How to Truly Help a Friend with a Newborn

How to Truly Help a Friend with a NewbornWhether you have kids or not, being truly helpful to a friend with a newborn is the best gift a new mom could receive.  Even those with kids often don’t think about what it means to be truly helpful because we often get caught up in outdated etiquette that is actually beyond unhelpful to new mothers.  We’re here to show you how to truly help a friend with a newborn.

Help around the house:  When you come over to a new mom’s house while her baby is sleeping, don’t make her sit and talk to you.  That is her time.  Instead, let her take a nap or a shower while you tidy up, fold laundry, run to the grocery store for her or put together the four new baby items that are still in their boxes.  Be useful, don’t eat up her time.

Organize a meal train:  What’s better than bringing your friend’s family a meal?  Getting all of her friends to provide meals for the first month after the baby arrives.  There are online sign-up programs that make organizing meal trains simple and streamlined.  Be sure to ask the mom the types of foods she wants for her family and be mindful of food allergies and dietary restrictions, especially if mom is breastfeeding.

Get her a gift she really wants:  It’s nice to get adorable outfits, burp clothes and blankets, but new moms usually get tons of these generic gifts from people who don’t know her very well.  Ask the new mom what she wants and actually get it for her, even if it is a box of diapers, breast shields for her pump or housecleaning service.

Arrange playdates for older siblings:  Pick up her older kids and let them play with your kids or others outside of their home to allow mom time to bond with her baby or get some chores done.  This is a gift to the whole family.

Listen to her without judging:  Being a new mom can be very hard for even experienced mothers.  Ask your friend how she is doing and actually listen to her without negating her feelings or imparting your personal judgment.  Sometimes just expressing herself will make her feel better.

Sit with her while she breastfeeds:  When mothers exclusively breastfeed, they can get lonely day-in and day-out.  Spend your lunch break sitting with her while she breastfeeds so she has some company that can actually talk back and doesn’t spit up on her.

Take her out:  Make your new mom friend get out of the house when she’s capable so she’ll remember that life is not the bubble she’s been living in with a newborn.  Even if you just take a walk in the park to get fresh air or have a quick girls’ night dinner, remembering what the outside world is like will do her some good.

Tell her all the mistakes you made as a new mom:  New mothers often feel they are the only ones struggling and constantly making mistakes.  Share your blunders with her to help her feel better about her own.  It will probably give both of you a good laugh too.

Give her space:  If your friend says she wants to be left alone, give her that space for the first little while.  She may want to soak up all the time she and her partner have with their newborn before returning to work.  Do be cautious though that your friend isn’t avoiding you because she is depressed.  Intervene if you think she needs help.  Also, if others are constantly bothering her by dropping by to see the baby, be on hand to “manage the door” and let visitors talk your ear off instead of hers.

Be an awesome friend and think about how to truly help a friend with a newborn!