We have a new baby!!!
Our first grandchild is just a little over a week old and absolutely beautiful (of course ☺)
Since it has been a long time since we have brought home a newborn (almost 21 years), we realize that we are a little rusty on tips that would be helpful to new moms and dads.
So, we asked our daughter to share with us a few tips that would help the rest of us – family and friends in the lives of new parents -- understand a few things.
- Understand that new parents are learning all about their new baby, please give them the space to do so.
- Texting and emailing is okay to get in touch but please hold your phone calls.
- Be understanding if there isn’t a reply for a couple of hours or even a few days to your texts or emails. Feel free to gently get in touch in a few days but do so kindly and without judgment.
- If you do visit the family, take cues from mom and from baby. For example, it may not be a good time to hold the baby. It may be a difficult moment in recovery for mom. It may be an emotional time. Be sensitive about how long to stay.
- If you offer to help and the timing is not right for that kind of help, receive a “no thank you” graciously.
- Remember that new parents are exhausted and don’t expect much from them.
- If mom has had a particularly long or difficult labor or delivery by c-section – mom is recovering and moving a little slowly. Be patient.
- Ask dad what he needs. Often dad gets overlooked and he needs support, too. He has a big job taking care of mom so she can take care of baby. He often is back to work and is carrying a heavier load of responsibility at home until mom is on her feet again.
- Meals are a huge help!
- Offer to do extras when you deliver a meal. One friend offered to grab things from the grocery store on the way over. They also asked if there was anything they could do for the mom and baby while they were dropping off the meal. Another friend included a package of diapers.
- When delivering a meal or meeting the new baby, plan a brief stay of just five minutes or so – unless specifically invited to stay longer.
- Plan to send the mom encouragement through cards, emails, positive messages through social media, etc. Sometimes new moms feel a little isolated especially if their natural bent is to be out and about. Because they don’t want to take their newborn out, and they don’t want lots of people around the newborn at home, they can feel a little cabin fever for those first few weeks of their new baby’s life. A note of “I am thinking about you” can go a long way.
- Be willing to initiate contact without needing a reply right away.
- Spontaneously offer to make a Starbucks run (or pick up whatever the new parents like). You might contact them and say: “ I am heading over to Starbucks – would you like something?
- Mail a Starbucks gift card (or other meaningful-to-them gift card) to the new parents.
What a joy it is when a new child enters the family. Let’s all be as supportive as we can in helping these parents – this family – develop their new normal.