5 Ways to Get Ready to Become a New Parent

5 Ways to Get Ready to Become a New Parent

Post Date: May 15, 2024
Parent Support

When you’re expecting your first child, there can be a lot to take in. From preparing your home to dealing with doctor's appointments and other logistics, there’s plenty to consider leading up to a birth—and that’s before you even start parenting. But don’t leave thinking about parenting until your child arrives. Taking the time to prepare helps you prepare to guide your child through life. Here are just a few ways to get ready for parenthood.

Find or solidify your support system

There’s a reason that we hear the saying “it takes a village” so often. Raising children requires the support of a whole community. It might include family and friends who can help out or your primary care provider and your child’s pediatrician who can field questions. It could be a support group of other new parents or the other families in a playgroup. It might also include signing up for services like CHP’s Parents as Teachers program to help you check in on your child’s health and development. Whoever is in your support system, start identifying them now.

Think about childcare early

For many people, childcare is an important part of that support system, too. If you (and/or your partner) will be working parents, it’s important to think about what childcare will look like for you when the baby comes. You or your partner might be the one to provide the bulk of childcare, or it could be a family member, a daycare, or an in-home nanny. But it’s an important question to answer as soon as you can, especially if you or your partner have only limited time off of work.

Do your research

When you’re preparing to welcome a baby into your family for the first time, parenting classes are a smart way to prepare. Books on parenting from your local library can also be a good resource. You can even find podcasts or YouTube series on parenting and parenthood. And hearing the stories and advice of other parents in your life can be a good way to learn. You can also bring questions to your primary care provider or your child’s pediatrician. Research can help prepare your expectations for becoming a new parent.

Have co-parenting conversations

If you’re planning to parent with a partner, it’s smart to talk about what that will look like as early as you can. How will you decide who gets up in the middle of the night to care for your child? Who will cook and how will you divide up other household chores? What parenting styles will you use, and are there any issues that you feel strongly about? How will you discipline? These questions are just starting points to get a conversation going. Communication is the important part.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself

When you’re a parent, you give so much of yourself to your child. It’s also important to remember that you have to take care of yourself. It’s hard to make time for therapy, reading, exercising, cooking healthy food, or doing hobbies you love. But prioritizing the things that help you feel your best lets you better care for yourself and your child.

CHP offers services to help you with the transition into becoming a parent. Whether it’s the Parents as Teachers program, behavioral health services, or affordable care for you and your family in Southwest Montana, we’re here to help. Get in touch with a clinic in Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingston to find out more.