How To Support Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby (2023)

Motherhood

written by JULIA DELLITT

    How To Support Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby (1)

    Source: @homeyohmy

    After I got home from the hospital with a brand-new baby boy, my phone dinged with an email. A coworker I had literally just met the month prior set up a meal train for my husband and me, so we were all set for dinner two nights a week for three months. “Don’t worry about anything!” she said. “We’re here to support you!

    I remember feeling shocked and full of gratitude. I considered myself a pretty good friend, but with new parents, I never really reached out—mostly because I didn’t know how to help. Now, I can confidently say visiting a friend who just had a baby is one of the kindest, most thoughtful things a person can do. Here’s a quick guide on how to support a new mom so you can do it right.

    1.Don’t invite yourself over.

    You might be stoked to see your friend and meet their little one, but it’s common to give new parents space the first 4-6 weeks after they get home from the hospital. Assume a visit won’t happen for a little while, and under no circumstances should you “stop by” unexpectedly or invite yourself over—even if you mean well, even if you are only going to stay for five minutes, even if you’re bringing a gift.

    New parents are typically trying to re-calibrate physically, mentally, and emotionally—and, um, running on very little sleep—so visiting and socializing can be exhausting. They also may want exclusive time with their baby before rolling out the welcome wagon. (Of course, if you’re a veryclose friend or family member, this rule may not apply. Still, you’ll want to ask before visiting.)

    WHAT TO DO

    Wait a couple of weeks, then reach out. In the meantime, send flowers or a supportive card or text.

    (Video) She named her baby after her best friend 🥺 #shorts

    WHAT TO SAY

    “Hey, I’d love to see you and meet Baby when you’re ready for visitors! Are you cool with us tentatively planning for a visit the week of ____? If yes, I’ll bring dinner.” If they say no, or not right now, don’t take it personally, and offer again later.

    2. Bring something.

    Any etiquette expert would cringe at the idea of showing up empty-handed to a visit, and the same applies to seeing friends with new babies. You’re not obligated to bring a gift, but it’s probably going to be appreciated if you do. I remember, as a new parent, someone bringing me a little goody bag of lotion, body wash, and chapstick, and I felt so grateful for the tiny acknowledgment that my body had just been through the wringer and could use some TLC.

    Other friends brought outfits for the baby, a cute blanket, or diapers and wipes (really can’t go wrong with that last one!)—and most people brought food, which is alwaysa good idea, no matter what.It doesn’t matter if your friends are millionaires or the baby is 5 months old; bringing food is a neighborly, helpful gesture. When you’re thrust into caring for a child, whether it is your first or fifth time, literally the last thing you want to do as a new parent is think about cooking or planning meals. If you choose this route, know it ishelpful to offer to bring food in the first 1-3 months, when life is the most chaotic with an infant. If you’re coordinating with a larger group (like coworkers), you can utilize a meal train app or website to make planning easier so the new parents know what to expect.

    WHAT TO DO

    Check on any allergies or meal preferences, then drop off their favorite takeout, make a homemade dish with plenty of leftovers, or provide a couple of gift cards to local restaurants. Put it in containers that you don’t need back or use disposable ones. Add paper plates, utensils, and napkins so your friend doesn’t have to worry about clean-up either. Or, like I said, if the whole food thing seems like a lot of work, simply bring over a bottle of wine, a bag of coffee, or a small gift of your choice.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “I know you’re perfectly capable of making or buying dinner, but I’d love to take one thing off your to-do list. I’ll drop off a rotisserie chicken and salad tomorrow night around 6 p.m., no visit needed!”

    3. Give parents a break.

    My mother-in-law once came over at 8 a.m. to literally hold my son so I could sleep for an hour. At first, I puttered around making small talk, and then she finally was like, “I’m not here to see you, I’m here to help you, please go sleep and trust that I’ll take care of the baby.” She didn’t have to tell me twice.

    When you’re visiting a friend who just had a baby, offer to hold the baby so they can do anything. A shower, a quick run to Target, a catnap—all of it will be helpful and work wonders for helping your friend feel like a regular person again and give him or her a much-needed break without stressing about if the baby is OK. Some of this depends on your relationship with the person as well; know your friend might be sensitive about ANYONE holding his or her baby.

    WHAT TO DO

    Make a point to wash your hands, then offer to hold the baby. If you’re not comfortable doing so (and a LOT of people aren’t, which is normal!), just say so. You can help with rocking the baby in an automated swing, keeping the baby safe on the ground on a blanket, shushing the baby in a bassinet, whatever. And if you offer to hold the baby, and your friend declines, don’t take it personally.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “May I hold the baby, if you’re comfortable with that?” Or “Can I give you a break to ____? I’m happy to watch Baby for a little bit so you can shower/check email/nap.” Or “I’m pretty nervous to touch or hold newborns, but please know I’m admiring him/her from afar! So cute.”

    How To Support Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby (4)

    Source: @almostmakesperfect

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    4. Remember siblings.

    In some families, it’s not just the parents feeling the aftereffects of bringing a baby home. Siblings, particularly younger ones, may also get overwhelmed. This is definitely not mandatory, but if your friend has other children, it might be nice to bring a little gift to help big brothers or sisters feel included. You can also skip the gift but make a point to chat with siblings and give them your full attention in addition to gushing over tiny toes.

    WHAT TO DO

    Acknowledge the sibling with eye contact, a little hug or pat on the shoulder, or a smile. Depending on their age, read a book or play with the older kiddo—whatever would make them feel like you’re interested and they are as important as the baby.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “Wow, you’re a big sister/brother? I bet you’re being so helpful.”

    5.Be a good listener.

    Some new parents want to share every last detail and obsess over how adorable their kid is. Others desperately crave adult conversations. Take the lead from your friend, and let the conversation go wherever they want. Give the gift of friendship by being a good listener or telling some funny stories about a recent date or work situation.

    WHAT TO DO

    Put your phone down, and be fully present with your friend.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “How are you feeling lately? What’s the best or hardest thing about parentingso far?”

    6. Offer specific, practical help.

    One of my BFFs visited us during my maternity leave, and she cleaned our entire apartment from top to bottom. Did I ask her to do this? No. Did she do it anyway? Yes. For most people, it is easier to accept help than ask someone for it, so do your best to either take initiative during a visit (“While you’re nursing, I’m happy to finish those dishes off before heading out the door!”) or ask for specific direction (“What’s one thing I can do to help you today, no matter how small?”).

    You can also gently give permission to the new parents in your life to ask you for help. A friend of mine said after she had twins, someone mowed her lawn. She felt relieved at that chore being checked off the list, and the person who did it enjoyed being clearly useful. Seriously, any help you offer is useful right after a baby enters your friend’s world.

    WHAT TO DO

    Something specific that helps your friend. Take their dog for a walk, run to the grocery store for milk, drop off packages at the post office, return that random sweater from Target, go put gas in their car, make a batch of granola, or wipe down their kitchen counters.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “I’m going to _____, if you don’t mind. Really, I want to help you however possible, and it’ll make me happy to do this for you.” Trust me, new parents will often insist against receiving help because it feels hard and awkward to be “needy.” I once told my cousin to stop saying “Sorry, could you . . . ?” during a visit with her 7-week-old baby becauseI could tell she felt so put-out about asking for help, and I was theretohelp her!

    How To Support Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby (5)

    Source: @homeyohmy

    (Video) MY FRIEND IS HAVING A BABY!!!

    7.Keep visits short and sweet.

    For a while, one of the hardest battles of being a new parent involved figuring out a nursing and sleeping schedule. Babies are not the most reliable creatures, so this often leads to stress—which means if you’re planning on visiting, show up on time and only plan to stay for 30 minutes or so. If you arrive early, you’ve likely thrown your friend completely off track, and if you overstay your welcome, know your friend is probably dying to get some rest.

    WHAT TO DO

    Keep a visit short and sweet (around 15-45 minutes), and show up on time—if you’re going to be early or late, text your friend to make sure that’s okay.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “I’m running 10 minutes early! I can circle the block if you need more time before our visit, so let me know.” Or, at the beginning of a visit, “I’m going to stay for a half-hour and then let you get back to family time.”

    8. Send well wishes.

    Depending on your relationship with a friend, the entire concept of a visit may feel like too much. That’s fine. But I can still recall the names of acquaintances who sent flowers at the hospital, a note in the mail, or a little text of congratulations—because those small kindnesses meant the world to me. Every bit of support counts, so if you’re not sure what to do, just send a quick message to your friend and their family. It doesn’t have to be detailed, just something short to make them smile and feel good.

    WHAT TO DO

    Send congrats in any form. This doesn’t require your physical presence.

    WHAT TO SAY

    “I’ve been thinking of you! Wishing you all the best with the new baby.”

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    FAQs

    How To Support Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby? ›

    As the experts at Hallmark say, congratulations messages for a newborn baby are your way of officially greeting the new arrival.

    What do you say to a friend who just had a baby? ›

    Examples
    • “So happy for you two! ...
    • “Ahhh! ...
    • “You two deserve every bit of happiness this baby is going to bring you.”
    • “So many happy and wonder-filled times ahead for you… ...
    • “Warmest congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby girl!”
    • “Love just got real. ...
    • “Welcome to the world, little one!
    Sep 8, 2016

    What do you say to your best friend having a baby? ›

    Simple Wishes
    • “So happy for you.”
    • “Wishing all the best for you and your baby-to-be.”
    • “Wishing you sweet times ahead…”
    • “Can't wait to meet baby!”
    • “Your family is about to get even cuter.”
    • “Blessings to baby and you.”
    • “Praying for a safe and healthy delivery for both you and baby.”
    Jul 11, 2019

    What do you say to someone after they give birth? ›

    Simple new baby wishes
    • Wishing you three all the happiness in the world!
    • So happy for your growing family! ...
    • Many congratulations on the birth of your daughter/son! ...
    • Wishing you all a few extra hours of sleep and all the joy of a new baby!
    • Congrats on your new arrival. ...
    • Sending you three all my love. ...
    • Happy new parenting!
    Jun 28, 2022

    Do you say congrats to someone who just had a baby? ›

    As the experts at Hallmark say, congratulations messages for a newborn baby are your way of officially greeting the new arrival.

    How can friends support mother after birth? ›

    Offer time to your friend or loved one and ask what they need the most when you're there—you could let them take a break while you do dishes, watch the baby while they nap, cook them a meal, talk with them over coffee or tea or even assist them in navigating doula or mental health services, suggests Dr. Ream.

    Should I text my friend who just had a baby? ›

    Send well wishes.

    Every bit of support counts, so if you're not sure what to do, just send a quick message to your friend and their family. It doesn't have to be detailed, just something short to make them smile and feel good.

    How do you congratulate a new mom? ›

    New baby wishes - message ideas to inspire you
    1. Welcome to the world. ...
    2. Wishing you all a lifetime of love, health and happiness together.
    3. Enjoy this special time. ...
    4. I know you'll be a wonderful mother.
    5. May God bless you and your precious new baby!
    6. Here's a special little something for your little something special.

    What do you write in a card for a friend who had a baby? ›

    Thoughtful example: [best friend's name], congratulations on the birth of your beautiful son/daughter. I am so proud of you and feel so lucky that our little ones as so close in age. I hope they have as an incredible friendship as we have.

    What do you text a new mom? ›

    Congratulations! He/She is beautiful. I hope you and your new baby are doing well! That's it.

    How do you congratulate someone on a new baby formal? ›

    What Do You Say to Congratulate a Coworker on a New Baby?
    1. We can't wait to meet your new bundle of joy! Congratulations on welcoming your newest member!
    2. I'm so happy for you and [partner's name]. ...
    3. I know your little one will be just as amazing as you.
    4. Warmest wishes to you and your sweet new baby.

    How would you congratulate your close friend after the birth of her baby? ›

    Many congratulations to you all on the safe arrival of your newborn baby. We wish you all the very best." "That one tiny baby can bring so much joy and love into your life is truely remarkable. We hope and pray for happiness and health for you and your newest member."

    How do I talk to my friend about postpartum? ›

    If you suspect a friend may be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety:
    1. Offer to pop by and hold the baby for a bit.
    2. Ask how she's coping with motherhood.
    3. Enter conversations with compassion.
    4. Relay your own struggles with becoming a mom.
    5. Tell her about the ways other mothers helped you.

    How can I encourage other moms? ›

    So here are five easy ways to support other moms.
    1. Communicate and stay in touch. ...
    2. Offer to take her kids for an hour. ...
    3. Bring her a meal, even if she doesn't have a new baby. ...
    4. Be honest about your struggles and end the comparison cycle. ...
    5. Send her an encouraging card in the mail. ...
    6. I know you're busy, mama.

    What not to say to a woman who just had a baby? ›

    7 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman Recovering From...
    • Don't say anything negative about the way she gave birth. ...
    • Don't judge the way she feeds her baby. ...
    • Don't brag about how quickly it took you to bounce back after birth. ...
    • Don't say anything about her “hogging” her baby. ...
    • Don't mention anything about work.
    Jul 29, 2020

    How do you welcome someone to motherhood? ›

    Welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood; you're going to be great! I'm so happy for you! Congratulations and all the best as you embark on this new journey of motherhood. You'll be great!

    What do you say to someone after having a child? ›

    Supportive Texts To Send Someone Who Just Had A Baby
    • You've got this. ...
    • I'm so proud of you.
    • I'm coming to get your laundry. ...
    • You did it! ...
    • You're seriously going to rock this parenting thing. ...
    • You are going to be an amazing mom. ...
    • Girl, you are so strong.
    Apr 29, 2021

    What do you say to someone about to have a baby? ›

    Wishes of health.

    “Wishing you an easy delivery and healthy baby,” “Wishing you health and joy as you welcome your new baby,” or “May you all be happy and healthy!”

    How do you praise a friend's child? ›

    You can say she is beautiful, pretty, sweet, cute, kind, smart or grown up. For example, "you are very pretty" or "you are very smart". You can also compliment her clothes, "I like your dress" or "your shoes are very pretty".

    How do you congratulate a new mother? ›

    New baby wishes - message ideas to inspire you
    1. Welcome to the world. ...
    2. Wishing you all a lifetime of love, health and happiness together.
    3. Enjoy this special time. ...
    4. I know you'll be a wonderful mother.
    5. May God bless you and your precious new baby!
    6. Here's a special little something for your little something special.

    How do you write a sympathy card for a baby? ›

    “So deeply sorry you have to go through a heartbreak like this. Sharing in your sorrow and keeping your family in our most caring prayers.” Use the baby's name. “I wish your Olivia could have stayed with you, and with all of us, for so much longer.”

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