Adjusting to having a new baby in the house can be difficult for the whole family. Sleepless nights and a change in routine can leave mom feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Offering support to a family with a new baby can help them adjust to their new normal. Often when you ask, mom isn’t able to think of the exact way she needs help. Here are some ideas:
Stop by the store
Going to the store with newborn and possibly older children for the first time can be a daunting task. Offer to pick up a few things the family needs. This is especially easy if you will be out running errands already. Many grocery stores now offer drive through pick up. Have the family order and pay for groceries online, then pick them up and deliver them. Helping to put them away would be an extra bonus.
Help around the house
Sweep the floor, fold laundry, vacuum, or do dishes.. Even a little bit of tidying up can make a big difference. A clean house during a time of transition can bring order to a time that feels chaotic. However, mom may prefer to clean herself. Offer to care for the baby and other children while she works on a household project.
Come when others don’t
Not all new moms are “new moms”. Families that are adding their second, third, or fourth child need help just as much as first time moms, if not more. When there are older children there is no time for resting when the baby rests. Older children do not stop activities just because a new baby has arrived and mom and dad are tired. It can be very difficult to entertain a toddler while mom is nursing or changing diapers. Offer to take care of the older children for mom or offer to take care of baby so she can spend some alone time with her older children.
Provide a meal
Friends and family often send versatile casseroles like lasagna after the new baby is home. Try thinking outside the 13x9 pan. Why not bring the family the fixings for breakfast and lunch rather than just dinner?. Stock the freezer with easy, ready to make items like pizza, pasta dishes, soups and crock pot meals. Then the family can pull something out of the freezer when they are not up for cooking. Crunched for time or don’t feel like making an extra meal? Bring the family their favorite take out or send a gift card.
Set up a train
When one meal just doesn’t cover it, set up a meal train using websites like www.signupgenius.com or www.takethemameal.com . Discuss with the family the most convenient dates and times to deliver meals and solicit friends to fill all the open spots. Social media is a great place to recruit people you might not think to ask.