When a loved one welcomes their precious baby into the world, it’s such an exciting time. Many of us want to go over to their house right away to welcome the new arrival and experience those priceless baby cuddles. But it’s so important to remember that this is one of the most vulnerable periods in the new parents’ lives. They’re tired, the mom is likely in a lot of pain and their priority is of course going to be looking after their newborn, rather than hosting guests. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t visit, but there are some wayts to support postpartum parents. Here are ideas:
Wait for an invite
Always wait for an invite to go over. Some couples might want company right away and feel up to having friends and family to come and meet their baby. Others will want this time to themselves, to enjoy the new arrival, get settled and have some privacy.
Never assume and don’t just show up, regardless of how close you are to the parents. You could send a message saying you would love to meet the new baby and will be available to come over whenever the time is right for them. This means they’re aware you want to visit, but that you’re happy to wait and are being respectful of their boundaries.
This has become especially important during the pandemic because many parents want to protect their newborn from becoming sick.
Come armed with gifts for the parents
Everyone wants to buy gifts for a new baby — tiny clothes, soft blankets and toys are adorable and so much fun to buy. But everyone will bring baby items; if you really want to care for a couple in the postpartum period then bring gifts for them. Maybe some slippers for dad, and some comfy pajamas for mom.
Maybe you could bring some pampering products for when she gets a few minutes to relax. A nice hair conditioner, face mask, hand cream and lip balm might help her to feel like herself again. You could buy a voucher for a facial or massage when they’re able to leave their baby.
Bring them food
When new parents’ hands are full with the baby, it’s easy to skip meals, become reliant on takeout and generally not eat as well as they should. So bringing over a lovely home cooked meal is a fantastic way to help look after them.
Something like this chicken florentine recipe would work well as it’s packed with flavor and can be served with pasta, potatoes or rice. Lasagna is another great option since you can prepare it at home and then pop it in the oven at their house so that it’s served bubbling and delicious. You could even make up a couple of tasty sandwiches and finger foods, pop them on a tray and leave it in their fridge. That way they can pick and graze throughout the day and they’re foods that can be eaten with one hand.
You can never go wrong with food delivery or restaurant gift cards either so they can order their favorite foods.
Offer help with household chores
People go to a new parents home and offer to hold the baby, but this isn’t the most useful way to help. Many new moms don’t want to be separated from their babies for long, so baby cuddles should be brief. Instead, offer to do the jobs that the parents can’t while they’re holding the baby. Of course, it’s important to ask so you don’t overstep, but jobs like feeding and walking pets, loading the dishwasher, putting things away, and doing a load of laundry can all make such a difference. In the early days, helping new parents means looking after them so that they can look after their baby, and this is one way to do that.
Help with other children
If the couple has other children already, helping out with them can be incredibly useful. This could mean picking them up or dropping them off at school. Perhaps you could take them out for a few hours to give the new parents bonding time with the baby.