Having a baby changes your life - especially when it's your first!
You now have someone else to think of and to love. You will watch them grow and feel love, happiness and pride. If you have worries there are lots of places that can help.
In our culture aunties, uncles, grandparents and others in the family often help raise our babies. They pass on knowledge, and support new mums and dads.
- When you are a parent, looking after yourself makes it easier to look after baby.
- Have regular check-ups - deal with health problems straight away.
- Get as much rest as you can and eat healthy.
- If you feel worried or low, talk to someone you trust.
You can decide the kind of parent you want to be. You can do things the same way your parents did, or do things differently. It's up to you!
Things that can help new parents
Know where to get help if baby is sick - doctors, hospitals
The Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS)
There are CaFHS clinics across South Australia. Nurses can check baby's growth and answer any questions you have. You can be linked with an Aboriginal staff member. Phone 1300 733 606 for an appointment.
Find out about babies and what they need. Talk with nurses, doctors, family and friends. Work out what's best for baby and you. See contacts for places to find out more.
Find out about useful things in your area - child care, playgrounds, libraries.
Join a play group. It's great to meet other parents and share ideas. Baby will love it too!
Spend time with your partner or friends. Make time to do things you enjoy, when you can.
Find a doctor or health service you feel comfortable with. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Dads are special to children
- Dads can build a bond with baby right from the start.
- When it comes to caring for baby, just have a go. We all learn as we go along.
- Talk and play gently with baby often.
- Look after mum. Talk about how you can work together.
What babies need
New mums and dads might not know much about babies. That's OK. We all learn as we go along.
- need cuddles - they love being close to you
- need to feel safe and secure. It helps them to grow their best. Try to keep things calm and peaceful around baby
- need you to smile at them and talk and play with them. They love it when you share a book, sing or tell stories.
Breastfeeding is best for baby and mum. It's all babies need for the first 6 months. Talk with your child health nurse if you have any questions.
It's OK to ask for help when you need it. It's part of being a good parent
Keeping baby safe
- Don't let people smoke around baby.
- Sleep baby in a safe cot in your room for the first 6 to 12 months. Don't sleep them with you as they could accidentally suffocate. Don't put pillows, doonas or toys in the cot as baby can get tangled or suffocate.
- The law says that babies must be in a rear-facing baby capsule in the car. It's also illegal to smoke in the car with children under 16 years.
- Cars can get very hot, very quickly. Don't leave babies or young children in cars, even if they are sleeping.
For more information on safe sleeping, cot and car safety see:
- Kidsafe SA: Phone 7089 8554 For information on keeping children safe from injury, or to hire a car seat
- SIDS and Kids: Phone 1300 308 307 - safe sleeping for babies
- Safe cots: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission