Helping Parents of Newborn

How You Can Help New Parents

Those first few days, weeks and months of parenthood are a blur. A sleepless, hormonal blur.

Most parents think that the second time around will be better, easier even. But often this is not the case. You can be a great support for your friend during this wonderful time by helping to eliminate some of the stress. These ideas will help new parents feel more relaxed and be able to enjoy this special time.

Those early days – how can you help?

Finding the balance of helping but not overstepping can be a tough one, particularly when new parents won’t accept help. Try these suggestions and make even the smallest positive impact on their day!

Bring Food

A newborn baby will sleep a lot but that doesn’t mean mum and dad get to. The house still needs to be cleaned, washing still needs to be hung and dinner needs to be cooked. By preparing a few simple meals that can be frozen or served as needed will help mum and dad more than you can imagine. Meals like lasagne, casseroles, potato / pasta bake are perfect!

Include Them

It is easy to think that because your friends are parents to a new baby they want to stay in their new family bubble; but in reality this bubble can become very lonely. It is important for new Mums and Dads to get out of the house from time to time so they don’t feel isolated and this is where you come in! Invite them out for lunch or pack a picnic and sit in the park, soaking in the fresh air.

If you have organised to visit, bring a coffee. A good coffee and chat with a close friend does wonders for the mental health of a new Mum.

Cleaning Fairy

Wiping the kitchen benches, putting a load of washing on or doing a quick vacuum will lighten the load of new parents and will allow them to focus on what is really important. This option definitely isn’t for everyone and many won’t feel comfortable letting their friends clean their home but for others, it will help them out greatly.

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Babysit for Them

There are a few ways this idea can work. Offer to babysit their newborn (and other children) for a few hours so mum can enjoy some ‘me time’ or use the opportunity to reconnect with their partner. Basically just give them a break from kids and dirty nappies.

If the family has a toddler and a newborn, offer to take one of them. If the toddler is left at home the parents can enjoy some one on one with the child; this also reinforces to the toddler that they are still important. If they would prefer you take the toddler to the park this will give the parents some time to bond with their new baby.

Do you need anything?

It can be difficult to leave the house with a newborn and it can often seem like a struggle for new parents just to go and get milk, bread or even nappies. If you are at the grocery store and are heading in their direction on your way, give your friend a quick call to see if they need anything while you are there. It doesn’t disrupt your day at all but can make a huge difference to theirs.

When Visiting

You should keep in mind when visiting parents of a newborn that they are tired; so while visits are welcomed, you should keep them short. Don’t stay until late at night, the last thing they want to do is entertain.

Whenever possible, leave your children at home. New parents don’t want to be cleaning the mess of your child or have their baby woken after a long sleepless night.


Every parent does things differently. While offering friendly advice is one thing, commenting negatively on their choices is something else entirely. If a Mother opts to bottlefeed instead of breastfeed, it is none of your business. If a Dad wants to rock his baby to sleep instead of self-settling, that also has nothing to do with you. New parents question and second guess themselves enough without having the added pressure of others.

New parents have an adjustment period and if you can help them make it smooth transition with minimal stress, they will be forever grateful. It doesn’t mean you have to be at their beck and call but going out of your way to bring a cup of coffee and have a chat will go a long way.

What would have made those first few weeks easier for you after becoming a parent?

Kell Kelly


Tags: Birth
Kell Kelly

Kell Kelly is a mum, a wife to her childhood sweetheart and a writer. She shares her home in the picturesque Hunter Valley wine region with her husband and 4 children. When she isn’t working at home, folding laundry or chasing the kids to put on their shoes; she enjoys discovering her surroundings, taking in the great outdoors and spending some much needed time with her husband. Prior to...

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