Monday, February 20, 2012

My Tips For Helping Those Who’ve Had Babies

On Thursday, my cousin and my best friend welcomed their first baby into the world, a darling baby girl named Ava. Despite being pregnant, my best friend did all she could to support me and help out during my pregnancy and in the early months after Sophie was born and so this weekend, I’ve been thinking about all the kind gestures I really appreciated, some of which I hope to do myself with my friend. I thought I’d share some of these with you all…

Feed Your Friend – In the early days, feeding your baby and getting precious sleep will become priorities and so feeding oneself is never high on the ‘to do’ list. Preparing a meal will help your friend immensely. Frozen meals are great (think soups, pasta dishes, casseroles, pies etc.) but fresh salads and the like are welcomed too. I’m also planning on making our friends a batch of Lemon Slice which can be frozen and is quick to defrost so that they have something on hand to offer with a cuppa should any visitors pop in unexpectedly. Bringing over lunch for your friend is also a great idea.

Just Do It – When you do visit your friend, don’t ask, “Is there anything I can do to help you out?” Your friend will either be too tired to think, or too polite to answer. Look around and take action yourself. If there’s washing on the line, bring it in and fold it. Dishes in the sink? Pop them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand. Find the vacuum cleaner and do a quick whip around while your friend is feeding her newborn. Trust me, all these gestures will be greatly appreciated.

Message Don’t Call – Phone calls can be difficult with a newborn. Your friend will either have the phone off the hook in an attempt to avoid waking up bub, be pre-occupied when the phone rings or have limited time to actually talk. Messages are much easier to respond to. Don’t expect a reply straight away though. I often replied to my messages when I was breastfeeding in the middle of the night as I found it helped keep me awake. I’d just save them under ‘Drafts’ until the next morning when I could send them at an appropriate hour.

Short And Sweet – When you do visit your friend (always ringing to check it is okay first), keep your visit short. Your friend may not feel like entertaining all afternoon, nor will she have the energy to do so. She will however appreciate your company. On this subject, when it comes to your friend’s post-baby hospital stay, don’t rush to visit her in hospital the day after she’s given birth (unless we’re talking about your best friend). While everyone is different, I found I preferred to see my friends once I’d returned home and life had settled down a bit.

Out and About – After those first few weeks, offer to get your friend out of the house. Either invite her to your house so she has gone for an outing but still has your assistance, or offer to help take her and bub out somewhere such as for a coffee or a walk. You can start to get 'cabin fever' with a newborn so getting out of the house will be welcomed.

Toddler Treats – If your friend has other children, think about spoiling them too. Often, all the focus is on the newborn and it’s easy for siblings to feel a bit neglected. Either bring a small gift for the older child (I had friends give Grace things like a new colouring book, story books, clothes, a teddy etc.) and when you do visit your friend, give the older child some one on one attention. Sit down and do a puzzle, colour in, go outside and play with a ball. Your friend will appreciate knowing their older child is being entertained and being treated to some special time. I even had one friend come around with lunch for me one day. She then took her pram and treated Grace and her two boys to a picnic and play in the park down the road, leaving me to have some quiet time at home with Sophie.

So that’s my little round up of tips to help those you know who have a newborn. I hope one or two may give you an idea of ways you can help your friends and family in those tricky and tiring early days.

On the subject of newborns, check out this stunning trio of photos fellow blogger Bron of Baby Space shared the other day. I just love them! 

Cute image above from oscarlucinda, another lovely blogger with a new baby - be sure to check out her corner of blogland where she shares snippets of daily life with her beautiful baby girl Saskia...


  1. All great tips! I have a close friend having a bub under difficult circumstances very soon so will keep these in mind. :-)

  2. Lovely tips Amanda,I didn't like visits in the hospital,at home is much nicer.

  3. Great tips Amanda! I have a group of friends who rally around when another has a baby...we provide meals for the first 2-3 weeks and will often share the duty of popping in and doing a load of laundry or a general tidy.
    Love the tip about toddler treats...our oldest was a bit miffed when our second was born and felt a bit left out so since then I have always made it a priority to include any siblings in my gift giving :)

    Aren't those pics of Bron just precious?


  4. Awesome tips, especially as new mums are often inclined to take on way more than they should out of fear of "losing touch" just after the bub is born. It's good to talk to the friends! x

  5. They are fantastic tips Amanda! I like the idea about toddler gifts - such a great idea.

  6. Wonderful tips! I totally agree. How wise you are. Congrats on making it to smoother waters and being such a wonderful friend.

  7. These are fabulous tips. I think they should be given to all friends and family of expectant parents.

  8. All fabulous tips! I wish those around me read your tips when i had my little girls! Your decorating adventures sound like they are coming along - cant wait for pics x

  9. Great tips Amanda - your friend is lucky to have a thoughtful friend like you around!

  10. Thanks for the great tips Amanda. It is helpful to hear them from someone who has just had a baby. I will make sure I out them to good use with my friends. xx

  11. Yes, hugh got very spoilt as well when Charlie was born!
    And you totally just reminded me....I have had a draft post sitting for months and months about things I think are essential with 2 babies! MUST POST!

  12. Amanda that is wonderful advice. I just wish I knew someone having a baby now.
    When is your book coming out ?
    Homely Ones
    Karyn x

  13. These are such thoughtful things to do for a Mum with a newborn and they would be certainly appreciated. I bet your cousin is so grateful to you for all of your kind help. I hope she is enjoying her new baby. xx

  14. These are wonderful tips! You are a great friend!

  15. thanks for using my little pic! got a kick out of seeing it here...your tips are oh so thoughtful. i couldn't have done without the kindness of friends and family and are looking forward to repaying the favours when the time comes...

    ps. your latest pics of miss sophie are too cute. she looks like a real doll ;) x

  16. I love these tips! And thanks for the mention :)

  17. Really great tips. We had a few friends give our older son gifts and I think it made all the difference. Also I think some fresh fruit instead of flowers is nice


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