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Recommended reading Thinking about baby before birth Stages: Pregnancy

People often say that babies aren’t born with a set of instructions. New parents either try to be the sort of parents their own parents were, or do the opposite. Often we just slide into parenting without thinking about it too deeply.

Involving other whānau members can be a real support for new parents, especially if they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed with the idea of becoming parents. Being totally responsible for a new baby can be scary especially if the parents haven’t had a lot of ‘hands on’ experience before.

Start early

Understanding that their baby is a living and growing person able to hear, feel, taste and move can help new whānau begin building a strong connection with their pēpi. The more positive thoughts the whānau have about their baby the more they’re beginning to build their secure attachment relationship.

Before baby is born is a great time for new parents to start thinking about what they want for their baby in the long term. For example, the activity called Dreaming about baby’s future, is based on page 2 of the SKIP booklet Thinking about parenting.

Becoming a conscious parent 

Thinking about parenting is the parents’ version of the SKIP module Conscious parenting. Copies can be ordered for parents from the SKIP website. Conscious parenting module is available to down load and has more in depth information on the concept of conscious parenting and how people can make changes to become the sort of parents they want to be.

Thinking about parenting encourages us to reflect on:

  • What sort of people we’d like our children to be when they grow up?
  • What parenting practices will be needed to make that happen?

It also:

  • gives us an opportunity to stop and think about who we are as parents  
  • asks us to think about how we were parented and what effect that had
  • explains how children learn through exploration and repetition
  • helps us to avoid problems before they start
  • talks about behaviour changes
  • gives us ideas to help us become firm and fair parents
  • guides us to reconnect with our kids when we’ve had an upset 
  • is full of tips and strategies
  • reminds us that we can make choices — good choices for parents and kids.

There are many other ideas in this booklet about conversations to have as baby grows and as parenting challenges evolve with the child.

Further information

SKIP module one - A resource for supporters of parents on conscious parenting SKIP Module 1 — Conscious parentingOpens in new window (PDF 839KB) 

Tips for Whānau supporters

For more information, please visit the Whānau Supporters page.