We need to change the culture around caring for new parents. The work that new parents are doing - particularly if they have made the decision to support a baby’s natural and healthy sleep rhythms - is vital for our communities’ wellbeing, but deeply under- appreciated.
When things are hard, here are some ways that people around you might offer to help. Taking care of practical tasks in the home and help with childcare can give you the opportunity to rest, have baby-free time (when you’re ready for it) and take care of yourself.
Perhaps you might be in a position to pay for help around the house, or with childcare. Perhaps you might have family or friends nearby who would like to help. Perhaps you have a friend who you could mutually support when you each have the need and the capacity.
Visitors to the home can...
Cook meals and fill your freezer
Buy food - especially easy to prepare/ready made snacks and meals in the early days
Load and unload the dishwasher
Change your sheets
Pick up shopping
Make you tea
Clean the bathroom
Care for pets, walk the dog
In the first few weeks, don’t have anybody visit your home who would not be happy to do one or more of these things for you!
Helpers can watch/hold/carry your baby while you...
Sleep in in the morning after broken nights
Take a short walk alone or with a friend
Go to therapy or other appointments important for your wellbeing