When a baby comes into this world, it is understandable that we want to come over to meet them. We may come over with some flowers or a light snack, or we might come in just to snuggle the newest member of the family and be on our way.
We see our friend or family member in a new way: This beautiful person and their partner(s) have spent a minimum of nine months shifting in and out of incredible periods of growth to nurture that beautiful soul you are holding in your hands.
They’re perfect—they’re soft, their lungs belt out with personality, and they smell like something you wish you could bottle and take home for days where you need extra comfort.
Your loved one shifted from our worldly consciousness into one so deep, rhythmical, and instinctual that their body was able to connect to this tiny new human and bring them before our eyes.
It’s so raw, it’s so beautiful, but it’s exhausting.
Sleep schedules are changing as parent and baby begin to create a routine. Mama is producing milk while healing her wombspace, supportive partners are trying to comfort her and connect with baby while answering phone calls and helping with visitors.
The last thing new parents want to be is a host or housekeeper to the shuffle of visitors coming in and out the door.
So what do I propose? Lend a hand, be your own host!
I understand that each person is different with their level of comfort when it comes to allowing help into their lives (especially when it comes to someone actually touching your dirty laundry) but there is always something you can do to support the home of a new baby.
Below are a list of ideas that you can incorporate into that baby moon period to comfort and ease both parents and baby:
Ask if there is anything you can bring over when you Arrive: A beverage? Toilet paper? A meal? Cat food? They may say no, but it’s the thought that counts.
When you arrive, see if you can do an errand run for them during the week. Maybe a light burnt out in the bathroom or they’re running low on bread for toast. Leaving the house with an infant to jump into a busy store isn’t something a lot of parents wish to do right away. Why not see if you can do it for them or accompany them when they need to do so?
Start a Meal Train: Get a few friends together to schedule meal drop offs for the new household. Bring enough for the current day’s meal, leftovers for the next day and potentially something to freeze.
*when you bring the meal over, take a peek in the fridge to rid it of any items that may have spoiled.
Throw a load of laundry on: You’re coming over for a snuggle with baby? Why not start your visit with doing a load of laundry. Stay long enough to fold it and put it away or ask the next visitor to finish the job for you.
Chores: clean the bathroom, do a load of dishes, bring the garbage to the curb, see if you can run the vacuum through the house. The way time changes when you make the shift from pregnancy to parenthood is incredible, these tasks could help parents focus on the health and growing personality of their new little one.
Remember the animals: Do your loved ones have a dog who might want to come out with you on your morning walk? Does the cat need it’s little box checked? A fish tank that needs cleaning? Oh, they’re exotic with a lizard, right. Maybe you can run out and bring in some crickets or take them home for a week or two. A new baby changes the attention given to our furry (or scaly) friends, remember to love them too!
Remember the other children: It is incredibly important for siblings to learn about the process of birth and infant care not just for the relationship aspect but to see the responsibility that comes along with it. But kids still need to be kids—they need to go to the park and jump around or paint rocks. They might want to go to the grocery store with you just for a change of landscape or have your attention while they bathe so they’re able to make bubble beards for more than 10 minutes. How about driving the older kids to school or taking them on a special date day. It is a shift for everyone!
You’re not comfortable going through someone’s house? See if the parents want to shower while you hold baby! Trust me. Being hands free for a while so parents can walk around the block a few times, make their own meal, or shower will make the world of a difference. Maybe they want to read a book or send some emails, have a phone call that is moderately uninterrupted, run out to grab themselves a coffee or wander the main street for a few minutes.
OR give a little massage, rub some legs or feet while they’re breastfeeding or resting together. Remind them of their beautiful frame and all it has done.
Our friends and loved ones are incredible. They’ve shifted what they know of their current life to nourish a new child. It’s selfless, it’s raw, it’s admirable.
So take a second before you stop by empty handed. Set an intention to support these humans as they venture down an incredible path together and show them your love and support energetically, verbally, and physically. The little things won’t go unnoticed.
With Love, from Ficus.