MILWAUKEE -- Did someone you know just welcome a new bundle of joy and you can't wait to go get your baby snuggles? Hit the breaks! A new baby means big transitions. Sarah Kooiman with Milwaukee Moms Blog joins Real Milwaukee with what you need to know before you go banging down the door to see the baby.
1. Sleep - It's no secret that a new baby in the house makes sleep a challenge, but that is a very tame way of describing how sleep deprivation can turn a normal human woman into a version of herself she hardly recognizes. The sleep struggle is so very very real and literally anything you can do to get Mama some much-needed rest would be HUGE.
• Gift idea: White Noise Machine. Or perhaps a gift certificate for a postpartum doula or a sleep consultant.
• If you are close enough to the new mom, offer to snuggle the baby for a while so she can go take a nap!
2. Supplies - Babies need stuff. A LOT of stuff. They also need a lot of care around the clock and the last time we checked, life as usual doesn't just stop when a new baby arrives. Older siblings still need to be parented and fed and shuttled around, laundry still gets dirty and people still need to eat!
• FOOD: The Number 1 request of new moms everywhere! Gone are the days of throwing together Aunt Pamela`s tuna casserole and showing up on Mama`s doorstep unannounced! No, ma`am! Instead, hook them up with meal delivery from a service like The Real Good Life or order them groceries from Amazon Fresh. You don`t even have to be able to cook to send food! Got some skills in the kitchen? Sign up for the meal train, but make absolutely sure that you TEXT Mama well in advance to arrange a drop-off time and be sure not to go in with expectations of hanging out for too long.
• DIAPERS AND WIPES - Lots of them. Bring `em on. The amount of diapers newborns go through every day is absolutely staggering. Pro Tip: Bring 2 sizes of diapers; one pack of the size Baby wears NOW and another pack of the next size up. You just might be the hero that saves them from a future midnight run to Walgreens.
• MAMA MUST HAVES - Dry Shampoo, simple and healthy snacks, a cute water bottle, cozy socks, actual pajamas, coffee or yummy tea
• SERVICES - Stuff still needs to get done! Hook her up with a gift certificate for housecleaning services or a newborn session with a professional photographer
3. Support - New Mamas need to feel supported, heard, valued, and that they do NOT have to do it all or understand it all! They need as many things as possible taken off their plate and encouragement in their role as Mama.
• Sometimes, the best support you can offer a new mom is by staying away. Yeah, we know that sounds strange, but hear us out. If you are sick, even with just a cough or snotty nose, wait until you are healthy to meet Baby. And if you are coming to visit, TEXT DON'T CALL in advance and remember to wash your hands!
• If there are older siblings around, it is a HUGE help to entertain them so Mama can have special time with Baby or maybe even get those older kiddos out of the house for a bit. One-on-one time with Baby when there are siblings in the picture can be so precious in those early weeks!
4. Solidarity - The transition into motherhood is a rough road, no matter what route we take to get there. We can feel isolated, exhausted and overwhelmed. The good news is that there is a whole heap of women who have walked this same road who can carry new moms through.
• When she`s ready, take her out for coffee or lunch or maybe a pedicure; some sort of outing that gives you the chance to connect and talk as adults, even if it is just about how tired you both are!