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Parent New Parents

Advice For New Parents

As a new parent, you can feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for your little person. You will want to do the best you can be and provide your baby with the best start in life. 

However it's important to also prioritise your own health and wellbeing. One of most precious gifts you can give to your baby is a healthy and happy parent. 

Being first time parents of a newborn baby requires large amounts of energy and good humour. At times this can be difficult, especially if you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed.

Here are a few tips you can try to help you through those times.

10 tips for caring for yourself

  • 1

    Think about starting a regular morning or evening walk with your partner and baby or a friend. It’s amazing how exercise can lift your mood!

  • 2

    Try to limit the amount of housework you need to do (especially in the early weeks of parenthood). Consider whether you can outsource some of the tasks for a period of time?

  • 3

    Think about the help you need around the house, write it on a piece of paper and put it on the fridge door. When people ask if they can help, you have lots of things you can ask them to do.

  • 4

    Try to sleep when your baby is asleep. Many new parents find it difficult to sleep but even just lying down for half an hour and closing your eyes can help you regain some energy.

  • 5

    Eat a healthy, balanced diet. When cooking, be as efficient as you can be by making extra meals that can be frozen for the time when you are feeling too tired to prepare a meal.

  • 6

    Develop a strong support network with other new parents by joining a new Parents group. These are usually held at your local Child and Family Health Clinic. Hearing how others are coping over a coffee can be a great comfort. There are also countless blogs, and parenting forums where you can read and share parenting experiences. However avoid spending too much time on technology and be cautious about accepting ‘advice’ from other parents.

  • 7

    If at all possible, arrange regular childcare by a grandparent, friend or in a Council operated Occasional Care. 

  • 8

    Take care to avoid heavy lifting or placing strain on your back by twisting when lifting your baby or baby equipment.

  • 9

    Perinatal anxiety and depression affects 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers. If you are feeling lonely or isolated, talk to your doctor or child and family health nurse. Talk about your feelings or concerns to a sympathetic listener – this may be your partner, a friend or family member.

  • 10

    If you're not sure about any aspect of new parenthood, call us at Tresillian. Our Parent Help Line can help with advice around your baby's sleep, feeding and development, providing information tailored to your needs and circumstances. Call us on 1300 272 736.

Caring for your partner

Having a baby is a big change for your partner as well and there are times when they may be struggling. It's important that you and your partner work together for the harmony of the household and the baby.

Some ways you could support each other include:

  • Plan regular time together. This could be a daily walk, a coffee before work or if your partner is back at work you could visit at lunch.
  • Arrange a night out together and speak to a trusted friend or family member about babysitting.
  • If a night out isn’t possible, think of activities that you can do as a family on a day off e.g. a picnic in the park, playing a boardgame or a ride on a ferry.
  • Identify and ask your partner about the things you can do about the house or to help with the baby. Write a list and put it into action
  • Find time to have a conversation together about your feelings, hopes and dreams as parents of your new baby, relationship and needs.


Here is some more advice to help new parents.

  • Give yourself time to adjust to the life changing event of becoming a parent. You are on a huge learning curve with your baby and most people find it difficult to begin with.
  • Start each day afresh even if things were difficult the day before.
  • Have realistic expectations of what you will achieve each day. If you got to the end of the day, you're still in your pyjamas and the house is a mess, don't worry. You've fed your baby and helped them to sleep. You're doing a great job.
  • Remember you still have your own needs and wants too: arrange for time to do something you enjoy, like a massage, or a coffee with a friend.
  • There are lots of supports available to help you in your new role – a great place to start is your local Child & Family Health Nurse who will know what services are available in your community for new parents.
  • A sense of humour is really important, particularly in the early months.
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