42 Essential Skills for New Parents

As new parents, we’re expected to know some basic skills to assure our parents and in-laws that we are capable of caring for a tiny, fragile human being. This list is a work in progress and by no means, a complete checklist of every skill new moms and dads need to possess to prepare for parenting.

Since there is no Parent Academy with courses on how to do this difficult job right and prerequisites for becoming parents aren’t very strict, I thought I’d list what skills I believe are pretty important.

Feel free to comment and add as many skills as you could think of. Let’s make this duty a little less daunting (or scary), a tad easier, and hopefully, a lot more fun.

1. Determine steps to baby birth registration.

2. Grasp the pros and cons of bottle feeding and breastfeeding.

3. Follow the do’s and don’ts of umbilical cord care.

4. Understand the vaccines your baby needs.

5. Know the why and how of “tummy time.”

6. Practice safe baby sunbathing.

7. Decode the meaning of each cry: (a) wet/soiled diaper; (b) sleepiness; (c) hunger; (d) discomfort or illness.

8. If you have a boy, avoid getting peed on while changing a diaper.

9. Know safe, gentle ways to hold a baby.

10. Understand when pooping is done so you won’t waste too much wet tissue and diaper.

11. Identify the types of baby poop and what each means.

12. Know at least two effective techniques to burp a baby.

13. Understand when a hiccup is a cause for concern.

14. Know SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and its WHO-prescribed prevention strategies.

15. Apply swaddling techniques that your baby likes.

16. Be able to follow a video tutorial or instructional manual for babywearing.

17. Have a good ear for music that babies like.

18. Memorize at least three lullabies.

19. Function sharply with 2-3 hours of sleep.

20. Prepare perfectly brewed coffee.

21. Learn to eat comfortably while holding a baby.

22. Predict growth spurts.

23. Copy professional midwife’s baby bathing techniques.

24. Avoid putting Aceite de manzanilla (oil of chamomile), baby powder, and lotion on a newborn skin.

25. Find and filter information from the internet. Bonus point if one knows how to use Google Scholar.

26. Have a soft spot for smiles and giggles.

27. Develop unlimited compassion to cries.

28. Have an amazing store of soothing words.

29. Successfully put a baby to sleep.

30. Shoot a perfectly cute photo or video to update friends and family.

31. Have downloaded a baby photo editing app or two.

32. Dress and undress baby without crying.

33. Know which items to buy in bulk during Shopee or Lazada sale.

34. Have a good idea what a “Baby’s Day Out” bag should contain.

35. Know what “organic cotton” is.

36. Habitually read labels on baby products.

37. Calculate baby’s age in weeks instantly.

38. Tell a bedtime story.

39. Score deals on baby stuff on FB Marketplace.

40. Decide which baby items are essential and still buy more than what you need.

41. Dance to entertain a fussy baby.

42. Cite a research or study when debunking baby myths.

Have anything to add to this list? Leave a comment below and help me come up with a helpful post for newbie parents (like me and Neil). Thank you!

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