My dearest friend and neighbor just had her third baby. After having two boys, she finally got a gorgeous little girl.
Bringing home a new baby is so much fun. But whether it’s your first baby or your fourth, those first few weeks are exhausting. Those little bundles of joy command a lot of attention, plus you’re trying to recover physically. And if you have toddlers, you’re trying to let them bond with the new baby without smothering him.
I had wonderful experiences bringing home my two babies, mostly because I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by wonderful people. Generous friends and neighbors not only dropped off thoughtful baby gifts, but also delivered meals and treats for the first few weeks. My favorite meals were hot and ready-to-serve when delivered. Those first few nights home with my babies were especially draining, and it was so nice to enjoy a home-cooked meal without cooking a single thing. I mean, who wouldn’t love that? I just wish I could get those meals now even though my baby is already one . . . How could I swing that?
Not only is it fun to be on the receiving end of these meals, but preparing and delivering them can be fun too. You get to show your friend or neighbor that you care about them. And more importantly, you get to hold and love a precious newborn and then go home and get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Anyway, here are some ways to help a family welcome home their new baby:
- The first month after the baby is born is when meals are needed most. Check with the family and see what works best for them.
- Buy disposable aluminum trays so the family doesn’t have to worry about washing and returning dishes to you.
- Ask about food allergies before you make anything. I have received more than one meal that I could not eat because of my nut allergies. Womp, womp.
- To reduce stress, prepare part of the meal the day before.
- Double the portions so you can take plenty of food to the family and still keep enough to feed your family that night.
- Split the duty with another neighbor. We have implemented this system where I live, and it is so helpful. One person does the main course and bread, and the other does salad and dessert.
- Consider tucking in paper plates and utensils so they don’t have to clean up. The hippie in me hates to do this to the environment, but it does make it so much easier on the family.
- If you want, add a little gift for the baby or fresh flowers for the mother.
If it’s too overwhelming to make a meal, just drop off a treat or a snack. For example, take them a loaf of bread from the local bakery or bake them your favorite treat (I recommend caramel brownies). The most important thing is to make a small effort and let your neighbor know you care.