A new baby is born, and suddenly the world is a cuter place. Whether it's a friend, relative, a Mum from school or work, or a neighbour, we all know that the weeks that follow are FULL ON for a new Mum, whether it's her 1st or 4th child.
There are a few things you can do to make those weeks a little easier and happier ...
1. Text Time: Whether it's to confirm a time to pop around for a (quick) visit or a simple "Hi, how was last night?", a text is such a simple way to connect and let them know you are thinking of her. It takes 30 seconds, but means so much to a new Mum. She may not respond straight away, but it's a convenient communication method for her.
2. Bring her Food: When the visiting time is confirmed (see above), be on time, and bring food. It doesn't have to to be homemade - no new Mum would be upset with a hot roast chicken, coleslaw and fresh bread rolls from Woolies. While you're at it, bring milk too - you know she's gonna need it. And what about a gorgeous box of tea from Maternitea - in flavours like Sereni-Tea and Serendipi-Tea.
3. Entertain Older Siblings: Just because she's an experienced Mum with older children, having a new baby is still new and exhausting. Take the older siblings out for the morning or just a walk to the park, to give the new Mum an hour or 2 just with the new baby. She may even get a moment to sneak a nap. Take healthy snacks with you - no new Mum wants their toddlers delivered back home loaded up on sugar.
4. Two Chores: When you visit, find 2 quick chores to tidy and clean the house. Perhaps give the bathroom/toilet a once over with some spray and wipes, bring out the vacuum and give the floors a spring clean. Fold the basket of clothes in the corner. Wash the pile of dishes in the sink. Go and fill her car up with petrol. Iron for 30 minutes while the new Mum drinks the tea you just made her.
5. Listen: we all want to give well-meaning advice, but it's time to listen to the new Mum recall the good and bad bits of the last few weeks. Just nod and smile and say you understand. Don't try to solve her problems, this visit or phone call is not about you, just be a kind ear. If she really asks for your opinion or advice on a particular issue, keep it short and sweet.
And of course, if the baby is sniffly and congested (as lots of newborns seem to be) you could let the new Mum know about the most amazing battery powered nasal aspirator called the Snotty which will help her babe breathe, feed and sleep better - available from this amazing online store (ok, shameless plug - it's just so good)
6. Tell her how Beautiful the Baby Is: All babies are gorgeous, but go a little over the top about the cute nose, the perfect skin, the ruby red lips. Ignore the flat head and baby ache. Make the new Mum feel proud of the sweet babe she has created.
7. Keep her Up to Date with 2 News Stories: Yes, she's in a newborn bubble, so let her know what's been going on in the world. Nothing too scary or grim.
8. Hold the Baby: lugging a 3-5kg little being around all day is exhausting. Offer to hold the baby and give her a break or have a shower or drink her tea without fear of spilling it. Remind her you've washed your hands, are fully immunised, and do not have any infectious symptoms, and let the new Mum be hands free for a while.
9. Don't Stay Too Long: Even though she might be your BFF, keep it short and sweet and under 30 mins. Send her a text a few hours later saying how cute her new baby is, and how lovely it was to see her. A once the baby is a few months old, don't forget about her. That entire 1st year is so exhausting, keep up the regular contact and visits. She's love you for it.
Which one of these ideas do you like the best? Was was the best food brought to you when you had your bub?
Our video blog about Daily Nasal Flushing is also a great one to pass onto a new Mum.