Last year, a friend from college became my first close girlfriend to have a baby. Even though she lives in Massachusetts, we close the distance with frequent Facetime calls and letters, but I had yet to experience a friend's baby (let alone any baby) in person until my best girlfriend in L.A. gave birth to a girl last week. The day I met her, in the hospital just two days after she was born, she became the youngest person I've ever met by a long shot. As the youngest sibling and cousin in my family, I haven't spent a lot of time around new babies or new moms. My only reference point for a friend having babies is this Sex and the City episode (admittedly not a great one). Because I want to be more Charlotte than Carrie in this situation, I posed this question to the moms in our Facebook Community: What's the best way to support a new mom, near or far? You all answered in droves, with so many great snippets of advice I thought it would be fun (and useful!) to round them up into a post. Feel free to add your tips in the comments!
Just insist on coming over for a few hours. Hold the baby. Put dishes in the dishwasher. Do laundry, cook a meal, let her sleep, shower, or eat without holding the baby. - Stacey H.
One of the best gifts I got, with both my kids, was some time away to get a mani/pedi. It made me feel almost human again to be pampered. - Courtney C.
Offering to take the baby for a walk in the stroller, so the mom can do something else during this brief break-like shower. - Stephanie M.
I also appreciated any free time when someone could watch the baby for 10 minutes so I could run and take a quick shower. Keeping her company in general is nice as it does get lonely during the day and adult conversation is most welcomed! - Cari M.
Bring dinner for the family, offer to pick up groceries and diapers and even leave them at the door if she doesn’t feel like company. Bring lunch over and eat with her so she gets social time but doesn’t have to take the baby out to a restaurant. Pick up coffee for her, bring a little pamper-me care package of some nail polish, face masks, etc. until she’s ready to get back to spas for appointments. - Sherri P.
House cleaning service! - Juli S.
Gift cards to places like Bite Squad and other food delivery places were super helpful to me the first year of my babe’s life. - Molly D.
A gift certificate to Soothe! It’s an app that’s basically Uber for massages and they come to your home. That way, she won’t have to schlep to the spa if she doesn’t want. - Andrea B.
Audible subscription since she may want adult distraction to take her mind off of things.- Sarah K
Jeni's Ice Cream subscription. - Julia S. [Ed note: Yesss!]
It was helpful to me when family brought over a couple bags of groceries from Trader Joe’s! It provided quick meals/yummy treats during such a busy time. - Stephanie M.
Food in any form is wonderful: actual meals, groceries, gift cards for delivery–we appreciated everything. Someone dropped off breakfast food once, and I thought that was so creative. And I loved if visitors offered to stop and bring me tea or a latte on their way over–it was such a treat and a little taste of the outside world. - Kara S.
Bring food over a week or so after expected–we got a lot right away. And fresh items (cut up fruits, pre-made salads, because nobody has time to chop), freshly made protein smoothies, and breakfast items are fantastic! We got a lot of delicious casseroles but mostly lunch/dinner and mostly pasta based, so variety is nice. And be a little pushy about bringing stuff in case she is shy about accepting help. - Cara D.
Healthy freezer meals or hands-free food is amazing. - Lauren R.
Ask for pictures and updates on the baby and mom's well-being! - Yelena S.
Drop by and switch a load of laundry, load the dishwasher, or take out the trash. - Cara D.
Hold the baby while she showers! - Sammy W.
Thank you for all the tips!