When a woman is pregnant, it’s an exciting time for her, with the thought that she’ll soon welcome a brand-new human being into the world. The rest of her family will probably feel the same way. If she has a spouse or partner, they’ll need to prepare the house so it’s safe for the new arrival.
If there are some other kids in the household, the spouse or partner can talk to them about what to expect and how their lives and routines will change with the new child around (WebMD). They may be able to help, but their ages will determine what they can and can’t do.
Let’s look at different ways a family can help the new mom when she arrives home with the latest family member.
The Spouse or Partner Can Watch the Baby for a While
When the new mom gets home with the baby, she will want to spend most of her time with them.
Assuming there were no accidental birth injuries and the baby is healthy, the mom should spend her next days and weeks doing some child bonding.
The child will learn to recognize:
• Her voice
• Her touch
• Her smell
The baby will want to be with their mom most of the time, and vice versa.
However, the mom will probably feel exhausted in those first few hectic weeks, and the family can remove some of the burdens from her.
The partner or spouse can take the child into another room for a little bit so the mom can take a quick catnap during the day if she needs it.
The spouse or partner will also want to do some child bonding, so as long as the baby doesn’t cry and stays calm, this is a good thing to do.
The Family Can Cook or Order Meals
The new mom will want to rest after childbirth and regain her strength.
She probably isn’t want to cook a lot nor worry about anything other than the infant.
The family can help her out by:
• Cooking meals for her
• Ordering food
Maybe the spouse or partner can make her some of her favorite breakfasts, lunches, or dinners during those first days and weeks.
If the other kids are old enough, they can also lend a hand in this area.
Maybe there aren’t any great chefs in the family.
They can still prepare basics like cereal or pasta, but if mom says she wants something a little more elaborate, ordering in can also be an option.
Look into some services like GrubHub, Doordash, or Uber Eats.
The mom will find a wide selection, and the family will also support local restaurants this way, which is a great thing to do with the pandemic still going on.
The Family Can Keep the House Clean
Like cooking, the new mom probably won’t want to spend much time cleaning up the house while she regains her strength and gets used to the new routine.
The family can do their part by keeping the house clean and tidy.
The spouse, partner, and kids can sit down and look at different chores.
The spouse or partner might assign tasks or make it more fun by creating a chore wheel.
Each eligible family member can give it a spin to see what chore they get.
They might vacuum the house, clean the bathrooms, or dust.
If there are some outdoor chores like mowing the lawn or raking leaves, those should be on the agenda as well.
The more pressure the family can take off mom in the early going, the more she will appreciate it.
The family will also feel good that they’re doing their part.
The Kids Can Do Their Homework
If there is a spouse or partner in the picture, they should sit down with the other kids before the baby arrives and talk with them about what they will expect from them when the time comes.
If they are in school, the spouse or partner might stress that they’ll need to come home and do their homework without much prompting.
According to Ed Week, if they are doing online schooling, the spouse or partner can tell them they expect the kids to study and have their homework done by a particular time each day.
If they plan on watching TV or playing video games, that should come afterward.
The Older Kids Can Watch the Younger Ones
If there are older kids in the household, like teenagers, the spouse or partner can tell them they expect them to behave like adults.
They might call on the older kids to behave more responsibly and to take on more than they have up till now.
They might require the teenagers to babysit the younger kids while the spouse or partner is at work.
They might need them to drive the other kids to sporting events or pick them up from school, assuming the older kids have driver’s licenses, says Very Well Family
This will be a time when everyone in the family needs to adjust.
It will be a while before the baby is old enough that it can be away from the mother for any length of time, and for the bonding process, these early days are critical.
A new mom will undoubtedly appreciate all her family’s effort on her behalf.
She will not forget the other family member shouldering more responsibility.
Some of the younger kids might feel jealous because of the new baby.
This is common and not unnatural.
For her part, the mom can assure the kids she loves them all and does not prioritize or care about the new baby more than any of the others.
Ideally, the other kids will come to love the new baby once they grow used to them being there.