As a parent, I have a wealth of experience raising my kids. But I still remember those early days struggling to figure out what to do. Why was the baby crying? Was I feeding her enough? I was so grateful for all those tips and helpful words of advice from anyone who would offer them.
If a close friend or someone in your family has just had their first baby, there is plenty you can do to help them out.
Some newborns find it difficult to sleep for long. Poor mum can end up exhausted in just a couple of days. If you have three or four hours to sit with a newborn one afternoon, tired mummy can get a much-needed rest. In that time, you may need to offer a feed and a nappy change. Be sure you have everything close to hand.
Some mums find it difficult to grab even a shower each day with a demanding newborn. Even if you’re not too confident about nappies and feeding, you can sit with a baby for twenty minutes while mum gets dressed. You might even bring mum a fresh new outfit, or some makeup to help her feel human again! And don’t forget to bring something nutritious for her to eat.
Organising a Christening or Naming Ceremony is hard to do when you’re sleep deprived and frantically busy with a newborn. You can help by finalising the arrangements and managing the invitations. You could even help find some christening gifts for newborn babies that mum would love to receive. Sometimes, just offering to host and help out with the catering after the ceremony can be a huge relief for a new mum.
Finding the time or energy to clean up around the house is never easy for a new mum. The laundry piles up and so do the dirty dishes. Whenever you pop round, see if you can lend a hand to get some bits done. Perhaps you can take the laundry home to do, or run the vacuum around. Few new mums would be put out by a little domestic assistance!
Getting out and about can feel like the impossible challenge for a new mum. Offer to take her and the baby out in the car to town for a spot of retail therapy and a coffee. It’s important to take your time and not let it feel like a burden. Help pack up the bag and dress the baby for going out. Pop the pram in the car. Pack extra burp cloths and a couple of bottles. Then proudly wheel the pram into the cafe and have a seat. New mums can often feel like they’re in the way or putting people out. You can do a lot to allay her fears.
It won’t take long for mum to feel comfortable in her new role with your support. Any help you can offer will be gratefully received. I remember feeling so awkward the first few times I did anything with my little ones. Then you look around and see other people just getting on with it and it helps. See what help you can give your new mum friend today.