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How you can help after the baby is born

  • There are a number of things you can do that will help your partner in the first few weeks after your baby is born:

    • Help your partner get healthful foods and plenty of fluids all day long, especially if she is breastfeeding or recovering from surgery.
      • Bring her glasses of juice or water, especially if she is nursing your baby.
      • Help prepare meals or bring home healthful take-out food. This includes salads, soups and pasta. These are better choices than fried foods and pizza.
    • Clean up or get help to clean up the house so she can nap when your baby sleeps. If you help her do these things, she will recover more quickly and get her energy back sooner.
    • Accept help. Your partner may be shy about accepting offers of food, cleaning and help from family and friends. You don't have to be.
    • Run errands. There's probably a grocery store or pharmacy list on the refrigerator. Grab it and go. At least during the first week or two, your partner will need to sleep when she isn't feeding or caring for your baby.
    • Spend time with your baby. After your baby has been fed, hang out with him. Playing, talking and singing to your baby is important for his development. Talk to your baby about anything that comes to mind. Read him a baby book or the newspaper headlines.
      Your baby just likes to hear the sound of your voice and feel the warmth of your touch. Time with you is special. You can start morning or bedtime rituals that will continue into childhood.
    • Help calm your baby. You cannot spoil a baby. You can't hold and comfort your baby too much. Your baby is learning that he can trust you and you will be there when he needs you. In fact, babies who know their parents will take care of them cry less and calm down faster.

    Helping siblings

    If this is not your first child, help your older child or children adjust. Give your older children special attention. Set aside regular time and do something fun together.

    Also, take your baby now and then so your partner can have time alone with your older children. That will show them that your baby doesn't get all her attention.

    You play a key role in helping siblings adjust to your new baby. By helping with your baby, you show that your baby is a family member. By sympathizing with the jealous feelings new siblings often have, you can help them feel accepted and loved. This helps them truly welcome your baby.