Advice for New Moms and Dads

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There are many books to help new parents and their babies thrive. These are some quick tips to get you started.

Caring for Yourself

  • Get some REST! Sleep when your baby sleeps.
  • Eat healthy meals. Healthy eating habits will give you more energy, improve your mood and help you focus better.
  • Accept help or support when you need it. You cannot always do it all and need to take some time for yourself. Do activities that you enjoy.
  • Pay attention to your mood after you deliver your baby. You may have the baby blues or postpartum depression. Tell your health care provider if you have concerns about your mood.
  • If you find that you are frustrated or angry with your baby, ask for help from a trusted relative or friend.
  • Join a parenting group. They can be a lot of fun and teach you many helpful skills as a new parent.

Caring for Your Children

  • Schedule an appointment with a doctor for your baby before you leave the hospital or as soon as you get home from the hospital. Most babies have their first visit with the pediatrician when they are 5 to 7 days old. Your doctor at the hospital may recommend an earlier visit. If you are a teen, ask the TaP Clinic for a list of pediatricians.
  • Make sure your baby sleeps safely. Remember the ABCs of safe sleep. A baby should sleep ALONE, on their BACK and in a CRIB.
  • Bond with your baby. This is important! Babies like to be touched by being held, hugged, stroked and caressed against your bare skin. Babies love to watch faces. They like to look into your eyes often. Breastfeeding is great for bonding. Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed, hold your baby close.
  • If you have other children, having a new baby around that gets most of the attention may be hard for them. Make sure to give them attention too. Teach them how to be gentle and help with the new baby.

For Help

  • If you have thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or your baby, get help right away! Go to your nearest hospital or call Netcare Access at 614-276-2273.
  • Here are some 24/7/365 resources to use anytime you are having a crisis:
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
    • Ayuda en español: 1-888-628-9454
    • National Crisis Text Line: Text "HELLO" to 741-741
  • POEM (Perinatal Outreach & Encouragement for Moms) - They have a mom-to-mom support line that is available 7 days per week. In Columbus call 614-315-8989 (not a crisis line).
  • Website with support groups in Columbus

Advice for New Moms and Dads (PDF), Arabic (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Nepali (PDF), Somali (PDF)

HH-IV-160 © 2016, revised 2021, Nationwide Children ’s Hospital