I was so lucky to work with Danielle, from Piece of Cake Parenting! She has some awesome tips on how to (really) help a new mom and has graciously shared them with us at The Mamma’s List! Feel free to read more about her in her biography box at the bottom of this post.
When a new baby arrives, we all want to rush over to cuddle the tiny baby and help out the new parents. But how can you make sure that your visits are the most helpful and the least stressful for new moms and babies? What can you do to truly help a new mom during those early days?
As a new mom, I loved having my family and friends come over to visit my baby. But I was also surprised at how stressful these visits made me feel. Often, I felt pressured to rearrange my schedule on short notice to accommodate visitors. I always felt guilty that my house was a messy disaster. And sometimes I even felt jealous that everyone else was cuddling my baby and I never seemed to get a chance to hold him.
As people stopped by, I quickly learned what helped me to feel less stressed, more re-energized, and more appreciative of their visits. The visitors that made the biggest difference weren’t stopping by to visit my baby (although that was a perk!). Instead, they focused on stopping by to help me, the new mom.
If you embrace this way of thinking and follow these ten quick tips, you’re guaranteed to make a big difference for the new moms in your life.
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1 – Schedule a Time to Visit
If you’re planning on visiting, make sure to check in with the new mom beforehand. Although you’re excited to meet the new baby, remember that your main goal is to help mom. Ask what time is best to ensure you’re visiting at a helpful time instead of a stressful time.
About 15-30 minutes before you’re planning to visit, check in again to ask it’s still a good time to visit. Because the newborn days are so variable, a lot can change and sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is give mom the chance to reschedule.
Even though mom might have initially said it was a good time, things come up. She might need to nurse and not be ready to breastfeed in public. Or the baby might be fussy and she might want a couple of minutes to calm him down without extra people around. Mom might even be in the middle of a quick nap and not want to wake up to entertain guests right now.
Check-in beforehand and give new moms the option to push back your visit a little or even reschedule. This way you know that you’re visiting at the best time and not adding any extra stress to their day.
2 – Offer to Run a Few Errands
As soon as that baby arrives, life gets busier. And it becomes much trickier to swing by the grocery store, drop off the bills, and finish those other little errands.
One way to help new moms is to talk to mama beforehand and let her know that you’re planning on running a few errands before your visit. Then get her to-do list as well. Make sure that she knows it’s no big deal and you really want to help with all of those little errands that aren’t as easy with a newborn. Mom will appreciate the help and be relieved that she doesn’t have to worry about all of these little tasks between nursing sessions, naps, and baby snuggles.
3 – Bring a Frozen Meal
Newborns require a LOT of attention. They eat every couple of hours, need a fresh diaper many times a day, and want to snuggle all the time. To make things more challenging, many newborns have their days and nights confused, leaving mom even more tired after a sleepless night.
All of this means that new moms find it nearly impossible to find the time and energy to cook meals.
But you can easily help with this! Every time you stop by to visit, bring along a freezer meal. This gives easy and delicious meal options on even the busiest days. I promise the new mom will be praising your name when she can quickly pop in a freezer meal and later enjoy a nice warm meal, no matter how hectic her day has been.
4 – Bring Over Takeout Food
Like I mentioned before, newborns make it much more challenging to get out of the house. You need to pack up the diaper bag and load up the car seat. Plus you risk messing up your baby’s schedule and having a fussy baby on your hands.
Unfortunately, this means many new moms don’t get out of the house as often as they wish. And might leave them craving their favorite restaurants.
Help out new moms by bringing along takeout food when you visit. Ask mom and dad what they’re craving and stop by a restaurant or swing through the driveway on your way over. This takes away their stress of figuring out what to feed you while you visit. Plus, they’ll love the chance to chat with you over some warm takeout that they’ve been craving!
5 – Get Gift Certificates for Delivery Places
Because it’s harder to get out of the house and make time to cook once the baby arrives, delivery food is amazing! For us, it was a lifesaver! It was our favorite way to enjoy restaurant food without worrying about lugging our baby out of the house.
A great way to help out new moms with a newborn is to bring over a gift card to a few local delivery places. Mama will love all of the future food options this will give her. Because of your gift, she can enjoy hot food from her favorite restaurants and even sneak in a little date night – without ever leaving the house or even changing out of sweatpants.
6 – Watch the Baby While Mom Sleeps
When you’re visiting a new mom, of course, you also want to hold the new baby! The best way to combine holding the baby AND helping new moms is to watch the baby while mom sleeps.
The key to this tip is to give her a real break. If she’s breastfeeding, take the baby as soon as she’s done nursing and then tell mom to go take a nap while you watch the baby. Act like mom isn’t there at all and you run the show while she takes a genuine break. Try to let her rest as long as possible while you cuddle, sooth, and play with the baby.
Any new mom will love you for helping her to finally get some rest!
7 – Help with a Few Chores
It is so hard to stay caught up on housework while balancing your role as a new mom. So new mamas can use all the help they can get!
Every time you stop by to visit, help out with a few chores. Insist that mom takes a break to just relax and enjoy snuggling with her baby. Then ask mom what chores she wants help with. Fold a load of laundry. Load up the dishwasher. Clean the litter box. Change the baby’s diaper. Make sure that she knows that you are genuinely there to help out and no chore is off limits.
Finish a few chores before and after you snuggle the baby to help out and really make a difference for the new mom.
8 – Watch the Baby While Mom Enjoys Some Me-Time
New moms have to be mom all the time. They rarely get a break to relax and enjoy a little time for themselves.
Offer to help new moms by babysitting while she gets out of the house for a few hours. Let her know that you can spoil and watch the baby while she takes a break go for a walk, get a massage, or even just drive around and relax by herself for a while.
She’ll appreciate the chance to feel like herself again feel rejuvenated after a little baby break.
9 – Babysit for Date Night
As soon as the baby is born, parents transition from being a couple to being mom and dad. And constantly focusing on the baby makes it hard to focus on one other.
Insist that you are going to stop by and babysit for a while so they can go out on a date. Give them the opportunity to get out of the house together and spend time as a couple, maybe even enjoy dinner and a movie together!
This will help immensely because they can take a little break from being parents and catch up with one another without also worrying about their baby.
10 – Don’t Stay Too Long
As much as new moms love having you over to help around the house and snuggle with the baby, try not to stay too long.
As a new mom, it can be overwhelming trying to entertain guests while you’re feeling tired, trying to figure out nursing, and helping your baby squeeze in enough time napping.
Stop by to visit for a couple of hours and then sneak out until your next visit to make sure that you don’t overstay your welcome and stay as helpful as possible for new moms.
What are Other Ways to Help New Moms?
Following these easy tips guarantees that you will be able to truly help new moms. You’ll make the newborn days easier and help them to enjoy their little baby even more.
What did you find helpful when people stopped by to visit you and your newborn?
Share your ideas and tips in the comments below!
Danielle is the creator of Piece of Cake Parenting, a parenting blog for new and expecting parents. She shares newborn tips and baby information to make the newborn days easier and more enjoyable for all parents.