Bringing a new baby home is the ultimate roller-coaster ride for new parents — they’re high on hormones and in awe of the incredible little life they’ve created, while also being terrified of messing up and somehow doing the wrong thing by their baby. That’s where you come in. Show your support for friends and relatives who are expanding their family with more than a cute onesie for bub, and instead offer the gift of hands-on, practical help.
Offer to babysit
If the family has older children, offer to look after them for a few hours or take them out to the park to give mum and dad a break. Alternatively, offer to watch over baby while they take a much-needed nap.
Help them stock up on essentials
When you pop in for a visit, there’s no harm in bringing a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk with you. Sometimes new parents struggle to get out of the house to stock up on essentials, so this gesture will be much appreciated!
Don’t act like a guest
If you visit your friends or relatives and their newest family member, don’t expect to be treated like a guest. Instead, tell mum to rest while you make the tea and coffee; tidy up in the kitchen as you go and bring a selection of baked treats with you that the family can snack on well after you’re gone.
Bring treats for mum
Whether she’s breastfeeding or bottle feeding, mum is going to spend several hours each day ensuring her little one drinks enough milk or formula. A stash of magazines, books and homemade treats is the perfect gift to help her through those 2 a.m. feeds.
Offer to run errands
Does little Leila normally have soccer practice on Saturday mornings? Or is your best friend’s mum flying in from out-of-town to visit her brand new grandchild? It may seem like a small gesture, but offering to help out with errands such as airport pick-ups and drop-offs can be a huge help to the family in those early days of bringing baby home.
Cook them nutritious meals
Between changing nappies, feeding, burping and generally keeping their precious newborn healthy and happy, new parents tend to neglect their own appetites and nutrition. As a result, the first few weeks of a baby’s life can include an endless supply of fast food and vegemite on toast for mum and dad! One of the easiest ways you can show your support to friends and relatives who have recently welcomed a new baby is to cook freezer-ready meals to get them through dinner-time in a healthy manner.
Help out around the house
You don’t have to settle in with the vacuum cleaner for an hour-long stint, but it doesn’t hurt to take the garbage to the wheelie bin, or wash the lunch dishes during your visit. It’s just one less thing for mum and dad to worry about.
Hire a professional cleaner
Any sleep-deprived new mum will tell you that the last thing she or her partner feels like doing is housework! Encourage a group of friends or relatives to pitch in on a gift certificate for a professional house cleaner to visit the house each week or fortnight for a couple of months. It’s a gift they will really treasure!