University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FAR0401

Parent Time1

Donna Davis2

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Parenting an infant is one of the most exciting and fulfilling opportunities of a lifetime. At the same time, it can be one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. Research has shown that babies as young as one month old can sense and will be affected by a parent who is depressed or angry. Finding the delicate balance between the new parents’ needs and the baby’s needs is very important.

Experts recommend a number of helpful strategies for couples who are new parents. First, couples should share expectations. It is important to talk to each other about parental roles and what each other needs from their partner. Next, keeping open channels of communication is critical. Make time to talk to one another and be aware of how each partner is doing in the transition to parenthood. According to Dr. Millie Ferrer at the University of Florida, having both parents involved in the caregiving of their newborn will affect their marital satisfaction.

Next, new parents need to keep a positive attitude. Couples need to continue to work on solutions to possible problems before they get out of hand. Finally, new parents should also remain open to the help and support of friends and family. Their support can assist not only in the physical and mental well-being of new parents, but they can also provide an excellent caring network for the new child as well.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:



This document is FAR0401, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Broadcast as program 5. Revised April 2004. Reviewed and published on EDIS February 2013. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Donna Davis, senior producer, Family Album Radio, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.