Besides a baby shower (and especially during this pandemic) it can be really hard to figure out what to do for someone after they have a new baby. Maybe you don’t have children, or maybe it’s been a while since you did. It can also be hard to know how to help when you yourself are neck deep in babies and toddlers without an extra hand or even brain cell!
Here is a quick list of a few ideas:
- Drop off a meal or one handed snack – we often think we need to drop off a whole three course meal and while that is helpful it is also great to drop off some great muffins (homemade or store-bought)or a jug of orange juice and some fresh fruit. Maybe you know they love a certain Thai or burger place, you could drop off (or email) a gift card so they can order in!
- What do they need physically done – Do they have dogs who could use walks each day during those first weeks postpartum? Maybe you could find some friends and create a dog walking sign up. Are you running to the grocery store, maybe text and ask if they need any staples (or an instant cart pick up). Your kids might go to the same school, could you help with pick up and drop off? These are all things that are just that much harder to get to when you are up several times a night.
- VALIDATE! Don’t judge! – New parents and especially moms have enough of their own inner critic bugging them, don’t add to it. Instead saying things like, “Wow! This is so hard but you are doing a great job”, or “I hear how hard it is to be so tired, can I hold the baby after they feed so you can catch a nap?” will really help.
- Just listen – grab a cup of tea, or a meal for the new parents and just listen. They might need to tell their birth story, they might want to gripe, they might want to tell you every amazing detail of their baby’s toes, or they might really be struggling with this transition. Just listening without any answers is a great gift.
- Services – It’s a good idea to talk to the parents before but offering to hire a cleaning service, a pet adventure service, a cloth diaper service, or even some hours with a postpartum doula or lactation counselor are often very helpful.