Top 16 Tips & Steps for More Effective Parenting for New Parents

Welcome to parenthood! You’re beginning an adventure—to say the least. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought you would, all the while raising a tiny, helpless human into a self-reliant adult. For that alone, you deserve an award! Your capacity for love will know no bounds, and your ability to keep cool in certain heated situations will get tested—just wait until the teenage years. Taking in the whole picture, parenting is a wonderful, yet sometimes, thankless job. And, since your baby won’t come with a guide for parenting, we’ve put together some helpful tips, including advice from fellow Pampers Parents, that may help you take on the new role of parent.

Parenting Tips: Beginners Advice

Parenting will test all your boundaries. Here are some parenting tips and advice that may help you keep a positive perspective and approach certain situations with a can-do mindset. Your child isn’t the only one who will grow!

1. Get Ready for the Ride

It’s quite common for long-time parents to look back on their first year as parents and compare it to a rollercoaster ride. And that simile is quite accurate, because it’ll be a rollercoaster ride in every way imaginable. You may find yourself laughing one minute but crying the next. One minute you may feel like a super parent for having accomplished something and the next minute you may find yourself doing an internet search on “How to be a better parent.” And, all the while, you may even be mourning your previous nonparent identity. Brace yourself for the uplifts and the plummets. All the changes can feel chaotic in the beginning, but you’ll soon get the hang of it!

2. Trust Your Instincts

You’ve heard this saying or countless versions of it many times before: There is no instruction manual for raising a child. Of course, you could start reading every book on “good parenting skills” in the hopes that you’ll glean some important information. But don’t think you’re going into parenthood blind without having exhausted your research. You may not realize this now, but your parenting instincts will kick in the minute you hold your newborn.

Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know anything at first. It’s OK to feel that way, but in time your parenting skills will improve and your confidence will grow as you flex your parenting muscles. And, if you really don’t know how to prepare for your baby, it’s OK to ask a fellow parent or a family member for advice or seek parenting help from a healthcare professional. Eventually you’ll piece together your own parenting techniques and style!

Stop caring about what other people think. Listen to your gut, let your baby cry in public (or on an airplane), and remember that if you’re doing the best that you can, that’s all that matters.

Maria, parent of two

3. Exercise Patience

In the beginning it’ll seem like your life revolves around feeding, diapering, bathing, and soothing your baby. And expect to do all of this on very little sleep! You may see no end in sight, but be patient, because it won’t be like this forever. As your baby grows, things will change, your routines will change, and your life will look different even in just a few months down the line.

Before you know it, your baby will be a toddler and you’ll be chasing them around the house. And, everything will seem like a new adventure, to them, and even to you. You may even find yourself reaching out to your parent friends for parenting tips for toddlers just to figure out how things changed so fast. Before you know it, you’ll learn to adjust. You may decide to bring back old routines or start new ones, and you’ll soon see that things won’t ever be as monotonous as they were in those first weeks.

4. Be Open-Minded

You don’t have to set the bar impossibly high when it comes to being/becoming a parent. There is no perfect parent. You’re human after all. It’s best not to go into parenthood with preconceived notions as to how/what you should be doing as a parent. The gap between reality and expectation is dangerous to fall into and can cause you much stress and anxiety. Staying open-minded and learning to adapt are the keys to success! You don’t have to have the answers to everything, and you can’t take care of everything all at once. Take it step by step!

5. Know It’s OK to Ask for Help

You’re not alone. If you ever need help, don’t be afraid to turn to your friends and family. Your own parents will very likely happily help when needed—and for them it’ll also mean some grandparent-grandchild bonding time. And the best part is that grandparents, aunts, uncles, and best friends are all better than a babysitter because they’re free (usually)! But joking aside, this is a great bonding opportunity for your child, as you'll be introducing other people they will eventually grow up around. Asking for help can be as simple as asking a friend to pick up some groceries or run an errand or handing your baby over to their grandparents to give yourself a few hours of much needed me-time.

K to admit you’re overwhelmed and need help. Parenting a newborn is so hard and no one will judge you if you ask for a hand.

Danielle, parent of two

6. Tell Yourself That Phases, Too, Shall Pass

Children go through many behavioral stages and phases in their lives, including the infamous terrible twos. Just know that these phases do pass, and that they are a part of your child’s development. It’s around this age that children are learning and developing their communication skills. Since it’s so hard for toddlers to communicate their feelings, outbursts and tantrums are common. Help your child use words to express their feelings—a skill that takes time to master—and set some reasonable rules and limits, with consistent follow through, always praising your child for good behavior.

Everything is a phase. Just when you get used to something it will change. That goes for the good and the bad.

Lindsey, parent of one

Parenting Tips: Child-Rearing Advice

Raising children isn’t easy. This is the part where the familiar adage “walking the walk and talking the talk” applies. Your child is like a sponge and will learn so much from you just by example. Here are some tips to help guide you in becoming a parent that they can look up to.

7. Communicate

As you may have heard many times over, communication is key in any relationship, and this is very true in the parent-child relationship. It lays the foundation for your child’s developing communication skills. Take every opportunity to talk to your baby even when they can’t talk back yet. To someone looking in from the outside, it may look weird that you’re narrating what you’re doing to your baby, but it works wonders for your child’s development!

And, when your child gets older, communication will be even more important. Simply saying “no” may not be enough at this point. You’ll have to explain things, express your feelings, and encourage your child to do the same. Start practicing your negotiation skills because there will be a lot of that going on.

8. Avoid Comparisons

Every child is different, every child is unique. As you become the parent of more children, you’ll notice this among your own children, too. Each child has a different temperament: some are outgoing, others reserved. You may have an easygoing baby on your hands or one that’s rambunctious. Each child’s activity level will be different, and each child will adapt to situations differently. So, it’s not about having a “good” baby vs. a “bad” baby. Instead of comparing your child to others’ children, accept your child as they are and learn to work with their temperament (and pace of development) instead of against it!

Every child develops at a different pace and it's easy to get caught up in what the other kids are doing, but it's important to focus on what is best for your child and your family.

Barri, parent of one

9. Set a Good Example

Think back to the role models in your life: Who were they? Maybe they were your parents. Take this opportunity to be a role model for your child. Younger children are impressionable, and they mimic everything. Model behaviors like respect, kindness, tolerance, friendliness, honesty, and selflessness. The golden rule “treat others the way you want to be treated” applies very well in this instance.

10. Play Together

Playing isn’t just fun and games—playing with your child also helps them develop lots of different skills and shows them that they are loved. Play is the key to learning and healthy brain development in babies and young children and is important for building strong relationships. The social-emotional skills that your child will pick up from playing with you can help build their self-esteem and self-confidence. This is the type of bonding moment you won’t want to miss being part of.

11. Read Together

You didn’t have to grow up with Reading Rainbow to know how important reading is for kids. It’s never too early to start reading books to your little one, starting from infanthood. Reading helps develop your baby’s language and literacy skills. Reading—and talking—to them every day can have a tremendous effect on their development. And it will only benefit them in the future. “You don’t have to take our word for it!”

Parenting Tips: Personal Advice

As you embark on your parenting journey, you may find that your identity will start to change, your relationship with your partner will be different, and many of the things you thought were important will pale in comparison to parenthood. Here are some tips that can help you wade through the sea of emotions you may experience.

12. Think Back to Your Own Childhood

When you become a parent, lots of memories of your own childhood may come flooding back to you—even some bad ones you haven’t thought about in a while. This is a good time to reflect on them. Think about how your parents raised you. Maybe there are a few (or a bunch) of things you’d do differently with your own child. Or, there could be some wonderful customs or traditions that you’d like to maintain now that you're a parent.

13. Cherish Your Relationship

Caring for a baby can take a toll on your relationship with your partner. For new parents it’s normal to miss your life as a couple before you had children. You may also start to notice that you and your partner have different opinions on parenting, and that’s OK. Make sure to keep your lines of communication open and work together on laying out the plan for which parenting techniques or strategies you two want to use. Be patient with each other and make some time for a date night. If you can, ask a babysitter, friend, or family member to watch your little one while you and your partner have some quality time together.

14. Take Care of Yourself

You may find that being a new parent leaves little time for yourself. Oftentimes self-care routines like meditation, fitness, yoga, or even relaxing with a good book and a mug of coffee/tea go right out the window when you're at your little one's beck and call. But it’s important to keep up some of your well-loved routines for your own well-being. For example, ask your partner, a friend, or family member to watch the baby while you do 20 minutes of yoga. As time goes on, and your baby grows, you’ll find more time for reintroducing your favorite tried-and-true routines, and your groove will come back!

15. Just Breathe

Take a breath! Cry if you need to. It’ll be OK. Parenting is a big job, one of the biggest ones you’ll probably ever have. It can take an emotional toll on you. It can make you feel anxious or on edge; it can stress you out. It’s very important that you never take your frustration out on your baby. Don’t shake or strike them. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, step back and take a breather. Reach out to a friend or family member if you need to vent. You’ll feel a lot better when you’ve recollected yourself!

Every day is a new day. It’s OK to cry. If you feel like you’re going to snap, put the baby down and take a breath. It gives you a moment to relax and jump back into the chaos with a calmer state of mind.

Laura, parent of three

16. Take Time to Appreciate Every Moment

As a new parent it’s very easy to set yourself on autopilot, especially in those early weeks when all you seem to be doing is feeding your baby and changing their diapers. But in all the chaos, take a moment now and then to step back and take it all in. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing all that you do. Your baby’s smiles and their gaze will surely melt away all your worries. Nothing can really compare to being a parent—take the time to cherish this life-changing role.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re getting ready for motherhood or preparing for fatherhood, we hope these parenting tips have helped you lay the groundwork. The more you prepare the better off you may be, but in the end, you might decide to throw all the “best” parenting advice out the window and follow your instincts. And that’s perfectly fine, too! There is no single perfect way how to be a good parent.

As you prepare for bringing home your baby, you may want to start stocking up on diapers and wipes. Pampers Club is the perfect way to save on all those purchases, since you get rewarded with cash that you can use toward your baby. Now, that’s an incentive to look forward to!

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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