That new bundle of love needs them, and they need you! Get ideas and tips on the best ways to support new parents in this MOST exciting time.
The 4th trimester, that magical time after a baby arrives, can be a whirlwind kick in the pants for new parents. But fear not, you can help ease the transition and make things less stressful for the new parents. In this blog post, we'll explore 10 ways to support new parents during this wild and wonderful new adventure known as the 4th trimester.
1. Be there (without overstaying your welcome!):
Ah, the precious gift of your undivided time and attention! These new parents are going through a whirlwind of emotions and having someone like you who truly listens and empathizes is like finding a unicorn. Engage in genuine conversations, diving into the highs and lows of their parenting journey. Show genuine interest in their adorable bundle of joy, but remember, timing is everything!
Now, let me share the secret recipe: Embrace your inner emotional ninja. Watch their subtle cues, like a hawk spotting its prey. If you see the telltale signs of yawning or fidgeting, it's your cue to gracefully exit stage left. Trust me, new parents need their beauty sleep, those precious moments alone with their baby, and even a minute to gulp down a cup of coffee in peace. So, be the support they need without becoming an "overstay-er" (yes, that's a word now).
Oh, and one more thing: Set expectations in advance. Let them know how long you're planning to stay, and stick to it like glue. This way, they can mentally prepare and appreciate your thoughtfulness even more. Remember, being a helpful presence means knowing when it's time to bid adieu. You've got this, supportive superstar!
2. Offer assistance: (Be a super helper!)
New parents have their hands full like professional jugglers, desperately trying to keep all the balls in the air. And here you come, like a superhero with an apron cape, ready to save the day! Offer your mighty help with household chores, cooking up a storm, or conquering the treacherous realm of errands. Trust me, even small gestures like swooping in with a delicious home-cooked meal or rescuing them from the clutches of grocery shopping can magically alleviate their stress and give them precious bonding time with their baby.
Together, you'll conquer mountains of laundry and slay the dragons of dirty diapers.
3. Become the baby advice guru
New parents have a lot of learning to do and plenty of questions. Shorten the learning curve for them by helping them find the answers. That’s right, step right up and take the initiative to educate yourself on the mysterious world of newborns and postpartum recovery! Learn about the the ins and outs of breastfeeding, conquer sleep deprivation, and unravel postpartum mood changes, or learn about whatever their current emergency is. With this wisdom in your back pocket, you'll be the superhero of baby advice, dishing out relevant tips and resources without the need for the new parents to complete a marathon research session. Be the guide new parents didn't even know they needed!
4. Organize a "Take a Break" day:
Give the exhausted new parents a much-needed break by organizing a "Take a Break" day. Take charge of baby duty for a few hours, allowing them to relax, shower or take a bath, catch up on sleep, or simply enjoy some alone time. You'll be their hero, swooping in to save the day! A few hours to catch their breath is an always one of the most appreciated ways to support new parents.
5. Set up a date night for the new parents:
Brand new parents have the need to connect one on one more than ever...Be the fairy godparent of romance, by making a reservation at their favorite spot (close to home to ease their mind) and offering to babysit. Come a little early so they can get ready without being tethered to a newborn. Be sure to check with them first, some parents have different levels of comfort in being away from their newborn.
6. Show up with tasty treats:
Wondering what to bring for the new parents?Who doesn't love snacks? Surprise the new parents with a basket full of their favorite treats. From sweet to savory, load it up with munchies that'll satisfy their cravings during late-night feedings. Don't forget to include some of those guilty pleasure snacks they normally wouldn't buy for themselves. Special times call for special treats. Making sure they are nourished and spoiled is a great way to support new parents.
Don't live close...You can still support the new mom and dad and have treats delivered to their door. Here's several of our favorites.
7. What Not To Bring? Germs!!!
One way to help a family with a new baby is to not get them sick. Before you make your grand entrance to meet the baby or the new parents, do a quick symptom check. And hey, don't forget to sanitize those hands before giving that tiny human a high-five! And if you want to go the extra mile, ask the new parents if they want you to suit up with a flu vaccine in advance, and if there's anything else you can do to maintain the fortress of health. Oh, and always remember to ask for permission before giving those smooches to the adorable bundle of joy.
8. Create a silly baby photo shoot:
Turning those adorable baby moments into a fun and memorable photo shoot is another thoughtful way to support new parents. It's also one they will appreciate late, but would never have the bandwidth to execute in their muddled new parent state. Grab some props, dress up the baby in funny outfits, and snap away. The resulting photos will not only be cherished keepsakes but will also provide countless laughs in the years to come.
9. Help new parents by providing meals, a meal trail, or a meal delivery service.
Wondering what to bring someone who just had a baby? Alright, let's get real here. New parents + cooking = a comedy of culinary chaos. Sleep-deprived and adjusting to a new routine, the struggle is real when it comes to making dinner. But fear not, because this is one area where it’s easy to save the day by offering to cook and deliver meals for them. Or even better, rally friends and family to create a meal train of epic proportions. Alternatively, you can explore meal delivery services or gift them with meal vouchers to make nourishing themselves easier. So bring some deliciousness into their lives, one plate at a time. Because hey, happy tummies make for happy parents, and happy parents make for happy babies.
10. Encourage self-care:
Remind the new parents of the importance of self-care. Reinforce that it’s not selfish, it's essential for their well-being and that of their new baby. Encourage them to take breaks, get some fresh air, or indulge in activities they enjoy. Offer to watch the baby while they have a relaxing soak, go to the spa, get a pedicure, or a hair cut. Self-care boosts over all well-being and helps them cope with the challenges of early parenthood.
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." — Anne Lamott
11. Be non-judgmental:
Lastly, it's crucial to be non-judgmental in your support. Every parent has their unique approach to parenting, and what works for one family may not work for another. Respect their choices and provide support without imposing your own opinions. Offer guidance when asked, but always prioritize their autonomy and decision-making.
Supporting new parents during the 4th trimester is a meaningful way to show your love and care. By being present, offering assistance, and providing emotional support, you can help make this transitional period more manageable and enjoyable for the new parents. Remember, your support can make a lasting impact on their journey into parenthood.
12. Offer to take the night shift:
Save the day (or rather, the night) for the exhausted new parents! If you're in their inner circle—like Mom, Grandma, or the honorary sister—they might just appreciate your offer to take a night shift or two. But hey, let's keep it real: unless you're part of their innermost squad, it's probably best to avoid becoming a surprise overnight guest or you'll just create an uncomfortable situation for the new parents you are trying to support.
In a nutshell, the 4th trimester can be a rollercoaster ride for new parents. But fear not, you can be the wind beneath their wings! Find creative ways to bring joy and support and remember, even small gestures can have a big impact. So, let's cheer on the new parents, sprinkle some laughter, be the village(cause that's what it takes), and make this wild ride of parenthood a little smoother.
Additional Resources About The 4th Trimester
THE FOURTH TRIMESTER, WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
SUPPORTING MOMS IN THE FOURTH TRIMESTER
BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT NEW PARENTS PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY