Did your close friend or family member have a baby recently? Maybe not even that recently–within the past 6 months? Have you at any point wondered what to give them as a gift or how to help in this time of excitement and upheaval? Here’s a tip:
Give them sleep.
You heard me. Sleep. That is what they most want. More than a hot meal. More than a 3-pack of onesies, more than that sterling silver rattle from Tiffany’s.
“But how?” You ask. “I can’t make their newborn sleep through the night for them.”
True! But at this point, your loved ones with the new babe aren’t looking for anything longer than a couple, maybe three, uninterrupted hours of shut-eye. So here’s what you can do:
Come over in the evening. Tell them to feed the baby, tank it up. Take the baby our of their shaking, tired arms, and tell them to get the hell out of there, put in ear plugs, turn on white noise, and go sleep. You will wake them up when the baby is clearly hungry to nurse (assuming they are breastfeeding. If formula-fed, you can feed the baby yourself!).
Do this for as long as you can. Maybe you take the baby for an hour. Maybe three. When the baby needs to eat again, maybe you hand it back to them and leave..or, maybe you wait for the baby to nurse, and take it away again. Pop on a movie, play games on your phone, dance around the room with the bambino while you have it… Whatever. If you can make it to the later hours of the evening, more power to you. Do what you feel you can do without sacrificing your good will and comfort. (And let’s be real, you’ve stayed up til 1 am binge -watching Walking Dead, so you could conceivably stay up to that hour with the baby, perhaps?)
This is the greatest gift you can give your new-parent loved ones. They will be so incredibly grateful (if they can relax enough to let the baby out of their sight).
I know this tip only applies to people who feel comfortable holding and juggling a baby, and for parents who feel comfortable leaving their baby with others. If you both fall in those categories, I’m telling you… THIS is what you do if you genuinely want to help. They won’t tell you that’s what they want, but trust me… It is THE ONLY thing they want.