How to Help Parents with a New Baby While Social Distancing.
I don’t know if anyone has heard but, there is a virus out there! Ha, that was a sad attempt at a joke right now. We have all been listening to the news, watching the provincial and federal health updates, hearing the local closings on the radio and scrolling through social media. It is scary! Bringing a baby into the world is supposed to be one of the best times of your life but for many expecting families or parents with a new baby now, they are struggling to find a balance between fear and joy.
As friends, family and community members around individuals who will be welcoming a new baby soon or who have a new bundle at home already, there are still many things you can do to help out those parents while they transition into mother/fatherhood. You can still love on that new little one while social distancing and self-isolating. Here are some ways to help parents with a new baby while still following the appropriate social distancing rules that are in place:
1. Don’t add stress. This one seems obvious but let me explain. When you have your newborn and bring them home your whole world changes. Mother nature takes its course and you become protective almost instantly. This means that you start to consider things that you have never thought twice about before. You stay home to avoid the flu or a cough. You follow your instincts and your gut to help keep your family safe.
We now have a virus that is spreading through our communities and this is making many new parents feel worried and extra protective of their little ones. RESPECT THIS!
Remember those feelings of wanting to protect your baby. Remember those feelings of being overwhelmed on a good day let alone a day when you are supposed to be staying home and not seeing anyone. Remember that we are all just trying to do our best.
If new parents have made it clear that they would like to limit visitors or maybe not have visitors at all then this is their choice. Their gut feeling is telling them that this is what their family needs. This is NOT the time to let your opinions sneak in about what is the right or wrong thing to do at this time.
With saying this, don’t just drop in to see the baby. It doesn’t matter how close you are with the new parents, you need to respect their boundaries and ask if and when is a good time to come by.
Now, just because they don’t feel comfortable with visitors does NOT mean you can’t help them out!
2. Drop off a meal on the front step. Yes, a month ago dropping off a meal meant coming in to say a quick hi and see everyone. It doesn’t look like that now and that is o.k. New parents are EXHAUSTED, and a meal can go a long way in lightening the load at home. Whether you are out and about or have made something at home, drop it off on the doorstep and give them a call to let them know it is there. This is such a thoughtful way of showing your love.
Please, keep in mind proper hand hygiene when preparing or purchasing a meal for the family.
3. Offer to do laundry! Wait, you are not supposed to go in their house. Let’s talk about the front step again. Laundry piles up SO FAST when you have a little baby. Wake from a sleep period, spill the bottle, breastmilk is spraying from one side while baby feeds from the other, baby spits up while burping, you are rocking baby again and they are almost asleep before they fart and you feel the back of the onsie is wet, change, possibly feed again, finally get them back to sleep. Repeat 10 times a day.
Send your loved ones a text or give them a call and tell them you are coming to pick up laundry! Leave it outside on the porch in bags, is laundry baskets or hell, just throw it in a pile. You will come and get it, take it home and wash it all. Once it is done you will have it all folded and can return it to the porch for them.
Again, practice proper hand hygiene when folding and stacking the clothing and when delivering.
4. Send an E-Card for Amazon! At this time and in the near future, baby showers are not going to be encouraged but this doesn’t mean you can’t treat the new parents and the new baby. Send an amazon gift card for the family to get something that they need!
5. Pick up their groceries or supplies that they need! Getting out of the house on a good day is impossible and right now the last thing we want to do is take our baby to a grocery store!
- Call or text and tell them to make an order for pick-up. You will grab it and deliver to their front step.
- Call or text and get a list. Go grab their groceries and deliver it to their front step.
- Offer to go to more than one place so that they can get everything they need.
6. Check in on them! New parents need to feel the love as they adapt to the new days with a newborn. Many new moms say that they never expected to feel so lonely once the baby arrived and so this is something that we need to really focus on. If we can’t go and offer comfort in person, we need to be checking in on them. Just a friendly good morning, I hope your day is great, do you need anything, ect let’s them know you are thinking about them and that they are not just alone while everyone else does their own thing.
7. Video Chat! I don’t know a single person who hasn’t wanted to show off their new baby when they arrive. You can’t keep that cuteness all to yourself. Have a morning “coffee” date via video chat so you can connect and see each other face-to-face on screen. Make it clear that no bras are needed and doing your hair is overrated.
I hope that this can give you some ideas for supporting a family with a new baby during these times. I know you can’t wait to snuggle that little one but right now, their safety is priority #1!
What would you add to this list?