Top advice for new parents

We asked our supporters what top piece of advice they would give to new parents – here are some of their responses:

“Just remember that despite what people may tell you, we all struggle at times and it’s OK to ask for help and advice. None of us are perfect and our kids don’t come with instructions!”
Ellie McIntyre


“During your daily routines, bathing, feeding, nappy changing – talk to your baby.”
Trish Garthwaite Clark


“Hold your baby close as much as possible: looking, touching, talking, cooing. The baby needs you to do this so their social brain can grow. If it’s difficult to do, let your midwife know.”
Arts Psychotherapies


“If this is your first baby in particular – don’t buy everything you ‘think’ you need before baby arrives. We bought a tonne of stuff we never used because we were apprehensive and didn’t quite know what to expect! We were a marketer’s dream and could have done with the money we wasted!”
Kasia Kurowska


“Join a pre-natal group before baby is born and go to baby groups after the birth so that you have other new mothers to speak to. Becoming a parent is exhilarating, exciting and amazing but can also be overwhelming and exhausting. Having other mothers to talk to or even message at times of loneliness or frustration can really help.”
Eveline Natascha Llewellyn


“Put your phone away. The amount of parents ignoring their kids while staring at their phones is heartbreaking. I know how hard it is to not pick up my phone BUT research was published recently where primary kids said the thing they hated most was their mum’s mobile phone. Speak to your children, be present, pay attention, and when they are older, they will know you prioritise them.”
Valerie Ender


“Don’t be afraid to ask for help – be honest!”
Barrie Gill


“Give lots of cuddles, enjoy maternity leave and relax. Babies don’t care if you’ve got brand new things or second hand things, all they want and need is a bit of love and attention, milk and a clean bum!”
Debbie Anderson


“Take offers of help, batch cook in advance of baby’s arrival, don’t worry about the housework, sleep in shifts and speak to friends and family about how you feel and how they can help you. Don’t hurry to get back into shape… you will feel normal again soon but you can’t get back those early days of tiny baby cuddles. Hold your baby, sing to them. Chat to them from day one, they take it all in!”
Claire J Lemin


“Get a good night light, ideally a red one (evidence says this wakes you up and disturbs sleep cycle less). Feeding at night is impossible in the dark but it’s much easier to get back to sleep yourself (and for baby!) if you haven’t had bright white lights on waking you up.”
Rachel Joy


“If you end up having a C-section (planned or not) then when you get home make sure you remember to take your pain medication. I found on the ward the nurses would – very helpfully – keep me topped up but when I got home, because I hadn’t needed to ask for them, I forgot to take them and wondered why I suddenly felt so much worse when I should be feeling better! Also, as you’re recovering, have a table next to where you’re sitting during the day and have on it a bottle of juice, a snack, a book and anything else you use a lot. Obviously don’t stop being mobile but remember it is major surgery you’ve had so for a few days at least there’s no need to be jumping up to get some things that can be within arm’s reach. Plus if you have a napping baby in your arms the table is great for then, too!”
Sarah Clarke