portrait of a newborn baby with acne and saliva on a gray background on a woman’s hands
This weekend, my friend gave birth to a baby girl (named Georgie, how cute ?!). I want to support her, so I thought back to my own postpartum experiences and read readers’ comments on what to bring and what to do. Here are 10 ways to help a new parent …
1. Bring FRESH foods. “We had a lot of frozen meals when our second was born (much appreciated! Don’t get me wrong!) Ros. A reader named Molly agrees, “We’ve eaten so many heavy casseroles (happily, because postpartum hunger isn’t difficult), but a great gift is cut fruit and veg. You can also make a large salad, says Devorah: “A ready-made salad with a dressing on the side. I really wanted salads, but the thought of standing at the counter chopping veggies was exhausting. This can be homemade or picked up from a salad spot, that’s good too!
2. You can also fill the refrigerator. “When we got home with our first baby, our neighbors had stocked our fridge, and I STILL think 11 years later how wonderful it was,” says Amanda. “Juice, cold cuts, cheese, bread, fresh fruit, potato salad, chicken salad, soup – to make quick meals any time of the day. Plus a chocolate cake which could have been the best part. Note: If you are far away, you can also send bagels. “The BEST gift I received was a gift box from Russ & Daughters, which included coffee, bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon and chocolate babka,” writes Jamie. “I savored it !!!”
3. Choose foods that you know they will like. “People are well meaning when they ask what you would like to eat, but I was so tired of making decisions,” recalls Joanna. A reader named Naomi agrees: “The day we got home from the hospital, my husband and mother-in-law kept asking me what I wanted for lunch. I was like, do anything to me! I can’t make this decision!
4. Bring soft pajamas and / or a bathrobe. “My mother-in-law gave me cotton pajamas and the softest, lightest robe,” K says. “I LIVE in this robe and secretly loved that it was just right for me. because at the beginning, everything revolves around the baby. Bonus: remember to wash them first. Megan says, “My mom brought me some comfy new pajamas that she’s already washed in baby safe detergent!” Taking that extra step was so amazing because as a first time mom I was very paranoid about my baby’s sensitive skin.
5. Or consider a set of fresh new underwear. “That’s all I wanted,” writes Joetta. “During pregnancy, I stretched all of mine. Nice underwear made me feel like myself again.
6. Offer to stay OR to leave. New parents may want to be alone or want company, so follow their lead. “My colleague was on maternity leave, and one day I was in her neighborhood,” recalls Cynthia. “I stopped at a grocery store, bought a couple of sandwiches and drinks, and texted her saying I would be by in five minutes and I could stay a few minutes or leave. When she opened the door, she burst into tears. The spontaneous lunch and half an hour of gossip at work was the best thing that had happened to her all week. Also consider the timing. “If you can get out of work earlier, schedule your visit for a weekday evening, an hour or two before your friend’s partner comes home from work (that is, the hardest two hours of the day during maternity leave!), ”explains Maggie. Joy responds, “Oh, that’s so awesome. I was such a watchmaker at 4pm when I was home on leave.
7. Roll up your sleeves and do whatever chores you see. When Toby was newborn my friend Abbey came over and uninvited did all of our dishes, and I remember crying because of the kindness. “Take out the trash. Walk the dog. Don’t ask to hold the baby unless she offers to. Listen to her,” Jordan says. Throw in a load of laundry or fold up tiny onesies. “Best thing to do. was come into my house and put a new set of sheets on my bed. Heaven, “writes Whitney. And pack something when you leave:” Empty the diaper genie, take out the trash, empty the old newspapers, n ‘No matter what, “says Chelsea. And think about outside household chores, if there is any.” We had a premature baby in the NICU for 10 weeks, “Heidi explains.” Our neighbor also had her lawn service for doing our lawn. It was so nice knowing that there was one less thing to worry about about the house. “
8. Listen to his birth story. “Give her time to share her story in her own way,” says Sarah. “Don’t compare your story to his. Don’t give him platitudes. Just be there. Help her understand the magnitude of what just happened.
9. Play with the older child, if there is one. “When my daughter was born, the nicest thing our friends did was take our energetic three-year-old to the playground,” says Aly. “Being alone with the baby was really relaxing! And if you don’t know the older child well, entertaining him with toys for an hour in his room is worth gold.
10. Finally, keep checking in for the first few months (or year). “Our friends and family were so generous at first, but as I sit here tired, watery eyes and no shower, with an almost two month old and a three and a half year old, I wish help in those days a little later, ”says Cassie. “Can someone bring us dinner tomorrow?” Or come and hold the baby while I clean my room? Or take our little one to the park? This is not to say that help at the beginning is not appreciated, but rather to note that it is sometimes nice to remember when it “seems” that you should have adjusted and you don’t need to. ‘an unexpected meal or visit.
What would you add? If you have a child, what helped you during those early days? Congratulations to all new or future parents, as well as a heartfelt note and recognition to those who try, wish and wait. XOXO
PS Five gifts for new moms, and how to support a new mom from afar.
“Why was formula feeding best for us?”
(Photo by Tatiana Timofeeva / Stocksy.)