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10 Mistakes New Parents Make

The top gaffes of new parents during baby's first year and how to avoid them.
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New-parent mistake No. 8: Ignoring your marriage.

"Staying connected within the marriage when you first have a child is really important and can be overlooked," says John C. Friel, PhD, a licensed psychologist. "Any weakness in that relationship will get magnified by having a child. And while you have to focus a lot on the new baby, you must somehow maintain a sense of being a couple." 

Friel tells couples to avoid this common parenting mistake by "making sure that you are not zoning out when you are not with the baby."

New-parent mistake No. 9: Fighting too much (or too little) in front of your baby.

"Even a 3-month old will pick up vibes," Friel says. In terms of fighting, he suggests you ask yourself, “Is it scary?” or “Is it frequent?” "Look at the intensity and frequency of your fights," he says. "Snapping every now and then is a normal part of living with another person. And when people start to suppress too much, it's just as bad as going to the other extreme."

New-parent mistake No. 10: Trusting unreliable sources for parenting advice.

"Many new parents go to the wrong places for parenting advice. This is a classic parenting mistake," Walker says. She advises that you be careful about where you get your information. Walker says, "WebMD.com, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics are reputable and useful when making decisions about general medical care and immunizations."

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Reviewed on October 17, 2013

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