Well, not counting sleep of course! But couldn’t we all use more of that?!? For most of us, when a friend or family member has a baby we want to help. We may wonder what would be most helpful to them and I’m sure you’ve sent a text or left a message saying, “What do you need? How can I help you?” The problem is that some mamas may be so sleep deprived they don’t even know what they need or may be too shy to ask. So, whether it is her first child or her fourth, here’s a list of some ideas to help out that new mom in your life.
1. Meals – The thought of cooking a nutritious meal when you have been up all hours of the night and taking care of a newborn all day can be overwhelming; but you have to eat. Eating nutritious meals is so important to make sure mom has energy to care for her little one and is an important part of self-care in those early weeks. You can cook a meal and deliver it hot, right at dinner time and maybe throw in a few breakfast items too. If you aren’t much for cooking, ask about their favorite pizza or take out and have it delivered right to their door. You could also consider grocery delivery or even gift a week of meals from one of the many meal delivery services out there. Another idea is to setup a meal schedule to send out to friends and family for the new mom and try to get her a few weeks’ worth of meals. There are several websites available where you can easily make a meal train schedule.
2. Hold the Baby – Offer to go over and hold the baby for an hour or two, so mom and dad can take a nap or get something done around the house. Nothing beats newborn snuggles and mom and dad will be grateful for some extra rest or productivity.
3. Bring coffee (and diapers) – When you are out running errands, pick up her favorite coffee drink and a pack of diapers and drop them off. This one is simple and quick and does not require a lot of planning. Any new mom would appreciate these two essentials being dropped off at her doorstep.
4. Offer Support (and hold the advice!) – Just be there as a support during this time of transition. Try to keep your expert advice to yourself, unless you are asked for it. Just be a listening ear as she talks about her crying baby, exhaustion, feedings, and gushes over her sweet bundle of joy.
5. Be Understanding – The transition to parenthood or the transition of adding another child (or children) to your family can be stressful and overwhelming at times. No one needs the added pressure of responding to endless texts, voicemails, or having visitors coming in and out all the time. Everyone loves to feel the love of family and friends surrounding such a joyous occasion BUT, don’t lay on the guilt if they don’t respond right away or turn down an invitation for a social outing. Some families may go right back to business as usual the week after a new baby, while others prefer to fly under the radar for awhile. Respect both and don’t take offense if they need a little “baby hibernation.”
What else did you find helpful as a new mom?