Know a friend that is having a baby? It’s important to be there to support your friend, while also providing the space that they need. This post helps to explain how to provide the perfect amount of support.
Buy the right gift for their baby shower
If your friend is having a baby shower, start by considering what type of gift you can buy to show your support. There are plenty of great guides online that you can consider such as these 50 Best Gifts For Newborn Baby Girls in 2023. Some moms-to-be are more likely to value a practical gift like diapers or a travel cot. Others may prefer cash. Check with your friend beforehand as to what they need.
Know when to provide space after the birth
Your friend may be eager to show you baby photos or may even invite you around straight away. But this may not always be the case. Some mothers find the whole process of childbirth and dealing with a newborn for the first time quite overwhelming and need a few days to adjust it all. Don’t think they’re being rude if they don’t invite you over or respond to your messages straight away – give them a bit of space.
Check in by call or text (but don’t show up unannounced)
They may not message or call you, but don’t be afraid to check in with them. A text to ask how they’re doing or a phone call just to see if they’re okay could be all they need to know that they’ve got your support. Whatever you do, don’t turn up to their home unannounced. The first few weeks after having a baby can be pretty chaotic – their home may be a mess and they may be in no fit state to see you. Always confirm in advance that it’s okay to come around.
Be flexible when arranging social meetups
The places you used to meet up before may not be child-friendly, and even if they are your friend may not always be up for the stress of taking a baby there. Nights out without kids are certain to be a lot harder – especially if your friend hasn’t got a partner or family that can babysit. As a result, you need to be prepared to be more flexible when planning social meetups. Often it’s best to ask where they want to meet up. Let them know that you’re happy going around there or that you’re happy for them to come around yours – there are times when this could be easier than going out somewhere. Just don’t expect them to be the perfect entertaining host if you go around theirs.
Offer to get hands on with support
Most new moms need support but are unwilling to ask for it. Offering your support could be something that they value a lot (even if they still turn it down, it’s the thought that counts). Try to offer useful hands-on support that can lift the burden off of them. If you’re great with babies and they trust you, you could even offer to look after their little one while they have a bath or get some rest. Alternatively, you could offer to cook a meal or pay for takeout or even do some shopping for them.
Try to avoid offering unsolicited advice
Even if you’ve had several kids before, you need to be careful of trying to give too much advice to a new mom. You could come across as being too interfering or it may seem as if you’re questioning their parental skills. Unless you seriously think they’re doing something wrong, it’s best to keep your mouth shut. If they ask for advice, then of course feel free to provide it.
Know when they need cheering up
Postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 women. While some moms are able to hide it, others make it clear that they are struggling. You’ll usually be able to tell from their mood if they are depressed. Most new moms are not bubbly, but are still able to crack jokes and say positive things. If you’ve noticed a huge shift in their demeanour and they seem very quiet and despondent, it could be a sign that they need support. Professional mental health support exists, but the best support often comes from friends and family. Try to find ways of picking up their spirits such as suggesting fun baby-friendly activities, helping them to see the funny side of things, or sharing humorous stories of things you’ve done together to show that you still value their friendship.