How to help a new mom


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Being a mom of four makes me sort of a professional at the mom thing, right? I mean, of course, I still goof stuff up and mess up, but I have a pretty good idea about it. I also know what/how people can help me when I’m just bringing home a new baby. Of course, everybody is different, but these are things that totally have helped our family. Some of this is “things” and some of this is “time” so you can help out in an assortment of ways and all will be helpful.

How to help a new mom 1. Plan your visit and get an okay. A visitor at the hospital is nice. Especially if your husband has to go home and take care of other little ones. And, a visitor at home is nice, too. But, please, do not show up unannounced. It’s just not right anytime, but especially when there is a new baby. There’s just a lot going on with a post-birth body and the new adjustments that you have to let them know you are coming over. During that call, ask if there is anything you can pick up on your way over.

How to help a new mom

2. Bring food and/or snacks. Having a new baby requires a special amount of stamina and lack of sleep. If you are only getting an hour of sleep here or there, you need a lot of food to keep yourself going. If you are breastfeeding, you need that much more food. It’s often hard to even get a chance to cook, let alone eat, so bringing over a hot meal or even a meal for the freezer for later is so helpful. Even some easy grab and go snacks like pieces of fruit, little portions of nuts or other healthy snacks are great. Didn’t get the okay for a visit? Text mom and tell her you dropped a meal on her front porch. (Pro Tip: Check and see if there are any dietary restrictions in the house. It’s very much appreciated.)

gift basket for new mom fall

I recommend doubling down on this even more. Not only will you bring a hot meal ready to eat (again something easy to eat and maybe reheat), but maybe put together a fun themed basket like this fall new mom basket that’s all about mom. A little food, tasty snacks, and a super easy meal to pull together last minute down the road. Dinner time cooking never gets easier.

gift baskets for a new mom

This basket is solely for mom (and dad) because moms are often forgotten about when a new baby is born. And it’s dual purpose, some for now (snacks and water) and some for later when mom needs a quick hand. 

In this basket, I included New Simply Creamy Alfredo with Cauliflower from RAGÚ, a traditional creamy Alfredo sauce that replaces the heavy cream with milk and cauliflower to create a sauce you can feel better about serving. Of course, I also included some fettuccini noodles. Top this with some Sun Dried Tomato Fruitons and dinner is served in about the time it takes to cook some noodles!

ragu alfredo with cauliflower

To make things easier later, I included THE NOODLE SOUP ORACLE: Hundreds of Possibilities for the World’s Favorite Comfort Food by Michele Humes. This isn’t a traditional noodle soup cookbook. It’s a mix-and-match guide to building the dish you want to eat! First, choose your noodle. Next, pick your soup — from scratch or from a box or can (yes, a box or can, because we are all about easy here). Then choose the proteins, vegetables, and flourishes that will give your bowl color and character. The oracle’s tried-and- true noodle soup and pho recipes inspire you to make unique dishes.

noodle soup oracle and egg peeler

Many people like to include a boiled egg with their soups. Have you ever tried to peel a hard boiled egg and it takes forever? I also included the Negg® which makes the tedious task of peeling eggs easy, fast and fun. The Negg provides home cooks with a quick and easy way to get down to the “naked egg,” which led to the name Negg®. 

3. Offer to be a resource. Have you done the mom thing? Be your friend’s go-to person. I told my sister she could call me or text me at all hours after my niece was born, and I’m pretty sure it was a blessing to her. And, I know I’ve done the same since B was born.

4. Clean. Yes, I’m going out on a limb here. I know people are very particular. I don’t care how the clothes get put away as long as they are washed and folded/hung up in some manner. It will totally help me if you wash my baby’s clothes. When you do wash them, please use something they already have on hand and/or double check the detergent they use for their clothes. I’m also perfectly happy with you loading or unloading my dishwasher (just know I might call you later to ask where you put my colander).

5. Hold the baby. I go back and forth here, but offer to hold the new baby and insist mom either goes and takes a nap, gets a hot shower or a hot meal. Let her know that you are confident keeping her baby happy and that she can take 15 minutes to herself and not feel guilty about it. But, don’t hog the baby! (And know that some people might not want you to hold the baby, so be okay with this, too.)

6. Just do it. Another limb here, but just do something to help. Don’t ask, if you are welcome at the house, you are likely welcome to do something useful. Even refilling mom’s ice water and making sure she is hydrated without asking is huge. New moms need constant hydration. (Let’s me honest, we all do!). Sometimes, plain water can be a little boring. That’s why I put in some Trader Joe’s Organic Herbal Flavored Waters. They are very clean with zero calories, sugar or sweeteners. The water has a subtle refreshing flavor that keeps water interesting. I like both the Organic Lemon Ginger and the Organic Lemongrass Spearmint. Bring it refrigerated so mom can open one and drink it immediately. 

trader joes flavor infused water

When you refill that water, bring mom a snack, too. Sun Dried Tomato Fruitons and Sun-Dried Cherry Fruitons from Traina Foods are both great snacks for a new mom. These sun-dried fruits are incredibly delicious, portable and not messy and have simple ingredients. Plus they are a snack that allows mom to get real fruit in her diet. They can be eaten alone or sprinkled on top of a salad, ice cream, yogurt, granola, pasta and more. 

fruit-ons snacks for a new mom

7. Help dad be comfortable. Some dads can be a little nervous helping mom and baby. Offer some third-party tips that worked well for you. While mom is getting that shower, show dad tips for soothing a fussy baby (ssshhing, swaddling, swaying, sucking, side were the best ones for us), or show dad how to wear his baby. I’m pretty sure most dads want to be useful and sometimes aren’t sure exactly what to do. Having them refill mom’s drink and bringing a snack goes a long way, too.

8. Borrow the older kids. Are there older siblings at the house? Borrow them to “help” with a project at your house. Or take them on an outing to a park (yay for burning off energy) or even a walk around the neighborhood.

9. Be a good listener. Birthing babies is hard. And it might not go exactly as planned. Most moms need to talk about it and share their birth story. Some don’t want to talk about it ever. Be a good listener and talk about what they want or need to talk about. Don’t ask mom about when she’s going back to work (if that’s the case). Don’t say what you will or won’t do when you are in whatever the situation may be.

10. Be an encourager. Being a mom is tough. Being a new mom is even tougher and combine that with all of the hormones and emotions and you get all the feelings. Just encourage mom. Say positive things. Smile. Make a silly joke. Talk about a good book you read (and if you are finished, leave it for mom to read during those late night feeding sessions.) Remember you came there as mom’s friend/coworker/supporter.

Are there other ways you like to help out a new mom? Or just a friend in general?

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  1. This is an excellent list of GOOD ways to help. I especially love that you have warned folks to not show up unannounced. Sheesh. You’d think that would be a given. But, it’s totally not. 🙂

  2. Ellen Casper says:

    Take naps during the day when your baby is sleeping

  3. My tip is to text first asking if it’s okay to call. My mom always called me and if I didn’t answer she would call me over again before assuming the worst had happened. But in reality, I just couldn’t get to my phone or was trying to sleep. That ticked me off especially when I was preggo.

  4. Jessie C. says:

    Ask for help whenever you feel the need, it is the best for both of you and baby.

  5. These are good tips. I really like the recognition that the new, mom thing is hard.

  6. Do not ask her how the weight loss is going and do not bother her about how often you get to see the baby!

  7. My tip is to bring healthy and nutritious meals for the family so mom and dad don’t have to worry about what they will be eating for dinner.

  8. Yep, it’s been awesome that I was able to text you, and still do! I hope I am able to do that for a friend in a few months 🙂

  9. These are fabulous tips. I love all of them! As a mom, I would say if you wanted to bring something, check the registry to see what we liked, what we might be missing, or what our style is. Or when you bring food, bring something I can throw in the freezer for when I REALLY need it. Those days when you just can’t cook are many at that stage!

  10. My big one is the meal or snack. I got two Edible Arrangements with my last one and they were the best energy booster and breast feeding booster!

  11. These are great tips! I especially like the snack idea, or bringing a dinner that can be frozen and eaten whenever. As a Mom of three, I would have loved for a friend to spend some time with my two boys when my daughter was born, too.

  12. One tip I would suggest for a new mom is to let your close family/friends help you in other ways like grocery shopping and cleaning the house. That way you can focus on baby!

  13. Mary Happymommy says:

    Cook and freeze meals while you’re pregnant so you have easy to prepare meals once the baby arrives.

  14. jennifer laur says:

    my tip is to offer to hold the baby while mom showers, but don’t HOG the baby. the time immediately following birth is extraordinarily important for mom and baby, don’t impede on that precious time. yes, i know you’re all exited to meet the baby, but no one is more excited than mom.

  15. My tip is to try and rest when the baby is resting. Even if you can have someone come over and watch the baby for an hour or two while you rest.

  16. I love your list… I would say asking to visit is a big one… and bringing a meal – especially if they have more than one kid… they could use the help 🙂

  17. Stephanie Phelps says:

    Wow you covered everything a lot I have not thought to do but several I do for my new mommie friends! I also offer to babysit so Mom and Dad can go out or grocery shop for them!

  18. Love this article!! Will definitely pass it along to friends and hope that they go by it in a couple months!!

  19. You mentioned the one that I thought would’ve been the most helpful after my third was born — offer to take the older kids! I think mine felt bored and neglected and it would’ve been fabulous to have someone schedule some dates with them. Even if it was just taking them out to play at a park and get an ice cream cone, it would’ve provided a much-needed breather for all of us. Great post, BTW!

  20. I would suggest to trust your gut and make decisions about your child by what you believe is best because you love your child more than any one else.

  21. All so very true. Especially the listener and encourager. Priceless!

  22. It was useful to me when people were specific in what they were offering instead of giving a blanket offer to help. I knew there were lots of people willing to do things for us, but it took too much energy to come up with ideas to give them. If I was asked (text/call), “Hey, I’m at the store, is there anything I can grab for you?” I could easily answer with whatever was on my mind at that moment. Easy, and no guilt. On the other hand, it was too much effort for me to realize I needed, say, milk and then go about finding someone who could run to the store for us.

  23. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I would say to take any help that is offered by family or friends

  24. Thomas Murphy says:

    Take naps when your baby sleeps.

  25. I agree with the sleeping when baby sleeps. That is one of the things most moms don’t do…I know I didn’t with my first but I made sure with my second, I always slept when he did. Offering to babysit or just come by for a bit so the new mom can get a shower in or whatever, is probably the most helpful. Or bring by a meal.

  26. One of the best things someone did for me was take my older 2 kids to the playground for me. That way they got to go play, and I got some one on one time with baby!

  27. Stephanie says:

    ask for help!! thats a must

  28. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    My Tip Is To Sleep When The Baby Sleeps.

  29. Jessica To says:

    My advice would be to try to relax and enjoy your baby.

  30. sleep when your baby sleeps

  31. Tabathia B says:

    Sleep when the baby sleeps and leave the cleaning for later and accept help when given

  32. Leigh Anne Borders (@laborders2000) says:

    I think one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to sleep when the baby is sleeping;)

  33. Nicole Dz says:

    I would tell her, to always have patience and to make sure you cherish every moment because they really do grow up fast.

  34. Kelly Tupick says:

    I would tell her that it can be overwhelming at times but that you are not alone. What you are going through, every new mother feels the same. Rest when baby rests and don’t worry if housework gets backed up. There is always time to do housework later.

  35. Karen Glatt says:

    When the Baby is sleeping try to take a nap or rest to get your energy back. Also, the new mother needs to ask for help so she can get a much needed break.

  36. shelly peterson says:

    Definitely nap when your baby is. Take any help that is offered.

  37. I could have sworn I entered already…
    I would say offer to bring food… or let mama take a nap (Or a nice relaxing bath!)

  38. Go with your gut and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

  39. Lindsey D. says:

    Don’t be afraid to turn away visitors

  40. Jessica Beard says:

    Try to sleep when they do. Accept any help and meals.

  41. Barbara Montag says:

    I’d advise a new mom to get as much rest as she can – although I know that’s difficult.
    thank you

  42. tammy shelton says:

    When baby sleeps … you sleep.

  43. be open and willing to accept help

  44. Asking for help its ok , there is many people around willing to help with whatever is needed

  45. Say YES to family members who want to help out.

  46. steven weber says:

    When baby sleeps … you sleep.

  47. No matter how much you want to spend time cuddling that baby, give the mom space if she seems to be brushing you off. I just wanted to be left alone to figure out nursing and sleep patterns after my daughter was born. My family and friends gave me a few days before they pounced, and I really appreciated it!

  48. I am not a mother yet, so I don’t have any experience to give tips, but I enjoy all the advice I have read from the comments.

  49. My tip is to get light blocking curtains for babies’ room to help them sleep better.

  50. Deborah Gardner says:

    Get your baby on a routine as soon as you can!

  51. Stephanie Gossett says:

    I would try and babysit for the new mom and hubby to go out. My mother came over, and did this for me. It was hard at first to leave my daughter, but going out made me feel human again. I would love to win this for a new mom at my church!

    teffgossett at gmail dot com

  52. Always trust your own mommy instinct, don’t let others tell you what they think is best for your child. Every mom is different and every child is different!


  53. Keep the help coming beyond the first few weeks. Being a new mom is ard.

  54. Be rude. If people want to “drop” in and see the baby. Have them call first.

  55. janetfaye says:

    My tips is to set a bedtime routine for the baby.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  56. Susan Christy says:

    Nap when they nap and accept all the help that is offered.

  57. Georgie C says:

    My tip is have everything organized in the babies room wether it diapers at hand, wipes, pins, lotions, clothing for the day, blankets, bibs, or protector pads. Things go much better when everything has it’s own individual place also have baby bottles made ahead of time in multiples

  58. I like to hold the baby – that is my favorite!

    I also tend to clean for new mommies, both of which I know you already suggested.

    If there are older children we take them on an excursion to give mommy some time to herself with the new baby.

  59. Robin Wilson says:

    Rely on your instincts and rest, nap, sleep every chance you get!

  60. Lisa Brown says:

    don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends; they want to help out 🙂

  61. Try to get your advice from people who are more like you – what works for some people – for instance – extremely organized ppl – might not work for you at all!! Also, enjoy your little one!

  62. Jeccica Simpson says:

    Get plenty of rest, try to sleep when baby sleeps, it will all pass!

  63. Get plenty of rest, try to sleep when baby sleeps.

  64. Sleep when the baby sleeps!

  65. Patricia Wojnar Crowley says:

    I think it’s important to ask for help when you need it!

  66. My tip would be to take time for yourself so that you are the best Mother you can be to your new baby (and other children if you have).

  67. Tracy Robertson says:

    I think your tips covered everything for helping a new mom! I can’t think of anything else to add that you haven’t already mentioned.

  68. Listen to the advice, but trust your instincts!

  69. My tip is to not worry so much. A lot of new parents worry that they aren’t being perfect but no one is, just be the best parent you can be and trust yourself.

  70. Melissa M says:

    Sleep when baby sleeps, for real!

  71. Ask for help when needed, take time for yourself and your partner, Thank you!

  72. be patient and dont stress out, especiallly when it comes to breast feeding.. lootttsss of patience!!

  73. Wanda McHenry says:

    Try to relax because your baby can sense if you’re stressed and will themselves become unhappy and cranky.

  74. christine jessamine says:

    my best tip is to get as much sleep as you can

  75. Jennifer Marie says:

    Rest when you can. Take deep breaths 🙂

  76. amy pugmire says:

    sleep when the baby sleeps if you can.

  77. cook, clean, babysit.. even if it’s just so she can shower or nap. provide adult
    conversation and compliment her!

  78. I would have to say not to worry about what everyone tells you…do whats best for you and baby!

  79. My tip is to accept any and all offers of help, even if you think you don’t need/want it.

  80. Jill McHale says:

    I would suggest for the new mommy to sleep while the baby sleeps. I never did this and I walked around like a zombie all day.

  81. Elisabeth says:

    My advice would be to follow your instinct and not worry so much about doing things “right”.

  82. lori clark says:

    let them get some rest! sleep helps so much, and new moms dont get much of it!

  83. Kim Kihega says:

    Really sleep when the baby sleeps! It helps a lot!

  84. sleep when the baby sleeps

  85. Jill Myrick says:

    These are all excellent tips.
    I always try to helps friends by cooking enough meals for a week, offering to take the older children home with me so that Mom and baby can have some adjustment time and I always fix a new mom basket with things like soft fuzzy socks, bath and body works, tea, a throw etc to welcome her home.


  86. Anna Lussenburg says:

    Good advice as many people have trouble knowing how best to respond when a new baby comes. Providing food and cleaning help and lots of encouragement to take naps are all wonderfully helpful. That and providing a good listening ear. Parents just need to find themselves and their own equilibrium in those first few weeks.

  87. As a not-so new mom since my daughter is now a year old, I remember feeling anxious about my duties as a mom and worrying about whether I would do a fantastic job with my daughter. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a new mom is to offer genuine encouragement to her and express your confidence in her abilities. A brand new wardrobe would be a great gift for new moms so I would give them a gift card to her favorite clothing store.

  88. These are all excellent ideas! Sometimes new parents could use the smallest things to help, heck sometimes just sitting with them and listening is a great thing to do :).

  89. Baby Names says:

    The tired Mom needs more rest and sleep, do what you can to help her get more sleep and food.

  90. Baby Names says:

    Thanks for the posting, it is not easy to be a good mom.

  91. Hi Krystyn,
    Love this! Thank you for sharing.
    Seriously … HELP. That’s one of the things I simply didn’t get from most people.
    I had a sweet group of friends gather some money for food (it’s hard for people to cook for my food intolerances) and my dad would grab me food if he was in town. But, I definitely didn’t have people ever cook, clean, or let me take a nap. With my second baby, I spent the last couple months of my pregnancy making freezer meals so our family could eat more home-cooked goods than take-out.
    And, yes, more encouragement! Being a new mom is rough (even the second time) … nice words to keep mom going is greatly appreciated.
    ~Ivy B

  92. I would also add, hire a cleaner for the new mom. There’s nothing like taking care of your new baby in a clean house.

    1. Yes, agreed. My grandmother did this for me for a few months and it was so nice…and then I kept it going and had to pay myself!

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