By contributing writer Angie
When friends or family have a new baby enter their lives, it can be a great gift to offer help to them. In my experience, however, it’s not just enough to say, “Let me know if you need anything.” Most families won’t take you up on such a vague offer. Instead, pick something that you feel comfortable doing, and suggest something specific when you offer to help.
In case you’re stuck for ideas on how you could help a family with a new baby, here are some suggestions that are usually sure to be received with a grateful smile from the new parents.
Take a Meal
One of my personal favorites is to ask if I can take a meal to the family. If you are delivering a meal, you should make sure that you know of any allergies or preferences of the family. It also might be nice, if others are also taking meals, to coordinate so the family with the new baby isn’t eating lasagna every night for a week.
It’s a great idea to pack the meal in disposable containers. That way you aren’t adding an errand to their schedule by requiring them to figure out how to get dishes back to you.
An alternate idea is one that I experienced after I had surgery. A meal was dropped of for us in dishes that the cook was about to get rid of at a garage sale. She advised me to either keep them or donate them after I used them. Instead, I saved them until I had to take food to another family, and then I passed them along in the same way.
Spend Special Time with Older Children
New babies can take up a lot of time and attention. If the family has other children, offer to take their other children out for a play date, a trip to the movies, or some other fun activity. This will not only give the new parents a chance to rest or just spend alone time with the new baby, but it also gives the new baby’s siblings a little of their own special time.
Help with Household Chores
This is one of those items that you probably need to be family or very good friends to offer. However, if that is the case, you could offer to do tasks like cleaning the house or picking up their laundry and then dropping it back off clean and folded. This could also include offers of tasks such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, depending on the time of year.
If all of these options sound too involved, another idea that is a wonderful help but can often be fit into your own schedule is to offer to run some errands for the family. Its can be as simple as calling to tell them that you’re going to be going to the grocery store and drug store, and could you pick up any items for them while you’re out.
New babies aren’t the only time that families could benefit from these types of help. These are also great things to offer after family members have had surgery, a job loss, or other major changes.
What are some of your favorite things to do to help family and friends in need or with new babies?
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