Having a new baby is a life-changing event in a woman’s life. It can also be a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to show the new mom they care, by helping her with her baby. I want to talk about why a new mom needs your help more than your advice.
Well-meaning friends and relatives want to give every new mom advice on how to feed, swaddle, sooth, sleep, and educate her new baby (yes, educate – because every kid needs to be a genius by age one). Advice is helpful at times, like one of my
I would encourage all those new mamas: take a nap when the babies nap! You can do your housecleaning another day. ~ Michelle Duggar
I was given advice as a new mom almost thirty years ago, some of it good, but some considered terrible wisdom today. The tips I received were at times opposites of each other and caused me to feel confused and unsure of whether I was making the right decisions for my baby.
Recently I have become a grandmother to a sweet little baby girl, Alice.
Although I had a wealth of knowledge on raising babies and children, I wanted my daughter Charity to tap into the intuition I knew God was going to give her to raise Alice.
If Charity asks for advice, yes I give it. She’s teachable, and she and her husband Dan wanted my advice especially in the first week after Alice’s birth. But I’m not an expert. Some of the decisions I made for my children are not the same one’s Charity and Dan will make for their children. As a mom and grandmother, I need to be okay with that. It’s not an insult to me, but a sign they are tapping into other wonderful resources like; Grandma Dixie (Dan’s mom), her midwife, books, tips from other moms, online resources, and the most important – God (prayer).
What does a mother need, that you can provide and she will also appreciate?
Below are a few ideas and ways you can help out a mother of a new baby.
- Wrap an arm around her and tell her she’s a good mother.
- Volunteer to sleep overnight in the hospital with her so the new dad can be rested and ready to help her when she goes home.
- Bring a homemade meal to the hospital (have you tasted that weird hospital food?)
- Offer to come to sleep overnight during the first week after she goes home and the baby is fussy, so mom and dad can be rested during the day.
- Prepare healthy meals and deliver them. Ask if family members have food allergies. Even a dozen muffins are appreciated. (keep your visit short 15-20 min)
- Wash, dry, and fold laundry.
- Clean bathrooms or floors.
- Babysit so mom can nap during the day.
- Pick up groceries or run errands.
- Go to doctors appointments with her and the baby, having a chauffeur and extra set of arms is helpful.
- Just listen to mommy and pray for her and her family
I asked this question on social media:
As a new mom, what was the one thing people did that was the most helpful?
I wasn’t sure if any women would respond back, but they did! Here are seven responses I received from different women. None of the women saw the other people’s responses:
Make Food! Or do the dishes. Or let mama shower. LOL. So hard to do these essentials with a young one.
Drop off meals or muffins or something to grab on the go.
Buy a sling.
Say, “You’re doing a great job” and not judge or give any annoying comments.
Do my dishes, or bring food, or give me time to nap.
Someone came to watch the baby while I napped uninterrupted, and they cleaned!
Food was the biggest help! But my mother-in-law cleaned my bathroom and my mom cleaned my fridge, these were also really helpful.
I had asked that question after I had written my own helpful tips. As you can see, what I listed is very similar to what these young mom’s said.
Not one of them said, “Give
A new mom needs physical help. But she also requires emotional support. She needs someone to tell her this stage is the hardest, but will eventually pass, and she will feel like her normal self again. These strange emotions she has and the rollercoaster of ups and downs is a mix of sleep deprivation and hormonal imbalances. Most women experience these after birth. The new mother needs to know this is normal and won’t last forever.
Encourage her to get out of the house with her baby and back to a social life with friends and family as quickly as possible. Motherhood can tailspin a woman into isolation and boredom very quickly. Encouraging her to get out and assisting her with her baby in public, can be a big help to her.
Call or message a mom and tell her you
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with a mom and her new baby.
Be sure to be part of her support network, so you don’t miss out on being part of the community she continues to reach out to in the years to come, to help raise her little one.