After coming home from the hospital with a newborn four different times, I can tell you all the tips and tricks to helping a friend or family member with a new baby. Even the smallest gesture can make a difference in the experience parents will have during those first few weeks. For some, it’s amazing and everything they dreamed it would be. For others the adjustment can be difficult for many reasons. I have found that what tends to make the biggest difference is the kind of help they are getting from others. It truly takes a village so let’s rally together and do what we can to help!
Enlist the help of other friends, family members, church members, co-workers, neighbors, etc. You can take the lead and become the official organizer. Use the meal train site to organize everything and create a link to ask for volunteers. Send out the link via text, email, social media, etc. to get the word out and find volunteers. For anyone who volunteers, they will sign up for a date and submit what they are making. Offer suggestions based on the family’s favorite meals (don’t forget to ask about any food allergies). You can even suggest that they send gift cards for services that deliver food like GrubHub. If you think there will be enough volunteers, try to plan for 2-3 weeks of meals.
Have you ever come home from vacation to a messy house? There’s nothing worse, except coming home to a messy house after pushing out a 9 pound baby. No one feels like cleaning. She will love you forever!
Come over and grab the other kids and take them out for the day. You can go to the mall, the movies, The Little Gym, etc. Just get them out of the house for awhile. This will also help the other kids who are still trying to adjust to their new family dynamic. A day of fun where they can burn off some energy could be just what they need.
Some moms would love nothing more than to take a quick shower or nap to recharge, especially moms who have a significant other who cannot take paternity leave. Or moms who have very few family members nearby. We tend to assume that moms have plenty of time for the little things like naps or shower because baby sleeps all the time, right? Not always. Some newborns like to be held 24/7. This is not because they are spoiled but because they are still adjusting to life outside the womb. So help a mom out and snuggle that baby while she takes a quick shower.
Make sure she’s stocked up on pads, nipple cream, breast pads, prescriptions, etc. We have traditionally left this task up to the dads, but I am sure anyone’s BFF would be better equipped to find the right items for mom.
Sometimes moms just need to get out of the house for a minute and a new mom cannot drive for 1-2 weeks following birth. Plus, the idea of packing up and hauling the baby (and half the house) to the store is overwhelming. Not to mention not wanting to bring a new baby into a store full of germs. So, sit in the car with the kids to let her walk around alone for awhile. My mom used to do this for me and it was so helpful!
Bring her something when you come over, whether that’s a pack of diapers or a shake from DQ. You could even text and ask for a list of things she needs.
I hope these tips will help you when trying to find the best ways to help your bff when they bring their newborn home and don’t forget about your friends who have done this before. Just because it isn’t their first rodeo, doesn’t mean they can do it all alone! It takes a village!
Do you have any other ideas? Share in the comments or send me a message to suggest more ideas to help your BFF when they bring home their newborn.