Author: Casey Runck, DCBD Senior Doula

This week I took time off, flew to Chicago and visited friends who welcomed their second baby less than three weeks ago. Here are my tips for what a family really needs from friends after birth:

  1. ALWAYS wash your hands.  Germs and flu season are a lot for a new family and new baby.  Take your shoes off and wash your hands as soon as you walk in the door.  If you’ve been inside for more than an hour before holding the baby, wash your hands again and make sure to wash after changing dirty diapers.
  2. Clean something, anything!  Whether it’s loading the dishwasher, folding laundry or simply wiping down a counter you should clean something.  Days and nights blend together and while a family may have wanted to unload the dishwasher a crying baby always trumps dirty dishes.
  3. Ask what they need from you and mean it.  If they hint that it would be helpful to walk the dog or set up a new baby contraption, just do it. Think outside the box; if you notice a stack of Amazon boxes ready for return offer to drop them at The Post Office on your way home.  More times than not, help does not include holding the new baby. Asking what they need will help ease their load a bit.  After all, it takes a village to raise a baby and everyone has a role!
  4. Leave your opinions at the door.  You might be tempted to offer opinions or advice on everything from swaddling to introducing a bottle but unless they clearly ask you for your opinion, keep it to yourself.  Whether someone is bringing home their first baby or their third, I assure you they are doing their best and your opinion or judgement will only make things more difficult for them.

Added bonus!  Here are my MUST have baby products

Halo Swaddle Me

My BreastFriend

Rock and Play