Parenting Infants and Toddlers - The Essentials

Welcome to parenthood. It is the most rewarding and challenging job you’ll likely have. As a warrior, you are well trained and understand you need to rely on others for mission success. Military OneSource is there to be a part of your parenting support team, connecting you to valuable intel, resources and benefits so you can enjoy these first few years of parenthood.

Here are the essentials for new military parents to keep in mind:

Tap into support resources.

You can be more confident as a new parent if you know where to go for support. The New Parent Support Program, staffed by nurses, social workers and home visitation specialists, provides a number of services: supportive home visits to expectant and current parents, prenatal and parenting classes, playgroups and more. Discover more by contacting Military OneSource, which also can connect parents with consultants who know about education, adoption and special needs.

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Keep your baby safe.

As a new parent, there are basic ways to keep your baby safe: making sure your baby is always supervised; using extra caution at bath time; creating a safe sleep area by removing all soft objects and loose bedding from the crib; and protecting your child from all medications and other hazards. Check out other ways to keep your baby safe.

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Understand discipline strategies.

Parenting takes patience, especially when your child is misbehaving. That's when you'll need to have patience, take deep breaths and put a positive discipline strategy to work. Misbehavior is a natural part of growing up. By using positive discipline, you can keep your children safe, help them learn valuable skills for life and teach them to keep cool under pressure. Check out tips for disciplining your child, potty training, coping with a crying baby and more.

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Talk with your child.

Did you know talking to your children from the get-go is one of the most important parts of parenting? The way your child communicates will change a lot between birth and the age of 5, and children sometimes have a language of their own. Knowing what to expect helps you to understand and respond to your child in meaningful ways. Check out our parenting tips for talking with your young child.

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Know the signs of postpartum depression.

While the "baby blues" are common for many women after giving birth, some women face a more prolonged and serious period of depression. If your feelings of sadness or anxiety do not go away, you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Review our potential signs of postpartum depression.

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