We all know that having a new baby is stressful. Being surrounded by friends and family who want to offer support is great, but sometimes good intentions don’t measure up to real, valuable help. So, let’s talk about things a new mom needs!
Here are the basics. Yes, new moms usually need diapers. Yes, it’s a great idea to check their registry if they have one. Yes, sometimes new moms need extra hands to hold the baby. Yes, meal trains are often good ways to make sure a family has food on hand.
But, sometimes these good deeds aren’t the best way to show support. Sometimes allergies are involved, so food and diapers won’t get used. Sometimes goodies and extra companionship are the last thing a new mom wants when she’s already overwhelmed.
There are other ways to help that, while less common, could really ease the burden that new parents face. This list of things a new mom needs are outside the box and might be the perfect gift for a friend just starting her motherhood journey!
Ultimately, it’s best to ASK! Let this friend know you want to help in realistic ways. The things a new mom needs after birth are unlimited and different for each woman. Your friend will be thankful for your consideration as you ask how she is and what she and her baby truly stand in need of. Her answers may surprise you!
Read More: 14 Helpful Items for Your New Baby Checklist
As mentioned before, meal trains are great. They are incredibly common and often expected. The idea is to provide pre-made meals for the new family so they don’t have to worry about cooking and grocery shopping. They are usually welcome by the recipients, especially when any possible allergies are considered and accommodated.
Meal trains eventually have to come to an end, though. People stop coming by and the new parents are left with extra casserole dishes and no prepped meals. Yet, families never stop needing to eat!
Instead of (or in addition to) a meal train, consider gift cards for a food delivery service like DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats, or GrubHub (whatever is available in your area). Gift cards never expire, so the new mom can use it any time she feels extra stress and can’t quite manage getting dinner ready. On days when little babies are teething or getting vaccinations, or even if they happen to have long-term NICU stays, food delivery gift cards can be handy. The parents get to order exactly what they want to eat, and they don’t have to worry about picking it up, cooking it, or paying for it.
Do the Chores
Many people call or text a new mom and say, “I’m happy to help! Let me know what you need!” While this is a kind sentiment, it’s rarely an effective way to help someone. Many new mothers will feel awkward following up to ask for help and would rather suffer in silence than worry about putting you out. Others are simply affected by “mom brain” and need time to process your statement before they can think about what things actually need done. If you are sincere in your offer to help, try a new approach.
Think of all the chores this new mom might have on her plate. There are likely basic household chores, like sweeping, mopping, and grocery shopping. If the new mom is a homeowner, she may have a yard that needs to be mowed or a snowy driveway that needs to be shoveled. She may need help organizing the baby’s nursery or folding mountains of laundry that little ones produce.
Next, write down your availability and select a few chores that you feel comfortable doing for this friend. Then, send her a note letting her know what you can do and when you can do it! She will love your initiative and thoughtfulness!
Many new moms get offers to come hold the new baby. In some ways, this can be helpful; it gives her a chance to shower, eat, clean, or sleep for a bit. However, this offer can also feel hollow at times. Some guests expect to be entertained while holding the baby, making this “break” for the mother completely unhelpful. Additionally, many new parents try to avoid extra people in their home in the early days with the new baby in order to prevent the spread of germs to the little one.
Instead of asking to come over to hold the baby, consider an alternative. If the couple has older kids, ask if they would mind if you took the older ones out for a bit. Take the children for a walk and some ice cream or invite them over for a craft or game day. This would be a treat for the children and give the parents an opportunity to rest and bond with the new baby.
Bring the Goods
If you want to bring a gift, diapers and wipes are almost always needed. Of course, ask beforehand to make sure the baby doesn’t have an allergy that would require a specific brand. If you want to bring other items that could be useful, try these:
- Hypoallergenic, scent-free laundry detergent
- Hand soap or sanitizer
- Easy, healthy snacks for the whole family (again, be sure to ask about allergies)
Pics or It Didn’t Happen
Let’s end this list of things a new mom needs with an easy (but important) suggestion.
When you get a chance to hang out with your friend and her new baby, ask her if she wants a picture! Many of us know that moms are always the ones taking the pictures, but we are rarely featured in them! If you can snap a sweet photo of your friend and her baby in those early stages of motherhood, that might just end up being a gift she’ll cherish forever.
Sleep, food, time, and support – these are things every mom needs. With a little planning and sensitivity, you can be a great friend to a new mom and support her as she takes on parenting a new life.
Think about it – what would you add to this list of things a new mom needs?
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out The Unique Newborn Essentials List New Moms Need for more advice, tips, and tricks.
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