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MilLife Guides

New Parents

Overview

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 an integral 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.

Parenting questions? We all have them.

Try Thrive — a free, new online parenting-education program. It can help you raise healthy, resilient children from birth to age 18.

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Tap into parenting support resources

You can be more confident as a new parent if you know where to go for support. The Defense Department offers a variety of programs and services for new and expecting parents, including:

Military OneSource offers New MilParent specialty consultations for military parents getting ready to welcome a new baby or are currently parenting a young child.

The New Parent Support Program offers a number of services to help military parents transition successfully into parenthood. Nurses, social workers and home visitation specialists provide supportive home visits to expectant and current parents, prenatal and parenting classes, playgroups and more.

The Defense Department partnered with the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness to bring military parents Thrive – an online program that offers evidence-informed, guidelines that promote positive parenting, stress management and healthy lifestyle practices for children from birth to age 18. Learn how Thrive helps military parents and children.

The Defense Department offers a variety of programs and resources to support families with special needs. Learn more about the Exceptional Family Member Program, and navigating early intervention services.

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 in the following articles:

Understand discipline strategies

Parenting takes patience, especially when your child is misbehaving. That’s when you’ll need to take deep breaths and put a positive discipline strategy to work. Misbehavior and boundary testing are 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 the following articles for tips on disciplining your child, potty training, coping with a crying baby and more:

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.

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Knowing what to expect when communicating with young children can help you understand and respond to your child in meaningful ways.

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. Reach out to a Military and Family Life Counselor if you have questions or need support.

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Reach out for support. Contact your installation’s Military and Family Support Center.

Resources, benefits and support services

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