Babies are a wonderful blessing. They help us realize what's truly important and beautiful in this life. But it can also be overwhelming welcoming a new, little miracle into the world.
Enter: the fourth trimester.
It's fantastic how as a society, we've really started to rally around the new parents in our lives and help them as they transition into parenthood, whether they're adding to their family or welcoming their first! This paradigm shift in lifestyle can be daunting for a new mom and a new dad, especially as they try to recover from the whole actually giving birth part.
If you're like us, and we know you are, you're always looking for ways you can support your friends and family. Here's an easy-to-follow cheat sheet of six different ways you can support the new parents in your life.
A couple of tips before we get started.
- Every couple is different and deserves to have their space and milestone moment respected. We recommend implementing these suggestions as it fits your couple's personality.
- Don't ask, "Would you like me to ..." politely offer saying, "I'm going to ..., what would you like/need/want?"
Different Ways to Help
Offer to clean the house on their schedule. Let them know you're willing to do whatever chores they need or want done and ask when would be a good time to do them. Laundry, dishes, mail, trash ... it can all pile up. Anything you can do to alleviate mess and the stress is causes will allow mom and dad to enjoy their littlest love and the moments they'll never get back.
Mom and dad have to eat, and if they have other youngsters, they need food too! This helpful option is great because you can cook them a hot, healthy meal and pre-make a couple other options that will freeze well. You could even drop off a few frozen options before the baby's debut. Lack of sleep makes doing the normal day-to-day tasks very gruesome. Making sure the family is well nourished is a thoughtful way to lend a hand.
#3: Watch the Pets
This one may take some coordinating because their fur-baby will need to be cared for while they're at the hospital. If you know the new mom and dad have a furry friend, ask in advance if they would like you to watch them. Then you can organize the details and allow the parents to leave for the hospital knowing the animal(s) at home are taken care of. Tell them you will keep them as long as they need too!
#4: Take the Other Kiddos Out
If the family has other children, ask mom and dad if you can take them out for a day of fun. After all, they'll probably have way more energy than their parents so 1) mom and dad will appreciate that they'll sleep well, 2) that they're getting love, attention and making memories and 3) it will give them less to tend to that day so they can just soak up that newborn baby bliss.
#5: Grocery Shop
In addition to meals, they'll probably need everyday items restocked around the house. Tell them, remember (in a nice way) don't ask, to send you their grocery list and that you'll run to the store for them. Simply ring the doorbell once it's been placed in front of their door.
#6: A Self-Care Package
They're ecstatic. They're emotional. They're exhausted. Give the new parents a gift basket of self-care items that will help them relax, decompress and cherish this glorious moment in time. Include the following for the ultimate gift basket for new parents:
- A diffuser with essential oils
- Comfy, loose clothes from mom
- Mugs (because caffeine)
- A sentimental item
The fourth trimester is a crazy, beautiful couple of months. Doing whatever you can to see to it that your loved ones' transition is smooth and calm is sure to lift their spirit and help them be fully present for this special occasion!