9 Ways to Support a Friend Who Has a Newborn Baby

There’s nothing more lovely than when a good friend brings a baby into this world. Yet while you’ll be excited and happy for your friend, it’s important to keep that their experience will be a little different. We celebrate the arrival of a baby as if a job has been completed, but to the new parents, it’s really just the beginning. 

As such, it’s recommended not to expect to simply bask in the glory of a new child, but to offer valuable help and support during what will undoubtedly be a stressful few months. Below, we’ll run through some valuable tips for being there for your nearest and dearest during that time. 

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Ask What They Need

Most people send flowers, cards, or baby toys. But it’s possible — likely, even — that your friends’ home is becoming jam-packed with goods which, while thoughtful, aren’t all that helpful. Sometimes, they just add to the stress; think of bouquets of flowers, which have to be given a home and then discarded later on. It’s more work. If they’re a good friend of yours, then ask them what they would honestly like from you. It might be a product, or it might be nothing other than photos of funny memes you see online. In doing so, you’ll be providing genuine support that they know they can count on. 

Bring Some Food

One gift that is highly unlikely to ever be unwanted is prepared food. People love this stuff even when they don’t have a new baby to deal with; when they do, it’s a positive timesaver. New parents don’t have the time or energy to prepare food of value, and if you can give them the option of having a delicious home-cooked meal that’s simple to heat up, then you’ll be nothing short of a hero. Need some inspiration? Take a look at these ideas.

Don’t Expect To be Hosted

Want to spend some time with the new parents and their bundle of joy? Of course you do. But it’s worth keeping in mind that the new parents probably don’t have the mental or physical energy to “host” arrivals. They’ll be wearing any old clothes they can find, the house might be a little — or very — chaotic, and they probably can’t wheel out a bunch of snacks and drinks. As a good friend, give your heads up that there’s no need for them to “host;” you just want to be there to see them for a little bit and offer any help they might need.

Product Support

Parents are usually pretty darn prepared for when their baby arrives. But if you’ve ever taken a walk through a baby store before, then you’ll know that there is a near-endless number of products available — and while your friends will have the essentials on lock, there’s a chance that they’ll miss something. Plus, they’ll go through the products they’ve bought in advance faster than they realize. You can help by looking up and buying the products they need, but which they may not have time to buy. Dropping off some baby essentials, like nappies and wet wipes or products that help to moisturize newborn skin Really not sure what they need? Ask them.

Be an Active Listener

New parents are a whole mix of emotions. They’ll be happy as Larry one moment, and then unsure of anything the following moments. Becoming a parent is a pretty maddening experience, and your friends will appreciate having a safe space to let all their thoughts and feelings out in the air. Truly, one of the best gifts you can give your friend is to simply let them know that they’ve got a sympathetic ear for them whenever they feel like breaking down — or when they’re so happy that they have to share it with the world. 

Be Patient

Most of the time, your friendships should be a two-way street. During those early days of new parenthood, it’ll become a one-way street. Don’t expect your friend to be replying to your text messages promptly, ask how you’re doing, or be anything other than absorbed in their own little world. After all, their world is pretty full-on at the moment. You can share your stories later down the line when they’re in a position to listen. For now, make it all about them.

Be There Two Months In

New parents are flooded with well-wishes, gifts, and help during the first few weeks of their baby’s life. Once you hit the six-week mark, people are less likely to show support in a direct way. That’s nothing malicious on their behalf, just a fact of life. If you want to be a great friend during this period, then continue to show up around this time. Turning up with a coffee or a delicious breakfast will lift their spirits like nothing else. 

Leave the Advice At The Door

There’s no perfect way to do anything. You might have your own opinion on what the parents should be doing, especially if you’ve been there before, but please keep it to yourself. They’re doing the best that they can, and they’re also emotionally vulnerable at this period, so any advice could be taken as offense. You’re there to provide emotional support, not practical advice on how they could do things better. The only exception, as always, is you’re specifically asked for your input.

Be a Babysitter for Other Children 

Does your friend already have children? Then consider looking after them for a few hours while they take care of their baby. It’s hard enough having to look after a young human without also having to make sure that some slightly older humans are OK. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy taking them out for an afternoon. Most importantly, your friends will appreciate it more than they can tell you! 

Parenthood is hard, but being there for hour friends makes a huge difference, so keep these tips in mind to be as helpful and considerate as possible.

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