Having a baby is one of the most wonderful (and most terrifying) times! I remember bringing our first-born home from the hospital slightly aghast they let us leave with the baby. We didn’t know what we were doing. I couldn’t swaddle properly, none of the diapers I changed held up to leaks and we had 8 different pacifiers to choose from and none seemed to work! We survived, with the help of some very generous friends and family.
If you know someone ringing in the new year with a baby this year, here are some ways you can help:
Coordinate a meal delivery schedule with your friends. Free sites like takethemameal.com allow for people to sign up to cover different dates, making sure the family gets varied meals on different days. Not local? Gift a meal delivery service box. Many offer first time deals and will allow the new family to skip heading to the grocery store!
Another thoughtful gesture is to message the new parents when you head to the grocery store asking if you can pick anything up for them. Even if they had just gone to the store, baby brain undoubtedly means they will have forgotten something!
Try not to ask, how can I help you. New parents often don’t know what to ask for, or will not feel comfortable telling you what they really need (a hot shower and a nap!). Instead, make specific offers like:
Give them Grace:
Sleepless nights and fear may make the new family seem a bit reclusive. I remember taking my baby out for the first time and being appalled at how many strangers wanted to touch her! ITS STILL FLU SEASON- back away from the baby! Be patient as they adjust to a new normal, their social schedule and obligations will be one of the first things to go.
Whether it’s your family with a new baby (congratulations) or you are looking for a way to support a friend, remember a simple phone call (even if it’s not answered) or text message with well wishes will go a long way to keep the family feeling loved and supported.
How have you helped a new family, or felt supported after you brought home a baby?
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