How to Support New Parents
How to support new parents
You’ve seen the precious pictures, been told the birth weight, and discussed who the baby looks like. After wishing a heartfelt congratulation to the incredible new parents, you want to lend a helping hand after they bring home their beautiful bundle of joy. Where to start? It is common to struggle with determining what would be helpful to the parents. After pondering what you could do, you may go for a gift card or cash. Take a minute to consider other beneficial options to gift, besides money.
Helping the new parents short term
Instead of offering money, consider helpful services. The parents are exhausted, adjusting to taking care of a newborn and running on fumes. Taking some weight off their shoulders would be beneficial. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you can do for those you love:
Drop off food or order delivery Overwhelmed new parents are working hard to take care of their newborn, missing numerous amounts of sleep, and juggling healing. They would appreciate a meal that they don’t have to cook themselves. Taking this off their hands gives them extra bonding time with their baby and takes away unnecessary stress. New parents could use some fuel for their bodies!
Offer to take over newborn care After not taking their eyes off their newborn, these parents could surely use a break. Whether they simply want to watch TV, stare at the wall, or get some shut-eye; any break is a huge relief. Even if you offer a few hours, it is enough to replenish their energy. Maybe even bring a coffee with you for their post-nap treat! If you can, offer to watch the baby for the night. If the mother is breastfeeding, bring her the baby when they wake up and handle the rest!
Ask the parents what they need Parents know themselves the best. They know their needs and what they would like most. Many parents don’t want to ask themselves. Give the best gift you can by helping them with emotional or mental needs, giving what they need the most. It is difficult to be the best parent you can be when you're struggling. You cannot pour from an empty pot.
Leave encouraging notes It can be lonely when adapting to the new parent roles. Leaving them little notes throughout the home for them to find seems like such a small task. This small gesture can have a huge impact, greatly lifting up the parents. Finding little reminders of people who love them, and special quotes will leave them feeling phenomenal and give them strength.
Sunlight and exercise Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D with benefits after only twenty minutes in the sun per day. If possible, offer to go on walks with the parents and baby. Getting everyone out of the house in the fresh air helps breathe life back into everyone. Uplifting their mood and getting the body going. Having a conversation with you and some normalcy will greatly help anyone’s day!
Running errands A parent’s to-do list can be a mile long, leaving anyone feeling overwhelmed. Ask the parents if you can run their errands for them, take some of their responsibilities, giving them more time to bond with their baby, and lower stress levels. They will be forever thankful!
Clean Cleaning their homes is something new parents may struggle to balance. Cleaning their home for them, or hiring a cleaning service, would be astounding. Having a clean home makes anyone feel better! Take their stress away.
Check-ins Keeping in touch with new parents can be crucial. As beautiful as the parenthood journey is, there are challenges. Letting the parents know that you are there and supportive of them is one of the most outstanding things you can do. It doesn’t have to be much, just a few texts a day. If you feel they are exhausted, offer to help in a way that you’re able to.
Verbalize efforts Tell the parents that they are doing an excellent job and acknowledge their efforts. Many parents never hear the good they are doing, and it is refreshing to hear.
Helping the parents long term
After the newest addition is added to the family, they are busy with everyone coming to meet their baby and checking in. Unfortunately, after the first few weeks, the number of people checking in regularly goes down substantially.
While having a baby is blissful and a blessing, it is necessary to continue to support the parents long term. They will face challenges, be exhausted, and struggle. This is normal, be there for them. Continue to do what you can to let them know you are here when they need you. Do dine-in dates where you go to their house and cook dinner. If you aren’t much of a chief, grab some carry-out. Hold their baby while you are there or do a load of laundry. A little help means the absolute world to them.
Being a parent is a full-time job that never ends. It is a journey to cherish and be thankful for, help those you love in their remarkable journey.
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