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New Military Parents: 8 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe, Happy and Healthy

Navy father with wife and child

Welcome to parenthood — probably the most rewarding and challenging job you’ll ever have. As a warrior, you’re trained to depend on your team to operate at your highest level. Parenting is a team effort as well. In addition to assistance from family, friends and community, you can rely on Military OneSource to be part of your parenting team. We can connect you to parenting resources, benefits and skills for every stage to help you raise safe, happy and healthy children. As a new parent, look to Military OneSource to help you navigate this exciting and challenging time.

New MilParent Specialty Consultation

The New MilParent specialty consultation is for expectant parents and parents of children up to 5. Free, confidential help for many parenting issues.

Helping your children thrive also means supporting yourselves

Between the hard-to-figure-out crying, middle-of-the-night wakeup calls and diaper disasters, you’ll need all the help you can get to be your best. Whether you’re expecting your first child or dealing with a toddler, here are eight ways to help you and your child thrive in this new chapter of your lives:

  • Safety first. Don’t leave your child unattended. This sounds basic, but lack of sleep makes our brains fuzzy. Accidents happen in a split second, like a child left unattended in the bath for a moment. Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to get information on supervision guidelines, and read about ways to keep your children safe. Don’t forget safe sleeping environments for your infant. Learn how to teach your child good sleeping habits by setting a bedtime routine and how to make your infant’s sleeping environment safe.
  • Health care coverage. You’ll want to get your newborn or adopted child covered by TRICARE. Register in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System for TRICARE coverage. Then choose a TRICARE health plan and enroll your child.
  • New parent support. The New Parent Support Program, staffed by nurses, social workers and home visitation specialists, provides many services. These include supportive home visits to expectant and current parents, prenatal and parenting classes, play groups and more. Find a New Parent Support Program near you.
  • New MilParent specialty consultation. If you are getting ready to welcome a new baby or currently parenting a child up to the age of 5, Military OneSource offers you the New MilParent specialty consultation. Get customized support for a wide range of parenting topics, including developing a routine, mastering potty training, expanding your parent network and getting expert tips on parenting through deployment.
  • Specialty consultations for many needs. Military OneSource offers additional specialty consultations to give parents a chance to speak with specialists with expertise in key areas. Thinking about education? Considering adoption? Need coaching or information about special needs? Call 800-342-9647, and check out these top 10 questions about specialty consultations.
  • Child care. This is often a top concern for working parents. Military OneSource can help connect you to quality, affordable and licensed child care options on and off your installation to meet your family’s needs:
    • is a Defense Department website for military families seeking child care. You’ll find information on military-run and military-subsidized child care options across all services. Or call 855-696-2934 and select option 1 for family support. The website helps families in any service branch find and request military-operated child care anywhere in the world. Search for full- and part-time care at child development or family child care programs, including before- and after-school care, as well as summer and holiday camps.
    • For more than a decade, military branches — Army, Marine Corps, Navy and the Department of the Air Force — have provided fee assistance to eligible military families to offset the cost of child care in community programs through Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or MCCYN, when on-installation child care is unavailable. MCCYN supports families in locations with extensive waiting lists as well as those that are geographically dispersed – to include reserve component families. MCCYN provides fee assistance to eligible military families using nationally accredited child care providers in the community. Child Care Aware® of America manages the administration of the MCCYN-PLUS program. To review requirements and more information, visit Child Care Aware® of America.
    • Contact your installation’s child development center for information on child care options, or visit to find comprehensive information on military-operated or military-approved child care programs worldwide.
    • Expanded hourly child care options is a service available through Military OneSource. Military families now have free access to a national database of more than one million caregivers so they can find hourly, flexible and on-demand child care. The service is easy to access and is a virtual solution that allows you to choose, hire and pay providers on your terms. This service is available to anyone who is eligible for Military OneSource services.

This nationally recognized subscription service allows you to:

      • Search for care based on your own needs and criteria
      • Find potential care providers
      • Check references
      • Review background checks
      • Interview potential caregivers
    • Ensure your child care provider is licensed. For the safety of military children, the DOD does not permit unlicensed child care on installations and discourages the use of unlicensed care in civilian neighborhoods. If you determine that family child care or home-based care is the best solution for your family, it is important for the safety of your children and quality of learning that you ensure it is licensed and regulated.

Military families have access to number of resources and tools to assist your parenting process, and Military OneSource is available to help you 24/7/365. Visit Military OneSource or reach out to one of our trained consultants today. Call 800-342-9647, set up a live chat or view overseas calling options to get the parenting guidance you need.

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