Post # 1
One of my good friends will be having a baby soon. She is the first of our friend group to have a baby, and I’m feeling like I don’t know how to support her through this process.
I could use some tips from those of you with kids on how, as her friend, I can provide meaningful support when baby comes. Her husband does all the cooking and helps out a lot with cleaning. She plans to Boyfriend or Best Friend, so probably won’t be able to be away from baby much in the beginning.
So…does anyone have any suggestions on what type of support helped (or could have helped) you the most? Would appreciate any feedback you can share.
Post # 3
Bring food when you visit. Even though he cooks, they will both be exhausted. Stuff that freezes well is great. You might also want to bring something they can then give to other guests, banana bread or something similar.
Also, just ask what they need and let them know that you’re there for them.
Post # 4
Honestly, sometimes all the baby talk the first few weeks and months can get pretty repetitive and boring. Try to do something a little normal with her, just come over and hang out and watch a chick-flick/sex and the city/friends/whatever. Sometimes those first weeks can be really isolating. Remember she is still the same person she was before she became a mom! And even if she is Boyfriend or Best Friend, she can still indulge in a glass of wine (my sister would have a wine or a beer in the evening right after she nursed so the alcohol would be out of her system before the next feed). Maybe also help her to get out of the house (it can be intimidating in the beginning). Even having a buddy to go to the grocery or Target or out for coffee can be a huge help.
That being said, I also agree with PP. I never feel right visiting new parents without bringing some food.
Post # 5
Food! And clean hands to hold the baby! DS is 3 weeks old & I mostly need people to hold him while I use the bathroom. With the physical recovery I’m doing well now, but in the first days sitting to nurse hurt, so it was good to have someone hold him so I could lay on my side.
also, yes to treating her like a normal person & not just a “mom”! Although I don’t know if I’d have time to go out anywhere now, I’d love to have some adult interaction during the day. Even just a text to say “call me if you want when you’re not busy” would be awesome.
if you’re comfortable enough you could also volunteer to do some cleaning, like dishes or laundry. Our cousin has been walking our dog. Darling Husband does a lot of housework, but he’s also working & giving me a baby break in the afternoon AND he’s sleep deprived too!
It’s great that you’re looking to support your friend. I’m sure she’ll appreciate anything you do for her’
Post # 6
I think the PP have some great ideas! Hang out and talk (not just about the baby) and bring food. Maybe sparkling cider or something too. And ask if there’s anything you can do to help…just knowing that she has support will be nice for her. She’s going to know what she needs help with more than anyone else.
Post # 7
Meals are fantastic, as PPs have said, but I would also have appreciated snacks. Like a fruit salad or something easy to grab. I can’t tell you how many times I would be walking Dirty Delete around the house to try to calm her, looking longingly at the fridge because if I set her down she screamed.
If you want to hang out with her and just talk to her, that’s great too. Throw in a load of laundry if you feel comfortable. I was astounded with how much laundry little babies made. Seriously, it was everywhere.
Lastly, if you’re wanting a gift or something not baby related, I would have LOVED an Amazon prime membership. In those early days when you don’t want to leave the house, that two day shipping (or overnight) was a lifesaver. Also, Darling Husband and I watched a lot of movies during naptimes while I was healing, and they have a ton on there.
Post # 8
I agree with the PPs that company is really welcome in the early days. I felt so alienated being home 24/7 with baby- it’s hard not having “real” conversation!
I also so, so appreciated chances to take long showers. It sounds stupid, but a friend offering to hold baby a bit so I could take a long shower was AWESOME!
Lastly, I like giving new moms little treats for mom. One of my favorites was a nice nightgown that my grandma brought me to the hospital. Sometimes, all the PP bleeding and BFing makes you feel kind of gross & subhuman…the nightgown made me feel pretty, which in turn added some normality to my life. Other nice ideas would be fancy body washes, GCs to the salon, chocolates & magazines, etc.
Post # 9
A gift card to for a message or to get her nails done. She will be so thankful for even an hour or so of me time.
Post # 10
Wow – thank you all for the great ideas! I’m sure you guys know how it feels to want to help someone, but not sure exactly what they need.
I have read elsewhere that people don’t love offers of help that are the vague “let me know what I can do” type, and prefer offers of concrete help like picking up groceries, cleaning out the fridge, vacuuming, etc. Seems like you all feel similarly.
Love the idea about snacks and food that can be served to guests! Thanks guys!
Post # 11
1) bring food
2) hold her baby while she showers and washes her hair
3) Make her tea/ a snack and clean up after yourself
4) Offer to do the laundry if she is OK with it- wash dry and fold!
6) wash all the dishes in the sink!
A halfhearted attempt at helping is NO GOOD- just grab a dust buster- instruct her to sict down and get on with it!
You are a WONDERFUL FRIEND!
Post # 12
Offer to hold the baby! It feels like all you do in the first month is hold them and it is so great to have a break so you can shower or eat with both hands sitting down like a normal person 😉
Post # 13
There are some repeats but here is what has helped me:
– bring food
– hold the baby while the new mom showers, eats, naps
– don’t overstay your welcome. I felt very uncomfortable in the first weeks breast feeding in front of people but also felt uncomfortable bumbling around with a cover or while they twiddled their thumbs on the couch waiting for me (baby girl used to nurse for an hour or so per feeding so I felt bad and distracted with people waiting
– Ask how you could help especially around the house
– don’t push her past her comfort zone with leaving the baby. When my LO was 5 weeks my mother was itching to baby sit so everyone talked me into attending a graduation party while she stayed with her. Needless to say I was a nervous wreck and didn’t have fun at all. I just wasn’t ready to leave her even with a family babysitter