4 Important Pieces of Advice for New Parents

Advice for New Parents

Becoming a new parent can be a difficult adjustment. From sleep deprivation to breastfeeding a newborn to adjusting to a new routine, first-time parents may find themselves feeling overwhelmed.

There are many tips and tricks geared toward helping new parents, but some of the most important are often overlooked.  

As first-time parents incorporate these suggestions into their lives, they will find they can better manage the trials, pitfalls, and struggles of parenthood, ensuring a smoother and more fulfilling experience

1. Get Enough Sleep

The average adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep every night. For women, this number is closer to eight. Unfortunately, the average new parent gets one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep every night for the first six months!

Sleep is a vital time for your body to reset and process toxins that have built up throughout the day. Without adequate sleep, you can be moody, might struggle with decision-making, and may have an increased risk of postpartum depression.

If you struggle to get enough sleep, learn to let go of some of your other perceived obligations and focus on sleeping whenever possible. As the saying goes, sleep when the baby sleeps. Often, you are overcomplicating your life. It is necessary to simplify things during the first six months of your child’s life. 

Getting enough sleep can impact your health for good or bad. 

2. Breast is Best

While not everyone will be able to breastfeed their children for various reasons, it is highly encouraged to prioritize breastfeeding whenever possible,recognizing its numerous benefits and positive impact on both the parent and baby.

Breastfed babies have increased immunity and gut microbiome that can help decrease their susceptibility to sickness, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. 

Additionally, breastfeeding is also more economical and convenient and offers bonding for the parent and child. 

While breastfeeding is the ideal solution for feeding a baby, some individuals may struggle, both physically and emotionally, with the process and that is when an in-person or telehealth visit to a lactation consultant can be helpful.

When a woman is more run down due to stress or lack of sleep, she may become more susceptible to illnesses like mastitis. Mastitis is an infection in the milk ducts that presents with flu-like symptoms, in addition to breast pain and heat. 

To help alleviate mastitis symptoms, or to prevent infection or symptoms from worsening, reach out to an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). They will be able to provide counsel and support throughout your lactation journey. An IBCLC offers comprehensive support to alleviate mastitis symptoms and assist mothers in achieving their individual breastfeeding objectives and goals.

3. Ask for Help

The best way to get enough sleep and prevent a new parent from becoming burned out is to ask for help. Many people understand that new parenthood can be draining, and requires extra attention and care. You may even have people in your community asking how they can help – don’t be afraid to let them in! These individuals want to help – they just need more direction.

Too often, people in our current society believe they can and should be doing it all. This is impractical – individuals need community. A strong community is one of the key indicators of longevity of life.

4. Pivot 

Always be willing to assess, pivot, and change course when necessary. Oftentimes, people can become so focused on what they think should happen that they forget to evaluate if it’s actually effective. 

You are learning to meet the individual needs of your child. What may have worked for another child, or even another child of your own, won’t necessarily work for you. Sometimes you need to be willing to make changes and be self-aware enough to recognize when something isn’t working. 

When you change course and use your intuition, you will better learn to meet the needs of you and your family. 


Being a first time parent can be a difficult adjustment. If you strive to get enough sleep or are experiencing problems related to breastfeeding, work with an IBCLC to receive proper breastfeeding support and guidance. This is also the time to ask for help from your community, be upon to support and change, this will enable you to enjoy this special time with your child to the fullest. 


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