Sincere Support: 5 Ways to Genuinely Help Your Friends When They Become Parents
02.01.2023 WELLNESS 0.0 0

new parents

Photo: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

The transition from single to married and married to parenthood can be challenging, especially for friends who aren’t married or planning to have children. You want to be a good friend, but the dynamic has changed. Now, instead of going out freely on the weekends, your newly anointed parent friends are staying in, changing diapers, and cooing at their bundle of joy. 

It can all be a bit too much for the friends “left behind,” so just how can you support the new parents without it being awkward for any of you? The following tips should help.

1. When You Visit, Don’t Show Up Empty Handed

When you visit your friends and meet the new baby, don’t forget to bring something that helps the trio out during this chaotic time. For example, if they’re formula feeding, find out where to buy baby formula and get a can or two of the brand your friends are using. Baby formula is expensive, so this will be a very welcomed gift. 

Alternatively, you could bring diapers, baby wipes, or food – resources that run out far too quickly when you’re a new parent. Nothing is more soothing than having dinner taken care of for you when adjusting to a new baby. 

2. Plan Ahead for Outings

As a childfree person, your schedule is wide open, and spur-of-the-moment plans may be no big deal. For new parents, however, it takes planning to go out. The most crucial step they need to take is finding a babysitter. Once they do, you’d better not cancel, as it likely took a lot for them to coordinate plans. 

Also, you must be up for hanging out with the parents and their baby. There will be times when getting a babysitter just isn’t an option. 

3. Offer to Lend a Hand

Having a new baby is hard work. The new parents probably don’t get enough sleep, rarely shower, and live in a chaotic mess. If you want to be a good friend, simply offer to care for the baby while they can get anything done – think housecleaning, showering, or taking a nap. 

Remember that not all new parents are comfortable with others holding or caring for their baby, so don’t get offended if they refuse your offer. Eventually, the newness of the situation will wear off, and they’ll practically beg you to watch their child so they can get a break. 

4.  Don’t Offer Unsolicited Parenting Advice

A new parent will likely ask for parenting advice. They may even ask you, their childfree friend. While you can chime in and share your thoughts during these moments, it’s best to avoid offering advice if they don’t ask. This is especially true if the advice contradicts their chosen parenting style. 

It can be difficult keeping your opinion to yourself, especially if you see the new parents doing something you disagree with, but try to keep your mouth shut, as unsolicited advice rarely goes down well. 

5. Wait a Couple of Weeks to Visit

The first few weeks after a baby is born are a chaotic time for the new parents. Be courteous and give them a couple of weeks to adjust to their new normal before showing up at their door for a visit. In the meantime, be sure to call or send a text letting them know you’re thinking about them. 

Being a childfree person with friends who have become new parents can be awkward. However, you can still be a supportive friend and an important figure in their lives. Implement the tips above, and you’ll be off to a good start. 


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TAGS:friendship, parenting, well-being

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