trying (and failing) not to let anything get on top of you. It’s important not to feel guilty about asking for help from others when you need it—your partner and friends will be more than happy to lend a hand!

Plus: most workplaces are also pretty good about letting new parents take time off for doctor appointments and childcare emergencies. If yours isn’t already doing that, consider talking with HR about making some changes to your policy.

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page

The first thing you need to do is make sure that both of you are on the same page. This means that both of you agree with a plan and understand the reasons behind it and that neither of you is going to change your mind midway through.

If one person wants to do something different than what’s been decided, then he/she needs to explain why it’s important for him/her to change their mind and how it benefits everyone involved in this situation. For example: “I think we should go out tonight because I feel like I could use some fresh air after staying up all night with the baby.” Or “I think we should stay home tonight because I have no energy left after staying up all night with the baby.”

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Have realistic expectations of yourself, your partner, and your baby.

As a new parent, you will face many challenges. One of the most important things to remember is that no two families are alike, and they all have their unique ways of doing things. The first time you sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or read Goodnight Moon may be difficult for both you and your baby at first; however, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy these moments with your child. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the many tasks involved in caring for a newborn child; even experienced parents can find themselves at their wits’ end sometimes!

You will make mistakes during this process—that much is inevitable—but try not to let these mistakes discourage or overwhelm you too much. Remember: every person is different and brings something unique to parenting; therefore there is no “right” way to do it!

Give yourself a break — you’re doing a great job!

The first few months of having a baby can be overwhelming. It’s normal to feel like you’re doing it all wrong and will never get it right. Before you start comparing yourself to another parent, remember that each child is different and has their personality, just as each parent does. Your baby is not a reflection of your parenting skills; they are who they are because of genetics, temperament, and other factors.

You may also find yourself comparing milestones that other babies have reached with your own little one’s development—don’t do this! Babies grow at different rates and hit milestones at different times for many reasons (they may have been born early or late). If your doctor has told you that everything is fine, then trust his/her judgment instead of worrying about what “everyone else” thinks about how fast or slow your baby is developing physically or intellectually.

So give yourself some credit! You’re doing great!

Children’s center and daycare

  • Take your child to a playgroup or daycare like this fraser coast family day care. This is an excellent way to meet other children and adults who will serve as role models for the social skills that your infant needs to grow up healthy and happy.
  • Talk with the people at the center, who are there to help you parent your child and make sure he or she is having a good time! Ask them about their own experiences raising children, so that you can learn from them as well.
  • Remember the importance of making friends with those who are different from you: whether by race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion; whether by gender identity (including masculinity vs femininity); whether by sexual orientation; if they’re single parents like yourself…

Don’t try to be perfect. Every parent makes mistakes, but everyone is trying their best.

When you’re a parent, it can be hard to feel like you’re doing a good job. Your friends might have the perfect baby and your family members might tell you that they do everything better than you do. It feels like everyone has an opinion about how your child should be raised, but at the end of the day, no one is going to care more about your child than you do. While there are certain things that all parents should strive for in their parenting style (like being patient and caring), there isn’t any one way to be a parent and every family finds its way with time. Don’t let anyone else’s idea of perfection make you feel like yours isn’t enough—instead, think about ways that yours can change over time based on what works best for everyone involved!


As a first-time parent, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the advice you’re getting from friends and family. But remember that nobody is perfect! You’re doing a great job, and so is your partner. The most important thing to remember is that as long as you keep your baby safe, fed, clean, and comfortable — even if it means being less than perfect at other things — then everything will be okay. You don’t need to worry about whether or not your parenting style is right or wrong; just follow what feels right for both of you.

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About the Author: Nicky Bella

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