by Rue Khosa
ARNP, FNP-BC, IBCLC
Bringing home a baby any time of the year can be overwhelming for new parents, but the holidays add an extra layer of stress and complexity. Here are 5 ways you can help bring holiday cheer to newborn parents:
- Gift a Service: Gift help with laundry, housekeeping, or meal delivery. A little help goes a long way. Yes, you could offer to provide the services yourself but not everyone is comfortable having people around during this intimate and vulnerable time.
- Bring Holiday Cheer: Offer to help set up or take down holiday decorations. Whether it’s picking up a tree or pulling it down from the attic, putting up lights or wrapping presents, new parents will appreciate the help. Helping add festivities to the home will lift everyone’s spirits.
- Gift a Newborn Care Specialist: A Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) is a trained and certified newborn caregiver. We know that bringing home a new baby is both as exhilarating as it is exhausting. An NCS can make all the difference, especially if you’ve had a difficult delivery, or do not have any local family support. They not only help care for baby, allowing new parents to rest and recover, but provide the support and guidance many new parents so often need.
- Sniffles? Skip the Visit: DO NOT visit if you or a family member are sick. Seriously, the minute you sniff, or God forbid sneeze, you’ll ruin the holiday. Just the mere thought of their baby possibly being exposed is enough to cause anxiety… SO just don’t! Send your warm regards, refer to no.1, and STAY home.
- Wait for the Invitation: We saved the best for last. Uninterrupted bonding and rest, during first couple weeks after delivery, are incredibly crucial to both the parents, and the newborn’s ability to thrive. We’re often so excited and eager to see the little one that we rush to visit, only serving to further overwhelm the parents.
If you really want to be useful, offer to spend a night to help watch the baby so the parents can get some rest. If that’s not a possibility, refer to point 3, and take advantage of one of our Newborn Care Specialists. The gift of expert care is arguably the best gift you can give to new parents.