Thursday, June 2, 2011
10 things you can do for a new mom
So, your friend just had a baby. You want to help, but you aren't really sure what she needs or wants, and you don't want to bother her. Here is a list of things you can do or get for pretty much any new mommy.
Disclaimer: Not that you need to do anything at all. If you are more comfortable standing back and letting her get back to her normal non-hormonal, non-engorged, stitches-in-her-nether-regions-free self, then that's okay too.
1) Cook her a meal (at your house) and bring it to her (at her house). Also, don't ask her what she wants, because figuring out what to have for dinner is usually harder than actually making the dinner. Just make it and bring it over, preferably in disposable containers. New moms have the memory of a gnat and the energy of a sloth and the last thing they need is to wash a baked on mess from your favorite 9X13 and then try to remember to give the pan back to you. And also, if you include dessert too, she'll probably kiss you on the lips.
2) Tell her she looks good, and not "for just having a baby". And try not to look so terrified and appalled when saying it.
3) If you are a really good friend, you could help with the laundry. But I, for one, am not that comfortable with people rooting through my dirty laundry, so better yet, just bring her brand new underwear and socks.
4) Take her older child/children out for a fun afternoon. I mean, let her know your plans ahead of time and everything....Don't just take them....She might freak out when she finds them missing....If she even notices.....
5) Clean out her fridge. If something looks old, it probably is. Just throw it away and don't ask questions.
6) When you ask her what she needs and she says "nothing" she could still use the following items: baby wipes, kitchen sized trash bags, paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, diapers, milk, coffee, and stuff she can snack on at all hours and not feel guilty about (because she is going to still look and feel 6 months pregnant) like muffins, nuts, bagels, granola bars and fresh fruit (but not something that's just going to be more work for her, like a giant, whole watermelon).
7) Know what her favorite drink at Starbucks is and bring it to her. (Decaf Mocha in the winter, Decaf Java Chip in the summer...wink, wink) Okay, that rule applies to all friends. All the time.
8) Now this one can get a little tricky, but depending on the mom and how well you know her, you could offer to hold the baby so she can shower and shave her legs for the first time since she left for the hospital. Some moms might not feel comfortable quite yet, so if they say no, don't push it. New moms can be uber sensitive as to who is holding their newborn.
Side note: I'm NOT one of those uber sensitive moms. Please, hold my baby....
Oh, and if it's 30 minutes into the shower and she's still in there, potentially sobbing, it's okay. Really. You don't need to go in there. Just keep holding the baby. She'll come out when she's ready.
9) Wash your hands when you come in the house, or at least use hand sanitizer. She may or may not think to ask you herself, (and may or may not feel comfortable asking you) but the last thing she needs is a sick baby, mommy, daddy or sibling. And if you are feeling under the weather, please just wait until you are feeling better to visit. (You can leave the new underwear on the doorstep)
10) If you are going to bring a gift for the baby, be sure to include something small for an older sibling too. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, (a matchbox car, coloring book or stickers....just not candy, please!) but the older brother or sister will notice if baby gets something and they don't. And that just leads to a more difficult day for mommy.
And just remember, new mommies are very fragile creatures. (much more fragile than the babies they are caring for) If they forget to thank you, or even say hi to you when you walk in the door, forgive them. We promise we'll come back around to our regular selves soon and hopefully can return the favor to you someday!
How about you? Do you have any ideas to add to the list? What would have been/was really helpful for you when you had a brand new baby in your home?
Posted by Mile High Mom at 11:12 PM