Congratulations! You just had a baby! Now what?

No doubt, you’ve been preparing for the birth of your little one with books, apps, advice from strangers and family alike. Then you put that sweet little baby into the approved car seat you had installed and it hits you; there are no more nurses, no button to press to get food, and baby has spit up all over his or her perfect first outfit. Welcome to parenthood! You’re going to be great.

What new parents need to thrive as parents, especially during the critical first few years comes down to four key things.

1.       Quality Information

2.       Resources

3.       Support System

4.       Confidence

Let’s break down these four things.                               

1.       Information

There is information everywhere, especially as a new parent. There is probably too much information and we don’t want you to be overwhelmed. Every doctor, nurse, psychologist, teacher, parent and friend has some information for you, but not all will be helpful for you. Some of our favorite sources of new parent information include: Zero to Three, Healthy Children our local First Things First. One of the best sources of information is the free Birth to Five Helpline 877-705-KIDS (5437), available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but you can call or text anytime and they will get back to you. If Post Partum Depression or any perinatal mood disorder is a concern, check out the signs and symptoms and get help if needed through Women's Health Innovations

2.       Resources

“It takes a village” is a saying for a reason. You aren’t alone. Throughout Maricopa County, there are countless organizations, services and groups for new parents and their little ones. Any one of our 10 family support programs and partner agencies can be there for you. There are also a lot of Family Resource Centers throughout every community filled with information, activities, programs, helpful staff, employment resources and even child watch services! Search for your neighborhood Family Resource Center here.

3.       Support System

We all need support, and much more during the first months with a new baby. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, neighbor, coworker, friend, nurse, counselor or someone else, there are people who want to help and support you. It may not be the people you thought, but someone is there. If you aren’t sure who your support system is, we can be that answer. Parent Partners Plus has 10 free, helpful, reliable, supportive and informative programs to fill in any of these gaps because your and your baby deserve to have the best support system possible.

4.       Confidence

You will have the confidence in your ability to be the best parent for your child! It will come and it could happen in a few days, or a few months, or even a few years, once you have the best information, know where to go for resources and can rely on a trusted support system, your confidence in your job as a parent will grow!

Bringing home your beautiful baby is just the beginning of the journey into parenthood. Thankfully, you’ve got everything – or you soon will – just a phone call, internet search, text or email away.