5 helpful and healthy tips for first-time parents
One of the best gifts for new parents is wisdom. The truth is that, as new parents, you have no idea what you’re doing. No one does. It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read; your baby hasn’t read any of them.
So – like everyone else – all you can do is muddle your way through as best you can.
You might start by asking your mum friends all the questions. What’s the best liquid multivitamin for kids? What are the best healthy foods for babies and toddlers? (1) Then you turn to Google or start reading more books and seeking out information wherever you can.
New parents, we hear you. We see you.
At Kids Smart, we’re fortunate to have some valuable insights to lean on. We speak to new and experienced parents every day. And we’ve pulled together some of their best advice for new parents that we could get our hands on. Here goes.
Tip 1: They WILL get sick when they start daycare
Have you noticed that kids put everything in their mouths? Sometimes, it’s the toys. Other times, it’s their hands before touching the toys. Either way, those toys become literal germ factories.
So the reality is that when your child starts daycare, preschool or big school (or just hangs out with other kids generally), there’s a chance they’ll get sick. You can’t stop the spread of all the germs (boo). But you can ensure your kids go outdoors for exercise and get a good night of sleep, and perhaps give them a multivitamin with fish oil for kids that may help support a healthy immune system. But remember, vitamin and mineral supplements are not to replace a balanced diet.
You can only do the best job you can with learning how to keep your kids healthy. Beyond that, exposure to different germs and bugs is all just a part of growing up. Sorry, mum!
Tip 2: Help is always there when you need it
Your mother-in-law might think that she has all the answers, but we’re talking more about help of the professional kind.
Whether it’s your GP, paediatrician or child health nurse, there’s plenty of support available to help you through. Speak to your family doctor or pharmacist to determine if a supplement is suitable for your child’s individual needs before purchase.
You might have questions about the best vitamins for kids or immune vitamins for toddlers. Or maybe you’re concerned about development milestones or a symptom that your child is showing.
Regardless, you don’t have to go it alone. Google is great for minor things, but for any genuine concerns, speak with a trained health professional. They’re there to help. Click here to learn more about paediatricians and what they do.
Tip 3: Every child is different
Even siblings with the same parents, growing up in the same house, are different.
Every child has different interests, likes and dislikes. And while kids generally follow the same developmental milestones, they’ll never be exactly the same.
Fish oil for kids is a good example. Some kids love the taste, while others will need you to mix it through their food. That’s why a liquid multivitamin in a soft chewable capsule (bursts) for kids is such a great option to support boosting their nutrient levels – but remember, supplements do not replace a balanced diet.
The moral here is ‘don’t compare’. Your child is their own, amazingly unique, self. So is every other child. If you have concerns, see tip 2 above and seek out support. Otherwise, celebrate your child for who and what they are.
And if you have any more kids, know that they’ll all be equally different in their own special ways.
Tip 4: Sometimes there is no ‘right answer’
You’ll have times when you ask five different people the same question, and get five completely different answers.
For some questions, there’s a clear, scientific answer – like when you look up ‘vitamins for growth and development’. But when you need an answer about your unique kid (see tip 3 above), know that the ‘one right’ answer might not be out there.
That’s one of the hardest parts of parenting: sifting through the plethora of information available and deciding what to do with it all. The best thing you can do? Chat to your trusted health professional for individual advice or visit NHMRC for direction.
Tip 5: Trust your gut – you’ve got this
That brings us to our final piece of advice for new parents. And perhaps it’s the most important piece of advice of all – you’ve got this.
You’re amazing. Even if you don’t always feel it. Even if guilt gets you down. Even if things don’t turn out the way you expected.
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. If you think you need more support, seek it from a qualified health professional. If you don’t feel like you have the answers, ask more questions.
At the end of the day, as a parent you’re the best advocate your child has. That’s a big role, but you’re the best person to fill it.
1.Healthy food for babies and toddlers: the five food groups. (2021). Raising Children Network. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/nutrition-fitness/daily-food-guides/babies-toddlers-food-group