Hope you all had an amazing weekend and are ready to take on your Monday!! Today’s blog post is about being the right kind of support for a new mom and/or dad.
For those of you who don’t know, I became an aunt recently!! My brother and his wife had a beautiful baby girl this month, named Chloe Jane. She is the sweetest little thing and we all couldn’t wait to meet her and now try to visit as much as possible so we don’t miss any of these newborn moments. They grow so fast don’t they!
While we are all excited to visit and get our newborn cuddles in, I’m reminded of what I felt like right after having Brian and Grace. I know we are lucky to have so many people in our lives that love and care for us, but the amount of visitors during those first few weeks was sometimes, unintentionally, overwhelming.
My friend Kelly (@mamaste_k), had a baby girl over the summer (now 4 months old) and not only that, so did 9 of her very close friends! This mom tribe went through pregnancy, delivery and post partum all together (and no they didn’t plan it!). Kelly even delivered across the hall from one of her friends!! So given it was so fresh in their mind, she asked her mom squad their thoughts for visiting new parents.
1. DO Wait. Unless they specifically ask or tell you to come visit in the hospital then wait to visit them until they are home. Definitely don’t just show up unannounced. You never know how mom is recovering, how they are adjusting to feedings, if baby is sleeping, etc. Trust there will be plenty of time to breathe in that newborn smell over the next few months.
2. DO reach out to ask when a good time would be to visit. Mom and Dad are going to be overwhelmed, especially mom who’s still recovering. So it’s highly unlikely they reach out to ask people to visit them. Lightly offer it up so they know you are interested to come see them and ask what day/time works best for them. Try to be empathetic and flexible based on what time works best for them. This will help them keep baby on somewhat of a schedule, ensure they aren’t bombarded with a number of people at one time and won’t give them a feeling of obligation to “make it work” if you only offer up a small window of availability.
3. DON’T visit for too long! Quick easy visits with calm energy is key! Don’t make them entertain or “host” you as they have enough to worry about.
4. DO Offer your help. If you are able to, you can offer to clean (wash bottles, dishes, do or fold laundry, etc.) and if they are comfortable enough, offer to watch the baby while they take a nap or shower. Showers and naps during these early days are few and far between so if they had the opportunity, it’s likely they will gladly take you up on that!
5. DO bring something useful. Remember, people generally have baby showers and therefore have all the cute baby outfits, bows, bibs, books, stuffed animals etc. If your going to bring something, try thinking about what they might need. For instance, easy heat and eat meals, diapers (as you can always use more of those), grab and go healthy snacks (like granola bars), water bottles (again grab and go), COFFEE!! You get the idea.
Tip: The easier you can make this for them the better! See below for recipes (breakfast, lunch and dinner!) that are easy to heat and eat.
21 Freezer Meals for People With Zero Time During The Week – By greatest.com
6. DON’T forget about pampering mom. Recovery from child birth no matter how it happens is no joke. One of the best gifts Kelly received was a basket full of face masks, dry shampoo, lotions, bath salts, etc. It will be a while until mom can go out on her own but when she does how great would it be if she had a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or massage?! Also she’s going through some pretty intense changes in her body so offering to bring comfortable clothes for this in between period (in terms of sizing) could be the one thing mom needs to wake up feeling good about herself.
Tip: See below for items that would be great to give to mom.
Candle (to hide constant smell of milk)
7. DON’T forget the wine. Even if mom is breastfeeding, there is going to be a day they have an opportunity to share a nice bottle of something together and cheers to their new parenthood status, which will cause them to freak out and therefore need another sip 🙂 So make it something good!
Tip: Costco actually has REALLY good booze (the Kirkland brand). Their wine, champ and vodka is actually pretty delicious and the price is always right.
If you have any do’s / don’ts or tips to add please feel free to comment below!!