This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?