I was looking back through some old photos the other day, and found some from when Rhys was a newborn.
And seeing those photos brought back all these memories of how I felt in those early days with him. I was so happy. I was also exhausted, overwhelmed, emotional and a whole host of other things.
Having a baby is such a huge adjustment, and I’m not sure you can really prepare yourself for it. What you can do though, is accept any and all help that is offered to you by family and friends.
And on the flip side of things, if someone you know has just had a baby then here are 5 useful things you can do to help them out.
Take them some food
Cooking dinner can feel like a huge undertaking when you’ve just had a baby. So a nice homecooked meal that they can just quickly reheat will really be appreciated. I think I lived off my mother-in-law’s lasagnes and pasta bakes for at least a month after Rhys was born, and I’m still so grateful.
It might also be a nice idea to take round a box of teabags and some nice chocolate biscuits for the new parents, and for all the other visitors they’ll most likely have coming to meet the new baby.
Take any siblings out for a bit
If this isn’t the couple’s first baby, then offer to take older siblings out for a bit to give them some time alone with the new arrival.
It doesn’t have to be for long, even just taking them to the park for an hour will be a big help to the parents and will also be great for the older child to have a bit of special attention from you.
Get them talking
Let them know that any and all emotions they’re feeling are completely natural, and encourage them to talk to you about them.
The baby blues are really common and having someone to talk to (and cry to) when you’re feeling low can make a big difference. There is also a very real possibility that the new mum might experience post natal depression and talking things through with a friend can really help.
If they think they need a bit more help then encourage them to talk to their health visitor or their GP, or to consider online therapy if they’re not ready or able to speak to someone in person about how they’re feeling.
Take them supplies
As well as a nice meal, think about what other useful supplies you could pick up for the new parents.
Lots of people will bring cute outfits and soft toys for the baby, which is really lovely. But what’s also really appreciated is being brought things like nappies, wipes, and muslins. Some non-bio washing powder would probably go down well too.
Watch the baby for them
If you feel confident with newborns, then offer to watch them for a little bit so that your friend can have a shower and actually wash her hair. Or have a lie down for half an hour. Or even pop out of the house by herself for a bit for a break and some fresh air.
I’m sure any new parent would be really grateful for you doing any of these things for them, I know they were things I really appreciated when my children were first born.
Is there anything else you would add to this list?
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post