As those of you with children will know, the early weeks after the birth are very demanding. Whether it’s your first foray into parenthood, or you’ve done this before, it’s an experience that requires a lot of adjustment. So if you have friends or relatives, there are lots of ways that you can make life easier for the new parents, who are bound to appreciate any or all of the following.
When someone has a new baby, everyone wants to visit so that they can coo over the newborn. However, an exhausted mum might not feel up to having visitors, or the parents might just prefer to spend some quiet time with their new arrival. So don’t just turn up, always check whether or when they would like you to call round.
Offers to babysit are likely to be gratefully received, especially if you have experience with newborns. The parents might want to catch up on some sleep, or go out later on. Also, it could be a great help if you look after the older children, in particular when the mother goes into hospital.
What new mother feels like cooking? Okay, dad should be capable of throwing a meal together, but maybe he wants to spend time with his wife and baby. Anyway, you could help them by bringing meals to heat up or freeze, for those times when they don’t feel like cooking.
Every parent eventually gets into a routine, but until they do, running errands can be tricky. So friends and family can easily do something to help. For example, picking up groceries if you’re going shopping, fetching older kids from school, or giving rides if they don’t have a car.
Any mother knows that with a young baby, it’s difficult to find time to get dressed and brush your hair. And with all the hard work, she can soon feel stressed and dowdy. So offering to mind the baby while she has a long bath or gets her hair cut can really boost her spirits.
Housework really isn’t the most important thing when there’s a gorgeous new baby in the house, but it does need to be done sometime. This is where friends come in. Helping out with some cleaning means that the parents can spend some more time with their baby (especially important for a working parent).
One of the most irritating things for a new parent must be the stream of well-meaning advice from grandparents, neighbours, and anyone who ever had a baby themselves. People don’t want advice! So whatever you think, keep it to yourself. It’s not your baby, so don’t assume you know best. Only give advice if you ask for it.
If a couple is the first in their circle to become parents, it can lead to them being accidentally excluded. Suddenly it becomes more complicated to invite them out, as they have to organise babysitters. Don’t forget to include them, though, as they need time away from being parents.
If you have kids, what do you wish that people had done or not done in the early days, and would you do to help new parents out?
Top Photo Credit: mamarosa
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