how to really help out mom when a newborn arrives
A lot of my friends and family are having babies right now, some are on their second and third too. Got me thinking of upcoming visits with these new nuggets of love and what their moms (and dads) could really use especially during those first few weeks into the first few months. As far as gifting goes, if mom had a baby shower, she may already have the bulk of what she needs. But I admit, I can’t go empty-handed and always bring a few gifts when visiting – a cute onesie or some baby books. Or a dish of vegetable lasagna, a pan of gooey brownies. You could even think about getting them a gift of newborn photography Raleigh or somewhere more local to you, to get them to cement their first moments in time and be loved forever.
, Of course, gifts like clothing and books are appreciated but I started to think about what brand new moms and dads and parents with newborns who already have other kids at home, could really use. Here’s a list of some alternative options to the standard gifts that I think would be a huge help to any family with a newborn.
Be on call If you’re an experienced mom already and really want to help out a brand new mom, then offer to be her go-to person for any and all questions. Let her know that it’s ok to call, text at any hour with any questions/concerns she may have. One of my good friends offered this to me when we brought Jai home and although I never called her in the middle of the night…it was nice that I had a seasoned momma to lean on with questions, my anxieties, if I needed it and no matter the hour.
Take care of older siblings No matter how hard parents try, older siblings often miss out on the attention that they used to so effortlessly get when a new baby arrives. Help mom out by offering to take older siblings out for a nice play date to the neighborhood park or a walk around the block. Mom will appreciate the break and the older kids will love the full attention.
Watch the baby and other kids while mom takes a shower (or nap) Offer to watch the baby while mom gets in a good shower. All moms with newborns can attest to how hard it is in the beginning to get in a shower. It’s just a challenge to have such a simple thing like a bath scheduled. What a treat and nice escape for mom to be able to squeeze in a guilt free hot shower or bath. And if mom prefers a nap instead, why not?
Run errands If it’s hard enough to manage a daily shower, think about how daunting of a task it is to actually venture out and take care of errands. Ask if you can run an errand or two like picking up dry cleaning, running to the grocery store with a list or walking the dog.
Help with the chores Help out with some chores around the house during your visit. Water the plants. Load the dishwasher. Ask if there’s any baby/kid’s laundry that you can help out with. Mom will totally appreciate your washing, folding and putting away skills.
Or send a professional to clean What mom wouldn’t appreciate a clean house? I know I would love this gift myself.
Bring over a homemade meal One dish meals like lasagna, casseroles are perfect because they can be frozen for quick dinners later. You could even gather up a few friends and make a bunch of meals to label and freeze together. Mom will totally appreciate the variety and love the fact that it’s so easy to heat up and serve. And although I’m not a huge fan of disposable paper cups and plates, this is a time when it makes sense to make mom’s life easier. Bring some over with the food so there’s no big cleanup after the meal.
Or gift restaurant gift cards If you’re not much of a cook or don’t have much time yourself to whip up something, then a great alternative is to send over a gift card to a healthy restaurant mom can order take out from and have delivered straight to her door. Include a menu for the restaurant too, so it makes it that much easier.
Be that extra set of hands If mom is sick of being cooped up in the house with the kids and new baby but the mere idea of leaving the nest with her troop seems completely unattainable, then offer to be that extra set of hands to make it easier for her. Set a date and time to go out together, meet her at her house and help get the baby/kids loaded into the car. She gets to pick where you’ll all go together. It could be as simple as a trip to the coffee shop or the mall, but she’ll appreciate the help and seeing the world again.
When visiting, be on time If a time was set, it’s because mom needs you to come in between that window for good reason. First of all, it’s a lot of work especially for brand new moms to get ready for visitors in the first place. Even for seasoned moms and dads it’s hard. Prepping a newborn baby for visitors includes timing feedings, getting baby ready by changing, cleaning him up. Trying to keep him in a good mood long enough for the visit too. It’s a lot of work that goes into preparing for visitors, so being on time is really important and absolutely necessary.
With time in mind, don’t overstay your welcome Of course mom loves the visits, but again if a time was set – for example, “you can visit between 10:00am – 11:00am…stay only til 11:00am or even leave earlier if you get the impression that you should get going. Take cues from mom.