Those first few days after a woman becomes a mother are arguably some of the most trying and most joyous of her life. There is so much to learn and so much to feel and even more to try to get adjusted to. Aside from the actual having a baby part and being incredibly sore, new moms are also filled with love and worry about this new human being. Thoughts like, How does one seriously take care of a newborn? They are so tiny?!? will surely pass through new mom's mind a few times per day. And at the risk of looking on the outside just as frazzled as one feels on the inside, many new mothers do not really ask for help with the baby, sometimes even with dad. This can, in turn, actually hurt mom more than help her.
Listen, mom, a tiny human just entered the world because of that strength, no one will doubt mom's ability. So while the influx of visitors are around and grandma can't get enough of those tiny feet and dad seems to somehow still get more rest than the average person, read on for 15 ways to ask for a little help, without feeling guilty. We've included 5 things just for Mom and baby too. Enjoy!
20 Can Ask For Help - Ask Dad To Play Paparazzi
With all the hullabaloo going on once your little one finally makes his or her first appearance, taking pictures can seem like something so far out of mind. The thing is, months and months later when your little one is starting to crawl and walk, those memories of him or her being only a few days old will be even more precious than the day to day as you are living it now.
So, as a new mom, one thing that can be really helpful to ask visitors or dad to capture some of these new memories. "Can you take pictures of us when you visit? Not always while we’re looking at the camera." Candids are more fun, anyway.
19 Can Ask For Help - The Head's Up (We Might Need Visitors To Bring Things)
Impromptu visits happen. There is nothing new moms hear more than, "well we were in the neighborhood and we wanted to see the baby." But after the first visit it can really pay off for new moms to ask their visitors, "can you call to ask if we need anything before you come by for a visit?" The thing is no matter how prepared you may be as a new parent, there will always be a long list of things you and your family will still need that may have not occurred to you on the way home from the hospital.
Food is probably the major item new parents need most. Who knew what an appetite having a new baby can work up!
18 Can Ask For Help - Multitasking For Mom
Unless all of your visitors are seasoned moms, getting someone to hold the baby can be a bit of a chore and something you really have to ask for. But having some of your visitors actually look at the baby instead of just ooing and ahhing, ask your visitors to give your tired arms, and body, a break.
Asking, "can you hold the baby while I shower?" Can really help when you want to shower or do anything else you need to do for yourself. The whole new mom thing can be pretty draining so even if it's just to take a quick nap, asking someone to take the baby for a little while can really help ease the transition to becoming a new mom.
17 Can Ask For Help - Meal Prep Help
We mentioned how much becoming a parent can work up an appetite, right? Well, it can also take up a lot of time. So if you didn't have the time to prep meals before you delivered, chances are you will have even less time to prep meals now. Insert a helping hand from your visitors. Ask the occasional visitor to help Dad prepare meals for the week. It can be as simple as setting up the containers or stirring the pasta, but every little bit helps, and every little bit will also keep your family fed. You all will need fuel to keep up with that little one you have on your hands now.
16 Can Ask For Help - Fresh Sheets And Clean Sleep, Please!
People are always mentioning that wonderful new baby smell, but very seldom do you hear about the new mom smell. Yes moms, when you have a baby you will smell, a little. Although every woman is different the hormonal free-for-all your body goes through once you deliver can cause night sweats in some and an increase in body odor for others, meaning changing the sheets often is really important.
The only thing is if you are still healing, tucking and fitting the sheets over a mattress is not ideal, so instead ask one of your visitors if they can pull out fresh linens and place them near the bed or maybe even change the sheets for you.
15 Can Ask For Help - It's Time To Leave Now
It may seem rude to ask a visitor to leave, but when you are a new mom there is such a thing as even your favorite relative overstaying his or her welcome. Try not to feel guilty, especially if your little one decides to take a nap. In the beginning, it is pretty essential that you sleep when your little one sleeps so you can have enough energy to stay up with them when they wake again. Plus, as a new mom you are bound to be tired, most of the time, your body is getting adjusted and so are your hours. If you aren't too uncomfortable asking them to leave, consider excusing yourself instead.
14 Can Ask For Help - Wash Those Hands
Asking anyone who is coming in from outside to wash their hands before holding the baby is just good manners when visiting the baby. It may seem a little weird but yes, ask. There are thousands of germs and tiny microbes that can wreak havoc on your tiny little one's immune system and some colds and viruses can be very risky for babies of a certain age.
It's best to avoid all of that by practicing clean and sanitary practices around your little one from the beginning. When in doubt just ask visitors and anyone coming in from outside to wash his or her hands before touching the baby or even going into the nursery.
13 Can Ask For Help - This Swaddle Thing
There are so many new things to learn once you become a mom, and at least 1,000 new tools one has to learn to use for your little bundle of joy, asking for help from seasoned mothers can really take some of the edge off of this learning curve.
Asking things like, "can you help me figure out this swaddle thing?" can really mean the difference between spending 2 minutes wrapping your baby and 30 minutes getting frustrated and an entire night of sleep disruption. No one is going to judge you because you asked, and we know the nurse at the hospital showed you 100 times, but the pain meds made everything a bit blurry. So ask. You'll be glad you did.
12 Can Ask For Help - Sanitize Those Bottles
One of the biggest things that play a role in the new parent learning curve is calculating the number of bottles new babies go through and how to clean them and sanitize them properly. Luckily bottle makers make things like sanitizing bags that new parents can just throw in the microwave, it makes it pretty easy to sanitize, and there are also self-cleaning bottles that one just throws in the microwave with a little water. But asking visitors in the early days if they can assist in bottle cleaning will really help ensure you always have enough bottles on hand and that your little one is being fed in the best way possible.
11 Can Ask For Help - Food! Please!
The best gift anyone can bring new parents isn't necessarily toys or gifts for the new baby (though those are appreciated as well), but actually, one of the best gifts one can offer new parents who just brought that tiny little ball of awesomeness home, is food. As new parents it's only normal that asking for the things you really need may come last on the long list of things to do, after all that new baby now comes first, but when prompted by visitors to tell them what you want, have a list of your favorite restaurants ready and your preferred menu items on standby. Just a simple, "please get us food!" can really make the sleep deprived mom a lot more bearable.
10 Can Ask For Help - Keep Us Company, Please!
For many new parents, especially new mothers, one of the scariest things after having a new baby is venturing out with him or her for the first time after coming home from the hospital. Even if it is just a quick trip to the pharmacy, any outside activity can feel really daunting. If this is the case with you, consider calling a friend and asking if they can accompany you on a mommy errand with your little one so you feel that you have additional support. Since everything is new, even a trip to the supermarket can feel monumental but having someone you like and trust around can make the transition a bit easier.
9 Can Ask For Help - The Night Shift
They say every baby is different, but one thing that remains the same with almost all children is that they experience what is called the witching hour when most children are incredibly irritable and somewhat difficult to calm. This time can be especially traumatic for new parents, therefore any added help can be a real benefit. As new parents consider asking visitors, friends, and family, "can you help out between the hours of my newborn's witching hours?" Whether it be 4 am or 5 pm an extra hand to grab a burp cloth, heat a bottle, or snap in the straps on the swing will feel like a lifesaver.
8 Can Ask For Help - Clean Something!
So many onesies, so much laundry! "Please help us clean something." Asking for help with cleaning when there is a new baby in the picture is a very normal request. Things just don't function the way they once did now that mom and dad are fully devoted to the needs and demands of their tiny newest addition. If you notice the laundry piling up and the dishes doing the same, don't be too shy to ask for some extra help maintaining the home. You're a new mom, you deserve the help.
Besides, what other point in life can you have a really valid reason for not cleaning and allowing your guests to help pick up the slack?
7 Can Ask For Help - Grab That
Bending, lifting, carrying, toting, you name it, it's probably off limits for a new mom. No matter how you brought your dear daughter or son into the world, chances are you are probably pretty sore. If you forgot to move the quilt you had made special for your nursing chair in a mom friendly zone and looking at it on the top shelf is just about driving you nuts, do your best not to reach for it, instead consider asking for some help. Can you lift, carry, grab, or reach xyz object for me? Just try not to get too comfortable doing this. You will eventually have to start moving about again.
6 Can Do Alone: Change Diapers
With all the things we talked about new moms needing help doing, it's about time we've reached at least a few that she is totally capable of doing on her own. New moms can without a doubt change their little one's diapers. Not as glamorous as you would have hoped? Here's the thing, changing a diaper isn't glorious, no, but it is a quiet time for you and your little one when you can bond and make funny faces and get your best diaper changing time down pat. Who knows maybe you can even set a diaper changing record. In any case, no need to ask anyone for this one, Mom. You've got this.
5 Can Do Alone: Calm Fussy Baby
Even though it may be a bit tiring at times, calming a fussy baby is just one of those things that Moms are just naturals at. No need to call in reinforcements on this one. There's just something about a mother's touch that makes a newborn feel at ease. This is not to say that you won't have the occasional night filled with screaming and crying, that is just a part of the territory, but when it comes to making her little one feel safe and sound, that's one thing moms can do all by themselves. Try not to worry if it takes a little to get really good at. You'll get there.
4 Can Do Alone: Pick Out Baby’s Outfit
Getting your little one dressed is just part of the fun of new motherhood. There is no better feeling than seeing your baby fill out those cute little newborn clothes you picked out all those months ago. Can you believe how adorable he or she is? And sure, it may be fun to ask a friend to pick out something, but Mom, reserve some (if not all) of that fun for you.
You will get a feeling of pride when people ooh and ahh at how cute your little one is and how adorably he or she is dressed. Not only did you make the baby but you picked out the outfit, too!
3 Can Do Alone: Feed Baby
With the exception of those late night feedings when most moms really just want to roll over and go back to sleep. Feeding the baby is one of those things that Mom can master all on her own. Regardless if mom is breastfeeding or formula feeding, nourishing her little baby boy or girl is her role 100 percent. Sharing a meal with your little one is another bonding moment when the two of you can talk and look into one another's eyes and form that bond that will last forever. There is nothing like a mother's love and all that greatness starts now.
2 Can Do Alone: Go For A Walk
Just after you get your little one home from the hospital you may be itching to see how far you've progressed since pregnancy. Try not to push too hard though, depending on your specific circumstance most doctors advise taking brisk walks as soon as you are feeling up to it postpartum. Many moms wait the full six weeks before they start getting up and about, but taking your little one on his or her first walk is one thing moms can absolutely do by themselves.
1 Can Do Alone: Put Baby To Sleep
Although it may feel like you may need a hand, especially in the wee hours of the night. Putting the baby to sleep is an art form that mom will eventually have to master. I know it may seem far off now, but just imagine you being able to do everything you are working to do now, one-handed or with little to no effort. Putting the baby to sleep is like that. Mom can handle it, it just may take some time to get right. Creating a sound sleep environment is something that most mothers really want to focus on as early as the first few nights.
References: personal experience