Top Ten Things Not to do if You Are a New First-Time Parent


new parent


This list was inspired by watching new parents having some challenges with raising their kids. Sometimes the stress was self-induced, and some good counseling could have avoided the scene.

Top Ten Things Not to do If you are a New First Time Parent

10 If you are a new first-time parent, do not think your child needs to be the first in your circle to do everything. If you do, at best, you will be headed for some disappointment. At worst, you will spend needless cash on child and adult psychologists seeking explanations to unnecessary problems. (Have you ever met an adult who wasn’t potty trained?)

9 If you are a new first-time parent, do not dress your child as an adult. If you do, at best your friends will think you missed something in your childhood. At worst, your child will notice they are a little out-of-place with the other kids leading to other self-image issues. (First hint is when your five-year-old asks for a Porsche for Christmas)

8 If you are a new first-time parent, do not take your toddler to an elegant restaurant for a late night dinner. If you do, at best your child will be miserable being up too late in an unfamiliar environment.At worst the rest of the restaurant patrons will draw straws to see who calls Child Protective Services. (You are used to the crying right?)

7 If you are a new first-time parent, do not stress over pre-school choices. If you do, at best you will need medication to get through the process. At worst, you will become so obsessed with the so-called right school that you will never be satisfied if you are not successful in getting your child enrolled. (Isn’t pre-school supposed to be enjoyable?)

6 If you are a new first-time parent, do not worry about the color of the nursery. If you do, at best your child will not notice the color for a few months. At worst, your worry will be another point of stress that a newborn will recognize. (So you have a boy in pink and a girl in blue. Only your in-laws will care.)

5 If you are a new first-time parent, do not buy quantities of clothes and accessories thinking you are saving money. If you do, at best your child will outgrow the stuff in a month or two, and you will be able to return the excess. At worst, you lost your receipt and find yourself cutting off the feet of onesies so you won’t have to throw them away. (That Costco run really didn’t pay did it?)

4 If you are a new first-time parent, do not read a bunch of child care books. If you do, at best, you will end up totally confused as to what to do. At worst, you will have opinions that are contradictory, and you will need to toss a coin to come to a decision. (Trust a coin on a fever cause and treatment? I don’t think so)

3 If you are a new first-time parent, do not believe you have to record every minute of the child’s life. If you do, at best you will watch you child grow up through the camera viewfinder. At worst, you child will think life is only real if it is captured on film. (Maybe put the camera down and pick up the kid.)

2 If you are a new first-time parent, do not buy toys that are not age-appropriate. If you do, at best your child will not play with them. At worst, you’ll enjoy playing with the toys and will be accused of purchasing the toys on purpose. (Tsk, tsk, tsk)

1 If you are a new first-time parent, do not think you will have to survive on little sleep the rest of your life. If you do, at best you will think you need to run away. At worst, you will want to take the child to the pediatric return desk. (Don’t worry the lack of sleep thing only lasts a couple of years – uh maybe eighteen)


  1. 10- I remember dealing with people like that. For somebody whose child has development delays, this was irritating because it always came with a ‘what has your son done?’ Really makes a new parent feel like they messed up even though they didn’t.

    5- Definitely yes. Why people kept buying is Newborn clothes even when he was 3 months old is beyond me.

    4- Those things must have been designed by a sadist. So many books. So many conflicting opinions. So many trees having died in vain because you end up having a kid that doesn’t go by the book. (That would be every kid.)

    1. So true. Loved the comments. Thanks

      1. You’re welcome. šŸ™‚

  2. No violations today John, except for age-appropriate toys. Our daughter violated that on her own. As she grew older, she just kept finding ways to reuse the little-kid toys. It was fun to watch. And, by the way, I got a Lego toy for my 61st birthday a couple of weeks ago šŸ™‚

    1. I can imagine you and Lego’s. Seems to fit. Happy belated.

  3. Great John, I recall walking the floor on many a night think surely this won’t last forever….I had similar thoughts when one of them would insist sleeping in our bed…

    1. Yeah, 18 comes pretty quick.

  4. 11. Do NOT assume everyone else has any desire whatsoever to look at/hold/play with/see photos of your child.
    We don’t care, go away with your smelly, noisy, attention seeking little pink bag of puke.

    1. I guess you love kids.

      1. I’m not keen. Especially other people’s.

      2. Mind you, the same applies to pets, cars and holiday photos.

  5. #3 and #1 are so right, I’m thinking. What a thing.

  6. Sometimes lack of sleep goes beyond 18 years, especially if you live at home and attend college, like I did. šŸ™‚ Great list, John!

    1. Yes. We have a 26 year old who lives on her own. Still wake up with a worry or two.

  7. Another valuable list, John. LOL. Hugs!

    1. Thanks you. Hope your Monday is going well. (or at least going)

      1. šŸ™‚ Thanks John. As Mondays go, it was pretty darned good. And it’s a short week. AND my boss (or one of the 2… the other one will probably disappear or call in sick) is taking leave Wednesday through the rest of the week. Yehaw — good week shaping up! šŸ˜€

  8. Outstanding list, John! Those of us who are parents can really relate to all of them, especially #1. The wise ones learn that sleep is over-rated, and yes, it’s possible to write a novel while a baby naps!

    1. I never tried but will take your word.

  9. Some great advice John. #3 resonates with me, particularly for this generation of young parents. While it is important to have lasting images of our children, it is more important to put the camera down & participate in their lives without always viewing it through a lens.

    1. I learned that lesson early on.

  10. I have NO IDEA about first time parenthood. I taught my guideson to call ear wax “ear boogers” the other night……

    1. I’ll bet the parents loved that one. šŸ˜€

  11. John, these are funny and so true. You forgot one. If you are a first time parent, do not wake your baby for a feeding. If you do, at best he will go back to sleep with a comfortably full tummy. At worst, he will scream the rest of the night.

    1. Ha ha ha. Perfect. Thanks.

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