By Jenn Lonzer @ First Derm Dermatologist / Skin Care
Sure, expectant parents get a bit of a thrill when registering for baby gifts. They’re excited and it’s super fun to walk around your favorite store scanning and planning for your little bun. There will be showers of gifts – clothes that may fit your baby for a week, a stroller if you’re lucky, the latest diaper disposal technology, colorful play mats, etc. It’s not until after the baby is born, maybe a few weeks into parenting, that parents realize their registry was all wrong.
It’s not that gifts aren’t appreciated, but as first-time parents, it’s impossible to predict what you’ll really need. It’s not until you’re a walking zombie who hasn’t showered in days and look down to see that the swaddle in your arms is actually your cat that you realize what every new parent needs.
Got an expectant friend? Here are four things you won’t find on her registry, but for which she’d be eternally grateful over the next few months (OK, years):
1. A shower. Many first-time moms don’t realize that once that baby pops out, they’ll spend the next 18 years longing for an uninterrupted shower. In fact, for the first several years, just finding the time to hop in the shower (and remain awake to actually wash) will feel impossible. Offer to take the baby for a walk so she can shower without distraction.
2. Diapers. They’re not as cute as infant Doc Martens, but it’s a gift that parents will use, a lot. Also, talking to mom-to-be about what kind of diapers she intends to use (cloth or disposable) is an opportunity for you to help her sort out the down and dirty, mustard-yellow details that many people don’t talk about.
3. Meals delivered to her house, in weeks 2-6. Everyone wants to visit in the first week. The truth is, it’s not until after the visiting family have all gone home that new parents start to wonder how they’ve gotten to be on a first-name basis with the pizza delivery guy. Prepare healthy meals that are easy to reheat, send the family a text message (don’t call and wake the sleeping family!), and drop the food at the door. If you’re lucky, someone will be awake to get your text and feel up to visitors. Please don’t feel hurt or cheated if you drop the food and leave unnoticed. You’ve just done something incredibly helpful for your friend. She’ll call you as soon as she’s up for a visit!
4. A non-judging, supportive confidant. Before the big arrival, many expectant moms can’t wait to hold their bundle of joy. A few weeks later, when her nipples are cracked, she’s worried the baby isn’t gaining enough weight, and that bundle of joy won’t stop screaming, every mom needs a friend in whom she can confide. Be the friend she knows she can turn to when she starts to wonder why on earth she thought she wanted a baby in the first place.
About Jenn Lonzer
With a passion for storytelling, Jenn Lonzer’s obsession with words began while she was still a small child hearing Mother Goose poems. Now, with more than twelve years of professional communications experience, and nine (and-a-half) years of parenting, Jenn brings her expertise and passion to her work in health communications. She’s currently blogging at https://www.firstderm.com/