Top 5 Tips for Visitors AFTER Baby is Born

Basic housekeeping: No one person has to do it all but many hands make light work.  You could plan ahead for this or have your bff organize everyday chores for the first month.  Things like laundry, dishes, vacuum, clean a bathroom, take out the trash, make a bed or scrub a floor are easy for someone to handle in a quick visit.  Plus they get a quick peak at the bambino and spend a few minutes chatting with you.  Win-win!
Errands:  There is always that person that loves to drive and or shop around to feel fulfilled.  Put him or her to work on simple things such as post office, bank, pharmacy or food shopping and you’ll make their day.  Better yet, have them pick up whatever thing you think you need for the baby and they’ll be over the moon!  This can be routine or on call.  Talk with them ahead of time to see what schedule you could work out.  Again, these types of people will be happy to feel part of the “new baby” process.
Meals:  Many people love to cook or don’t mind picking up your favorite take out.  Even if you’ve frozen meals before baby, you should accept fresh made meals at first and use yours as a back up.  Be sure to enlist your most coordinated ally to put this together so you don’t get duplicates or more than one meal per day.  If you have food limitations you’ll want to make that very clear to avoid hurt feelings especially if you don’t eat their cuisine.  The organizer could make a list of do’s and don’t’s.  This meal train works really well with acquaintances as well.  It’s easy for them to just drop something off and still feel like they’re helping.
Babysitters:  Primarily for the older children, but you could use an extra pair of hands to take a shower or eat a hot meal too.  Siblings love all the attention visitors give them, especially if they take them out to a park, library, lunch, event, play dates or just to hang out at the visitors house.  It’s relatively easy to entertain a bigger child when they’ve been cooped up with mom and baby for a bit.  Even just a watchful eye on the kiddos playing in the yard, can give you piece of mind.  Consider a tween or teen who is good with kids too.  Any distraction will do.
Pets:  Yup even the pets need extra lovin’.  It’s time consuming and exhausting to walk a dog in those first months postpartum.  Babies don’t always cooperate when Fido needs to tend to do his business. If you have that pet friendly buddy that loves to play with your pooch, take advantage and prepare him to come over as often as humanly possible.  Getting your pet lover to spend a half hour or more actually playing with Fido in those early weeks, will take the pressure (and guilt) off of you.  This could even be a teen on the block that has always showed an interest in the pup.  You may need to give kids a few dollars, but it’s money well spent.  I didn’t forget the other pets: Kitties are less time consuming but your housekeeping helpers could always change or scoop a litter box.  Same for any small animal in a cage.  Farmers may need to hire extra hands for a few weeks to be sure your animals are properly tended to.
Even if you have a very willing and able partner to do these chores, you’ll want to give him or her a chance to take it easy too.  While they may not have the physical incapacities that you have, they too are sleep deprived and mentally exhausted.  Some partners are even working while trying to care for mom and baby the best way they can.  It’s ok to give them a pass in these early weeks so your new family gains the most benefits.
When compiling a list of do-gooders don’t forget to reach outside of your close knit circle.  I’m sure many co workers, religious affiliates, neighbors, playgroup moms and other organizations you belong to have companions who would love to take part in helping you and your little one.  Be sure to talk about this at your baby shower, sprinkle, blessing way etc. and anytime you can while still pregnant.  This way you’ll see how many interested people you have to work with.  Plus, if you have your closest friend send out announcements of your plans, it’ll help things go smoother after birth.  Make sure you have lists of chores laying around for anyone you forgot to include and don’t forget to hang a sign on the door reflecting your wishes for short, productive visits while you and baby recover. 
With some helpful, adventurous, creative and organized friends to rely upon you’ll be sure to have a more relaxed fourth trimester.

Sarah Glenn, CD, CBE, IBCLC, YTT has been helping families through the perinatal period of life for almost 30 years.  She is a wife and mother of 7 children & a dog, 4+ grandchildren & grand dogs.  In her spare-time she is an avid reader, nature goddess, sun seeker and budding herbalist.
Posted: 8/6/2019 1:53:23 PM | with 0 comments

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