How to Support a Friend Who Just Had a Baby

By Jennifer Mayer

 

Usually on the Baby Caravan blog, we write articles for parents and expecting parents- but today we’re going to mix it up a little bit. This post is for those who have friends or family members who are expecting- and how you can support them during this huge life transition.

So, if you have a dear friend or sister who’s expecting, this one’s for you. Maybe you’re interested in learning how to support her in those early first months but you’ve never had a baby yourself. That’s totally awesome! Instead of buying more baby clothes and gear, here is a list of truly helpful and practical things you can do.

  1. Bring food. Any food, just bring food. Preferably food that doesn’t need to be prepared and can easily be consumed using one hand.
  2. Forget about the cute baby clothes and collaborate with other friends to gift the new parents the services of a professional house cleaner (they’ll love you for it), a postpartum doula (they’ll love you even more for the sleep this gives them!), or a meal delivery service. Seriously, clean house, sleep and food. You can’t go wrong there.
  3. Check in and let her know you’re thinking about her- but don’t be surprised if you don't hear back for a week.  
  4. Knowing there’s no “normal” for a long time. Just understanding that your friend won’t be able to join in on previous activities like going out to dinner or drinks for a good long while. Short outings like going for walks with her and the baby, grabbing a cup of coffee or tea can be nice. 
  5. Listen to her when she needs to vent, it’ll help her feel better and stay sane.
  6. Check in after the surge of calls and visitors in the early weeks subsides. Even in the second month many new parents could use a helping hand or a listening ear.
  7. When you visit, offer your friend a nap or shower while you quietly do the dishes, fold laundry, or any other house hold task that is easy help out with.
  8. Understand that phone calls are challenging right now- and texts might be best for communication.
  9. In the early weeks baby’s sleep a lot- but not in long chunks. That’s why it’s hard for new moms to leave the house or make any plans in general. She’ll probably love some TV or movie recommendations- even though she’ll be watching them in the small chunks of time between diaper changes, feeding the baby, and soothing the baby to sleep and then finally getting a moment of quiet.
  10. Did I mention… bring food? ☺
Jen Mayer