First and foremost, I would like to introduce our newest bundles of joy to the world, Adaliina & Antonio. Both babies were born perfectly healthy and have been home with us for just over a week now.
If requested I can do a separate blog post about my delivery story. I will also have my hospital bag post coming up next, so stay tuned for that very soon!
Now on to the post.
As a second (and third) time mom now, there are many things from my first experience that helped me out a lot and there are others that I was either to shy to ask for, or I thought I was alone in my thoughts for wanting them. With that said, I recently wrote a post for work on How to Support the New Mom in your life and I wanted to share it on here as well, hoping to help other new moms and parents, or those who know someone who is expecting or has just recently had a new baby. It’s okay to feel excited and eager to want to see the new baby, but don’t just show up empty handed (physically and/or metaphorically).
If you are going to be visiting a new mom or new parents, here are 10 things that you can do to show your support and help make their life easier, while they are caring for their newborn.
- Bring food - Being a new parent does not allow for a lot of cooking time. With feedings every 2-3 hours, constant diaper changes, and trying to stay sane, a full meal is one of the last things on a new mom’s mind. Bringing a hot meal or even a frozen meal that can be reheated is a great way to ensure mom and dad still eat.
- Offer to help clean - Taking care of a new baby can be a pretty messy job and the house isn't going to clean itself. Offering to lend an hour or two of your time to help wash dishes, put in a load of laundry or even vacuum, gives a new mum a well deserved break.
- Be mindful - When visiting a newborn baby, be mindful by washing your hands before you touch the baby and if you are a smoker, not smoking before you visit the baby.
- Offer to run errands - Does she need diapers or wipes? Does she need to pick up any prescriptions at the drugstore? Offer to pick them up for her. Also, if you are in the neighborhood, a quick text to see if she needs anything is always appreciated.
- Respect her choices - Finding a balance between all of the advice that a new mom has received can be challenging. If mom has decided to exclusively breastfeed, don't get upset that you cannot bottle feed the baby. Also, never mention babies sleeping habits. It takes time for mom and dad to find their groove and also to understand their new baby. Mom does not need to hear what the latest sleep pattern technique is, or that the baby needs a bottle so they don't get too attached. Let them figure it out and only give advice when asked.
- Watch the baby - Offering to watch the baby for even 30 minutes is heaven to a new mom. She can use this time to feel like a human again by taking a quick shower and freshening up. Or she might want to spend the time with an older sibling, who might appreciate a little special mom time of their own.
- Call first - Visits are always welcome and appreciated, but call first. Mom may have other visitors, or may not be up to seeing anyone at the moment, so always be sure to call before arriving unannounced.
- Bring something for mom (or dad) - Late night feedings can get pretty boring at times and a new magazine/book or movie are great little gifts to give to new parents to help them pass some time.
- Don't stay too long - If you are visiting, don’t expect to stay all day. Everyone is eager to visit mom and baby, but remember that mom also needs some alone time with her husband and her new baby. Figuring out this whole parenting thing and new family dynamic is hard enough as it is, but throw in constant visitors and it gives mom and dad very little time to figure it out on their own. Mom may also need time to pump or she may want to take a nap with baby. Look for cues that the visit is winding down. She really doesn’t want to have to ask you to leave.
- Take the big kids off her hands - If mom and dad have older kids, offer to babysit or take them out of the house for an hour or two to give mom and dad some alone time with their new little bundle. Siblings need to be reassured that they are loved and special, and going out somewhere fun proves that there are benefits to being older, mobile and verbal.
Is there anything that helped you out or that you wish you had help with after having your baby?
Comment below and let me know!!