You may have already thought of the perfect gift to get for a new parent, but the best present of all may be giving your time. A lot of new parents are overwhelmed with sleep deprivation, nursing issues and generally getting used to the new tiny person in their house. That’s why this is the best time to offer a helping hand with the things that are left undone. Here’s a few ideas to get you started on the path to BFF all-star.
1. Offer to run errands with her. Your friend would probably love to get out of the house, even if it means going grocery shopping. But with a baby, even the simplest errands can be draining. Offer to help out not by running the errand yourself (although that can be a Godsend too), but by keeping her company while she shops for groceries, post-maternity clothes or baby supplies. She’ll really appreciate having some extra hands to take care of baby and having some much-needed adult time to share what she’s going through.
2. Babysit her older kids. Newborns are a ton of work, and any new mom would be exhausted taking care of a baby. But the most overwhelming part of having a new baby is often juggling baby’s needs with taking care of the older kiddos. If you aren’t up for babysitting a newborn or your friend is too protective of her baby to even consider it, offer to babysit your friend’s older children instead. By taking them to a movie (admit it — you want to see the new Pixar too) or putt-putt golf, or babysitting at home while mom takes her new baby out (and taking the opportunity to clean the house a bit, you awesome human, you), you’ll be giving your friend some quiet time that she can spend bonding — undistracted — with her newest little one.
3. Text before you visit. Shoot your friend a quick message to see if she is up for guests before popping over. There are a ton of reasons why it’s best to give a new mom some space when they are first getting used to caring for their baby. From shifting hormones and breastfeeding issues to finally catching a solid three hours of sleep in the middle of the afternoon, their schedule isn’t like it used to be, and it’s best to check in before you go over.
4. Create the ultimate binge-watching list. Once the new mama is settled into her new routine, life gets a little easier and sometimes a little boring. Newborns sleep a lot and it’s not always easy to sleep when the baby sleeps. Help your buddy out while she’s on maternity leave and email her a list of shows and movies to watch while she has the play and pause button handy. If she’s always been a major bookworm, deliver a few of your fave reads to her house to encourage her to discover her old self (the one before her life seemed centered around baby) for a night.
5. Help her capture the moment by taking pictures. This is the easiest way to help. Your friend likely has a phone filled with images of her little snuggle buddy, but not too many of her and her new baby together. Offer to sit with the baby while she takes a long shower and let her take her time getting prepped for a friendly photo sesh. When she’s ready to go, snap away with her phone and load all the images onto her computer when you’re done.
What were the most helpful things people did for you after your baby came home? Tweet us your stories @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)