Ask for help! When you have a newborn baby, there suddenly seems to be a slew of people eager to visit and it’s completely understandable. Of course, everyone wants to get a look at your precious new baby. The problem is, this can lead to unnecessary stress and pressure on moms and dads—exactly at the time when you need it the least. Often, these visits will be framed by wanting to help. True as that may be, guests’ idea of what is helpful and a parent’s idea of what’s helpful often differs. That’s why one of the best things you can do before baby is born is put some guidelines in place for visitors and get vocal about how anyone willing can actually give you a break.
Food: This tops the list because what’s good for mom and dad is good for baby—and food is an absolute necessity. Fortunately, many people think of bringing meals to new parents. Unfortunately, most of us can only stand frozen lasagnas for so long. You can either get organized before baby’s arrival by making a schedule of what types of meals you need when and giving friends the chance to “sign up” to contribute or you can kindly ask a friend to manage that task for you. Another increasingly popular option is requesting friends go in together on a meal delivery service as a baby shower gift.
Cleaning: Cruel as it may be, laundry and dishes only pile up that much quicker when you have a baby. If it feels uncomfortable to ask friends to pitch in when they swing by, sweetly ask parents or visiting family members—or suggest a group contributes to a cleaning service to see you through the first month or so.
Pet Care: No matter how strongly you identified as a “pet parent” before your baby’s arrival, new circumstances may make giving your “first baby” complete attention as least for a while. Whether you are recovering from a difficult labor or C-section—or just can’t figure out the logistics of how to get your dog out for a walk in 20-degree weather—this is a great department to ask for extra help. Again, thanks to the conveniences of modern times, friends and family members who are eager to help but can’t swing by to take your dog around the block could contribute funds to a dog-walking or litter-box cleaning service through an app or website.
Break for Yourself: Chances are this will be the easiest way to employ helpers: Promise 15 minutes of baby snuggles so you can steal away to shower, get dressed or take a breather in the fresh air
Help with Older Kids: If this isn’t your first go-round, you will have the advantage of knowing what ways you need help—but the added factor of wanting some assistance with the big siblings. Say “yes” to all of those invitations for your big kid to come over and play with a friend. There will be plenty of opportunities for sibling bonding during the years, but, for now, it’s nice to give your older child some time to play while your attention is on baby.
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