Baby showers are fun, but what do new parents really need? Help after baby arrives!
So instead of playing yet another game of “Guess how big her belly is!” host a “postpartum party” for the new parent(s) instead.
While not technically a “party,” this idea gives a new parent exactly what they need: Help. The idea is that you think a step ahead and organize a series of ways for you and those who'd attend a baby shower to pitch in during the six weeks following birth.
- Sit down with the parent(s)-to-be and get a list of contact information of anyone who would’ve been invited to a baby shower.
- Next, consider the family’s possible postpartum needs. Do they have older children who will need entertaining or a ride to lessons or school? Will Mom need a companion to ferry her to pediatrician appointments or postpartum appointments? (If she has a C-section or difficult birth, driving and getting a car seat in and out of the car will be hard!) Is there a dog that will need walking? Flowers that need watering?
- Create a schedule. Consider scheduling a helper at least a few times a week. First, fill in known needs such as “bring dinner” or “babysit siblings.” Then, schedule people in one- to two-hour blocks to just be there to help. When someone comes over, they should just jump in and do what needs to be done without needing to be asked.
- Brief your "helpers" (a.k.a. the same friends and family you'd invite to to a baby shower). Let friends know that they should be ready to do any tasks such as the following: entertain/babysit the older siblings; make a grocery or diaper run; cook; help around the house including doing the dishes, running the laundry and helping with yard work; hold baby while the parents take a nap; and chauffeur older children.
If the new parent(s) are really uncomfortable with friends helping or most of your guests are unavailable during the day, consider pooling your funds and hiring a postpartum doula.
Regardless, the important part is that you're helping welcome this little one into the world.