Yay! Your friend had a baby, you visited her in the hospital and now they are home. You want to help her out and show her some love, but where do you start and what do you do? Well here ya go....
1. Pray for her
Pray in all the ways that you can think to pray for her. Pray for strength, guidance, confidence, patience, and wisdom. Pray for her and the little one. Remind her how God watched that little one in her womb for so long keeping it safe and he will continue to watch over the little one and her for now and forever.
2. Bring her Flowers
It doesn't matter if you get a beautiful arrangement like the one on the left or just a $ 5.99 bouquet from Walmart. Flowers make people feel loved, and special which that new mommy needs and deserves right now.
This one is tricky because it really depends on how well you know the mommy and how comfortable you are cleaning her home. If it's something that would be acceptable do it, don't ask. She will feel obligated to tell you no even though the dishes are piling up and there are three inches of dirt on the floor. Don't ask, just get the broom and do it.
4. Magazines or Books
If you know what she likes then definitely buy those, but throw in some parenting magazines too. She's a new mom, and she is about to have a ton of late night feedings where she could use something new to read and help her relax. If she isn't a magazine person and you know she has an e-reader go for the gift card so she can pick out a new book.
5. Food Gift Cards
I would not recommend cooking for her because 1. Your tastes might not be theirs 2. They might not want to re-heat and de-frost meals plus have them piling up in the freezer. 3. It's a tiny bit awkward to ask someone what they want you to cook for them. I would recommend getting a gift card to their favorite fast food place. They can always send someone out to get the food, and you know they will enjoy it. There are exceptions of course, but in my experience this it what works.
6. Little Things
If you're at the store and you're wanting to treat your new mommy friend just pick up some baby lotion or a nice cup of Starbucks ( if she is drinking coffee...some mommies don't while breastfeeding so make sure to check). Stick to things that you know she loves, and will use such as baby wipes, baby lotion, baby-safe sanitizing wipes, lotion for mom, soft socks, etc.
7. Don't forget about Dad
There's a whole ton of attention on the new baby and a lot on mom, but sometimes dad gets the short straw. New dads need cigars. There are only a few times in a man's life where his friends should get him cigars and this is one of the better reasons. Even if he doesn't smoke, no guy can ever turn down a celebration cigar with his buddies to congratulate him on his new baby...all else fails he can keep it as a memento.
8. Walk the dogs
Her new life is hard enough adjusting to all these new changes without having to worry about who is going to walk Fido. Take the dogs for a stroll, or give them a bath for her. If the dogs are barking like crazy and keeping the baby up, maybe offer to take the little guy ( the dog...not baby) for a few nights to let everyone get some rest.
Head over to her house and let her go take a nap, soak in a bath or heck...both! Make sure you respect her feelings with this...if she doesn't feel comfortable napping and leaving you with the baby let her paint her nails or browse pinterest while you hold the baby near her. Either way just make sure she knows you are here solely to give her some " me-time".
If this isn't her first rodeo ask her if you can take the older kiddos out so she can bond with the new baby and catch up on some sleep. Depending on age you can take the little munchkins out to a zoo, museum, park, bowling alley or community pool to just name a few. To earn a million best friend points pick up a small treat for her like a cookie on your way back home.
11. Be her friend
It's hard sometimes to remember that this is still your friend, and not just " a new mom". Head over to her house and talk, just simply talk. Try not to spend too much time fawning over the baby and ask HER how she is feeling and doing. Talk to her about anything she wants to talk about and really listen. Sometimes new mommies just need to vent, gossip about the newest celebrity news or maybe blather about the color of their baby's poop and they need their friend to listen.
12. Compliment her
Tell her she is beautiful even if she is in stained pajamas, and a shirt that you are fairly certain you can see her holey bra peeking through. Tell her she is beautiful because she is. She just gave another human being the gift of life so she is the most gorgeous, person in the whole world. End of story.
13. Offer to be her chauffeur
When she is comfortable going out, drive her around to run some errands and offer to stay in the car with the baby. Maybe offer to go visit some daycare centers if she wants to go that route or try out a new mommy group with her.
14. Give them a date
Give this one some time, but offer to watch the little one while they go eat out somewhere nice and take in a movie. If they feel uncomfortable suggest that you watch the baby at the house while they are home and let them watch a movie in their room alone or take the baby on a short stroll for some "mommy and daddy time".
15. Don't abandon her
It's easy to invite her to dinner with the girls and tell her it's totally fine to take the baby, but think of it her way. It's late, it's a nice place, and the baby can be fussy. Instead get the group to opt in for a brunch somewhere low-key, and close to the new mom's home. Talk about grown up things, and offer to hold the baby while she eats.