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.
- Bring food. Any food, just bring food. Preferably food that doesn’t need to be prepared and can easily be consumed using one hand.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Listen to her when she needs to vent, it’ll help her feel better and stay sane.
- 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.
- 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.
- Understand that phone calls are challenging right now- and texts might be best for communication.
- 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.
- Did I mention… bring food? ☺