Caring for Family

It Takes a Village: Building a Strong Community for Baby

It Takes a Village: Building a Strong Community for Baby

As a new parent, you're charged with caring for a tiny person who depends on you every single moment. It's a big responsibility and an amazing gift, and you don't have to do it all on your own. There's a network of people who care about you and your baby, and the rewards are great when you reach out and strengthen those connections.

Parenting is a work in progress. You may not have all the answers, and that's OK. You can get advice and support from sources you trust. Even if you don't live near friends and family, you have many opportunities to build a strong community for your baby.

Connecting with people who care

Friends and family: Your loved ones and family members are an important part of your support network. You can count on them. They might not know what you need, but if you ask, they may be able to offer a solution.

Child care providers: If your child attends daycare (or will in the near future), you've probably invested a great deal of time and mental energy into selecting a child care provider. Your caregiver(s) can be your best ally in meeting your child's needs and creating positive, nurturing experiences for your child.

Sibling superstars: Welcoming a new baby into the family can be exciting — and frustrating — for big brothers and sisters. Give them a chance to use their energy in positive ways by helping take care of baby. Toddlers can help by bringing toys to baby and playing peek-a-boo; older children can read bedtime stories.

Parenting circles and play dates: Meet up with other moms and dads. Set up play dates so babies can play side by side and parents can swap stories and advice.

Early childhood programs: Sign up for an early childhood program in your community that's designed for your child's age and developmental stage. Regular meetings give parents a chance to share milestones and talk through challenges.

Health care providers: When you have questions about what's normal and what's not with your baby's health, don't hesitate to contact your baby's doctor with questions. Read more about choosing a health care provider for your baby.