As a parent, it's important to trust your instincts. You can also ask lots of questions if you are unsure about something.
Do not be afraid to ask for support if you need it. You, your partner and your baby are all learning together.
If you are parenting in a relationship, support each other and trust each other. It can be very busy when you are a new parent. Make sure you make time for each other and mind each other.
You can get great advice and support from family, friends and neighbours. They may have been through similar experiences.
It is good to talk to other parents about their experiences and the tips and ideas they have found useful. Their experience may be different to yours. Only take advice that is in the best interest of your child and family.
Trust yourself. You know your baby best. If you are making informed choices, then you are making the best decisions for your baby.
Enjoy your baby and each stage of their life. It can help to remember that 'the days and nights are long but the years are short'.
Be realistic about expectations from yourself, your partners and others. We all want to be good parents but we have to let go of being a perfect parent.
You can work to be the type of parent you want to be.
Perfect parents do not exist
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Be a good enough parent. We all learn through trial and error. Notice what you are doing well. Praise your partner for what they are doing well, let them know they are doing a good job. Learn from mistakes.
Learn to be flexible and embrace change at each stage of your baby, toddler and child’s development. Each stage brings its own joys and challenges.
Challenging times for parents
Being a parent is rewarding, but it can bring its own challenges.
Every parent needs support at some point, especially at more difficult times.
It may be more difficult if:
- this is your first baby and you are unsure of what to expect
- you do not have a partner or a support person to share the joy and the work
- your relationship with your partner is in difficulty
- you feel there is support for your baby and your partner but little to support you
- you now live away from your home and family
- you are under financial pressures and strain
- your baby is unwell or you are unwell
Extra support at difficult times
Getting help and support is important. Ask your public health nurse about supports available such as parent and baby support groups.
Tusla provides support to families through their Family Resource Centres. You can contact them for more information.
Phone: 01 771 8500
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth also has a list of all helplines, parenting courses and information on Family Resource Centres.