First Time Parents

Becoming first time parents is a joyful time that can also be overwhelming and downright chaotic — and for many new moms and dads, parenthood might not be exactly what they expected.


Plus, first time parents are often bombarded with countless pieces of information about how to care for and raise their newest addition to the family. Trying to fit all the pieces together to form tangible advice can be a task all its own.


Here are some tips for first time moms and dads.

Newborn with mother

3 Essentials for First Time Parents 

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind as you adjust to your next phase in life. 

Have a Plan, But Know That It Might Change 

Set yourself up for success and be ready to go with the flow. Loosely plan for your first few weeks at home with a newborn; activities, visitors, and/or travel during your parental leave; your baby’s first day of daycare; and more. Keep in mind that plans may not go as you initially intended — and that’s okay. 

Ask for Help 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else you think might be helpful. It’s important to ask for support — you can’t do it alone! Taking breaks and seeking out help will be good for both you and your baby. 

Set Up Child Care Options 

In a pinch, who can you rely on? Think about nearby people you trust, and ask if you can put them on your “back-up” list. Look into your company’s employee benefits — do they offer on-site or near-site child care? What about back-up child care or tuition subsidies? If you’re going back to work after maternity leave, plan ahead and look into how to get on a daycare waiting list or enroll in child care early.  

What Do First Time Parents Struggle with the Most? 

There’s no hard and fast rule — everyone is different, so all new parents will struggle with different things. Working moms and dads will face the challenge of going back to work after maternity leave or paternity leave. The first day of daycare can be a tough emotional transition. Balancing your many responsibilities can be tricky. And that’s all on top of lack of sleep.  

But rest assured that you’re not alone — and you have support. Remember to ask for help, take time for yourself, and tap into all the resources available to you. You’re doing a great job! 


What do you do with a newborn all day? 

It might feel like there’s nothing for you to do with your baby when they first come back from the hospital. But there’s plenty to do with a newborn. Sing and talk to them, play music, and read together. Go for stroller walks and/or sit outside in the shade. Provide age-appropriate materials with different textures to explore.   

What do first time parents need? 

It might seem like everyone is telling you what to buy or what to register for — it’s overwhelming to wade through the many different options! And even if you think you have everything you need, it’s easy to overlook or forget something. Essentials include diapers and wipes, a safe place for your baby to sleep, a car seat, a stroller, and bottles and/or supplies for breastfeeding. You also might want a changing table and portable pad, diaper pail, a playpen, a mat or activity zone for tummy time, a baby carrier or sling, and a diaper bag.  
mother holding child

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Bright Horizons is a United States–based child-care provider and is the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Employees looking to become a child care teacher are offered the opportunity to earn an early education degree for free as part of their corporate benefits. Search by zip to find a child care center near you. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters are in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.