An Instruction Manual for First-time Parents

Becoming a parent for the first time can bring up a lot of questions. To help you get rid of your doubts, we're providing you with an instruction manual for first-time moms and dads.
An Instruction Manual for First-time Parents

Last update: 19 May, 2018

To offer you some assistance and help calm your nerves, this small instruction manual for first-time parents will tell you the first things you need to know.
Having your first child is a once-in-a-lifetime experience full of hope and happiness. 
However, the arrival of a new baby also means parents must face unfamiliar situations. Diaper changes, outings, bath time, and choosing a crib are all part of an unexplored territory.

The basic tips on this list will prepare you for your little one’s arrival. 

That way, while you get your home ready to receive your baby, this instruction manual will provide you with useful guidelines for caring for your first child.

Instruction manual for first-time parents

1. Changing diapers

It’s no secret that babies need frequent diaper changes. Some have very delicate skin and need changing as soon as they wet. If not, their skin becomes irritated and turns red.

Other babies can wait a little, and you can change them at more regular intervals – like just before or after each feeding.

In any case, it’s best to change your newborn’s diapers as soon as possible when he or she poops. This will help avoid diaper rash.

2. Washing and bathing your baby

When it comes to washing up your baby, we recommend choosing a time of day when she is awake and happy. Also, make sure the room is warm and that you have everything you need within reach.

You’ll need a container of warm water, a towel, cotton balls, a clean diaper and clean clothes.

An Instruction Manual for First-time Parents

3. Nail cutting

When it comes to cutting your newborn baby’s nails, you have several options to choose from. If you use nail-trimming scissors, make sure the inferior sheer is below your baby’s fingernail .

Your child must remain still while you work. You may try cutting his nails while he’s sleeping. You can also ask someone to help you hold your baby’s fingers as you clip.

Keep in mind that your baby’s fingernails will be softer after taking a bath, making them easier to work with. If you accidentally knick your baby’s skin, you should put pressure on the wound using sterile gauze to stop the bleeding.

“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes”
–Walter M. Schirra–

4. Choosing a crib

The fourth piece of advice we want to include in this instruction manual for first-time parents involves choosing a crib.

The bed you choose for your child doesn’t need all sorts of additional elements to keep your baby safe. All you need is a firm, flat mattress that fits snugly in the crib, along with a snug fitted sheet

If you plan to hang a mobile or any other toys above your baby’s crib, they must be well out of your little one’s reach. Don’t hang absolutely anything from the crib itself, as this can be a strangulation hazard.

In fact, just throwing an extra blanket over the side of the crib is dangerous, as it could fall on top of your baby. With the exception of a pacifier, no other objects should be allowed in the crib.

This means no blankets, no top sheet, no toys, no stuffed animals, no crib bumpers, etc. Remember, your baby doesn’t have the strength yet to remove objects from her face, nor the ability to untangle herself.

Also, don’t place your baby’s crib near a window, as there is a chance of your child falling or suffering injury involving curtains or pull-strings.

5. High chairs

Choosing a high chair carefully is important in order to avoid the risk of falling. We recommend following the advice below in order to make the right choice:

  • Look for a high chair with a wide base, to avoid tipping.
  • Make sure your child can be safely and securely buckled in.
  • Verify that the chair is adequate for your baby’s weight and height.
  • Don’t allow older siblings to hang off of the chair, as this could cause it to fall over.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is definitely a decision you can put off until later. Your baby won’t be needing a high chair until she starts eating – at about 6 months.

In fact, placing your newborn in an upright sitting position is not recommended. So feel free to wait a few months before you decide which high chair best suits your baby.

6. Stroller

Going out for a walk is a great activity for parents to share with their baby. When it’s time to purchase a stroller for your newborn son or daughter, keep the following details in mind:

  • Choose a stroller that is sturdy and easy to maneuver, with a wide base.
  • If you live in the city and will be taking the stroller on public transport, look for something lightweight. Also, you’ll want something compact that folds up easily.
  • Verify that the brakes are easy to use.
  • Consider your needs and preferences when choosing features like a shopping basket, cup holder, etc. If there is a shopping/storage basket, it should be located in the back.
An Instruction Manual for First-time Parents

7. Toys

Lastly, before picking out toys for your little one, keep safety in mind. Small toys with small parts are a choking hazard and not safe for babies. 

In fact, there are tools to help you test if a toy is large enough. The best options for babies under a year old are: Rattles, stuffed animals, or soft dolls.

It’s also important to keep your baby away from magnets and batteries.

These can be extremely dangerous if they are swallowed or inhaled. The same is true for deflated or burst balloons, as they can cause suffocation in children under the age of 8.

We hope this instruction manual for first-time parents will help you deal with the new challenges that this new adventure presents. We wish you the best!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.