Photographing the journey of motherhood every step of the way
Julie Kulbago Photography is a nationally published photographer who is trained in newborn safety practices and has mastered the technical knowledge & experience to use advanced photoshop techniques to capture challenging poses safely.
Her full service boutique photography studio works with families to capture fleeting moments so they last a lifetime. Let’s plan your perfect session!
You were there when she had the first date, the wedding, and the pregnancy. It’s finally time. The baby is here! Your bestie just had her baby! Now what? I’m here to help you answer one of those questions we all wonder . . . “what to bring a friend who just had a baby”!
Babies are a lot of work. A LOT of work. Yes, they are so squishy and delicious and you just want to snuggle up with them. However, babies love to live life at night, and parents (namely moms), live on only a few broken hours of sleep for many, many weeks (weeks, not months/years, if they are lucky).
Once you get the okay to visit (and definitely get the green light before you barge in), you may be wondering “What can I bring?” or “What can I do?”. I’ve got you covered – – Here are my best suggestions for:
What to bring a friend who just had a baby!
Food: If you can bring dinner in a disposable container (don’t make the new mom wash and return anything) that can just be tossed in the oven and heated, that’s a huge win. You can take the extra step and make it a full meal with a side and dessert. It’s also a great idea to shoot your friend a text so she knows a meal is coming on “X” day. That takes something off her plate for that day. Keep in mind that newborns are newborns for longer than 2 weeks. Most moms I talk to say they get so much help, sometimes too much, the first week or two, and then everyone disappears. You can always send a meal at week 3 or week 10. You can be wild and crazy and send multiple meals at different times!
Gift for older kids: If this is a second or subsequent child, try to bring something small for the older kids. It’s hard for the 1st child, formerly an only child, to adjust to sharing attention. So, bring a gift (bubbles, chalk, stickers, legos, hot wheels) and shower the older child (children) with love and attention when you visit.
If this is your friend’s first baby and she has a dog or cat (or other animal), chances are pretty high the pet was like a child. Chances are pretty great that is going to change with a new baby in the house. Bring the pet a gift! Give the dog a bone or a bag of treats, buy the cat a new toy, and shower the pet with love when you get there. Bring some tennis shoes with you and take their dog on a walk. It may also help the pet to deal with the loss of attention, too.
Baby Gift: You’ve probably already been to the baby shower and know your friend has all her bases covered with baby essentials. But, a gift is always appreciated. Skip over the newborn sizes because chances are the baby is already growing out of those. Grab some size 3-6 month onesies or a cute 3-6 month outfit, and you’re good to go. I love these Burts Bees Onesies. You could be practical and get some diapers and/or wipes. Size 1 in Pampers will probably do the trick.
Help: I think this may be the best one yet! As I said earlier, babies are a lot of work. Sleep is at a premium to a new mom. Your friend may be living on 3 hours of broken sleep a night. If your friend is okay with you helping yourself to a drink in her kitchen, odds are she’s okay if you do her dishes. And don’t just ask “Can I do anything for you?” Odds are she’ll say no. Most people don’t want to ask a visitor/friend to wash her cereal bowl that was used for a coffee cup because all the cups are dirty. If you see something, do it! Sink full of dishes? Wash them! Pile of puked on clothes and sheets on the floor? Toss them in the washing machine! Make it even better and time them to go in the dryer before you leave. Make your friend lunch, or bring her favorite Panera meal with you so she isn’t starving.
The gift of Time: Give your friend time. Holding her baby is great, but go beyond that. Tell her you’ll stay for “X” hours so she can get a shower, or take a nap, or go for a walk, or drive to Starbucks alone. Let her step away from the baby, away from the mess, and let her feel like herself – – whatever that may be for her. For me, it’s going to Panera, alone, for a fountain drink. Yes, I’m wild and crazy. Fountain drinks are my happy place, so find your friend’s happy place, and let her go there. Again, if she just wants to sleep, let her. Tell her it’s okay. Tell her you will stay with the baby so she can sleep for 2 or 3 hours, or cry in the shower (we’ve all been there) and then nap.
I hope you found this practical list of “what to bring a friend who just had a baby” helpful! As a mother of 4, I remember those early days and they are hard. Currently having a driving teenager with a girlfriend is also hard, but that’s a different post altogether!
If I had to pick, the best thing you can do for anyone who just had a baby is to drop off food and give some help.
Make a lasagna, bread and chocolate chip cookies (or buy them premade), and when you drop it off, wash your hands, tell your friend to do what she wants, fawn over the kids, wash the dishes, preheat the oven and when your friend is back, throw the lasagna in the oven with the timer set, and leave behind a fed and changed baby and a slightly cleaner house.
Let her know you’ll be back another day, and that she can call you whenever she needs. And mean it! That’s a good friend!
What do you think? What do you bring a friend who has had a baby? I would love to hear your thoughts as well!