As a proud parent, you know that there is nothing like the feeling of giving birth to and raising a child. It’s the biggest commitment you’ll ever make, which is why it should be celebrated as much as possible.
image source: https://flic.kr/p/cWN1GW
If you were one of the first of your group of friends to give birth, you may have had to rely on your family and older friends for advice. Especially during the first few weeks when everything was new and scary. And as your friends start to have their first children, they will naturally start coming to you for advice.
You’ll probably have experienced a mix of useful, contradictory and even patronising advice from all kinds of people. So you know how important it is to be offer useful support, without overstepping that line. Here are a few tips:
Give them some space
You remember what the first few days were like. The new Mum is exhausted, probably still very sore and having to deal with a new baby, plus a whole bunch of grandparents and relatives all desperate to meet the new addition. So give her some space and let her settle down. Unless, of course, she specifically asks for your help.
When your friend asks for your help and advice, remember that she and her baby are two different people than you and your little one. So while offering advice, try and say it in neutral terms. Such as “This worked for me, but it might not work for you.” Or, “Give this a try and see how you get on with it,” rather than laying down the law.
Help them celebrate
As exhausting as a new baby is, this is also a major cause for celebration. So even before you visit, send flowers or a gift to let them know you are thinking of them. Send them a bottle of bubbly. Or, once the parents have decided on a name, there are some very sweet personalized baby gifts available that show you’ve given it some thought.
Give her a break
After the new Dad has finished his paternity leave and relatives have returned home, your friend may find it quite difficult to cope on her own at first. So, depending on how old your child is – and whether or not they are at nursery or school yet – offer to pop over and look after baby for half an hour. So that the new Mum can have a nap or a shower.
If it’s not her first child, offer to take any older children out for a playdate so that she can have some peace and quiet to bond with her new baby. Or just invite them over to yours for tea.
Take over some food
If you have the time and resources, why not make a casserole and take it over to your friend’s house? Then, she can pop it in the fridge or freezer for a quick, convenient (but healthy) meal without having to cook herself.