What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

Going It Alone

There are many reasons why you might find yourself caring for your new baby on your own. No matter what their age, some women become pregnant unexpectedly, others are single and choose to have a baby and for some, a partner leaves, gets sick or works away. It might be temporary or longer term.

You can feel tired, lonely, unsure or worried. All of these feelings can be harder to manage when you are on your own. The work of caring for a baby and managing a household is much harder to do when there is no-one to share it with.


Here is a guide to help you recognise what you and your baby might need

For others to accept our circumstances without being critical

To have some time away from housework and baby care

To find reassurance and support when no one is there to help decide what to do next

To feel accepted and included as a single parent in a world of couples

To minimise feelings of loneliness, especially at weekends and a night time when it can be worst

To feel that others regard me as a competent and caring mother and expert about my baby


Working out how to meet these needs

Find a way to describe your circumstances in simple terms without sounding defensive

Where it is possible, find and make friends with others in a similar situation

Give specific suggestions to people about what they might do to help

Spend regular time with others who can provide reassurance and support

If you feel uncertain it is fine to ask people to show you what to do


It is important for babies to experience their parents as competent experts. This takes time and lots of practice but happens more quickly when parents provide most of the care rather than letting others take over.

Nevertheless you need to find someone you trust to look after your baby so you can have some time off to get some sleep or see your friends.

Professional help from home visitors, counsellors or community nurses, might be useful for a while as you establish these relationships.

advice on raising a baby on your own