Give InKind’s Care Calendar helps answer the central question of how to give or receive support. In this case, how to set up a support page for yourself, a friend, or a family member who has a newborn baby.
Begin by identifying a close friend or family member who is able to sit down with both parents to understand schedules, food preferences, and anything else that may make their situation easier. The so-called Fourth trimester is a challenging, beautiful, complicated time. In offering help, you are letting parents know that you understand this to be the case. Make sure to validate their actual experience with the challenges and all – it’s normal. If a new parent shares that s/he is overwhelmed, remind of a time when you were too. Create a channel of communication that rests on love – with no judgment. (Take a look at a Sample Give InKind Support Page for a Family Welcoming a Newborn.)
For parents of a newborn, the opportunity to bond without distraction is a gift. Add as many items to the Care Calendar as necessary to enable them to bond with their baby. In helping to coordinate help, you are demonstrating the village in action. You are showing parents that while they may feel unsure as to whether they can do this, you know that they can.
- Food: Meals and groceries for the family are always among the most popular calendar items. This is especially true for new parents. Being fed is being loved. TIP: Many remember new parenthood as a blur. That said, most can remember the best meal they received. (One Give InKind staff member received a complete meal in a picnic basket with cutlery rolled in napkins and candles to light.) Do the parents have any dietary restrictions? If the mom is learning to nurse, be mindful of any ingredients that might impact lactation. Is anyone allergic to anything? Do they prefer home-cooked, takeout, and/or frozen meals?
- Childcare: If there are older children to consider, you can easily build that into the Care Calendar. It is always nice to celebrate the singular role of older children as their place in the family shifts. Offering to take an older sibling to the playground or for ice-cream allows parents to focus on the new baby – and maybe for them to take a quick nap.
- Pet Care: Are there pets to care for? Arrange daily dog walks.
- Home Services: Add calendar events for tasks like housecleaning while they’re at the pediatrician for a check-up or schedule a weekly laundry wash and fold session. Depending on the comfort level, you can either pick up their laundry or do it in their home while visiting with them. Remember, on your way out go ahead and grab the garbage ninja-clean style. When a baby is actually mobile, help them to install safety gear.
- Other: “Other" is the ultimate catch-all category. This is a great way to create opportunities for connections. If a new mom is learning to nurse, check in with her about that. Remind her that many women find it stressful and painful. See whether she could use any support, and remind her that fed is best. Designate an evening to a Ladies Night video call for mom, or a recurring day for Friends and Family video call.
The fundraising section can be beneficial for unexpected expenses. Ask whether extra cash would be useful. If there is such a need, simply enable the fundraising button on your InKind page and connect your PayPal or GoFundMe account.
The Give InKind Wishlist is another opportunity for others to meaningfully support a quarantined family with a new baby. Browse Give InKind’s curated list for suggested items. When you see an item that could be helpful, use the “+" icon to add to your Wishlist.
You may also add an existing Amazon Wishlist to your InKind page for items that may be leftover from their registry.
Use Give InKind’s do-not-disturb section to let others know about the family’s communication preferences. Keep in mind that these preferences can be easily turned on or off as a situation changes.
- Phone Calls: How do the parents like to communicate – a phone call or text? With a new baby, it can be impossible to know when the baby is sleeping. Parents may not be available to talk on the phone, but do appreciate texts.
- Visitors: Ask parents about their level of comfort with visitors. A home with a newborn is a universe unto itself. Parents may welcome visitors – but make sure to define parameters and create definite boundaries.
- Flowers: Flowers can be great to brighten up a home. In this case, they may not the most important thing, but they are still very lovely and certainly worth considering.
Add unlimited updates to keep friends and family informed. This is a great place for a designated page manager to keep family and friends up to date or for the recipient to “blog" or “journal" their experience if they wish to do so. We know that with a newborn, they’re changing every day. Add as many updates as you or the parents like to keep friends and family up to date. Create your InKind Support Page here.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.