new parent

5 Things to say to a new parent

When we speak to new parents, the stakes are high. 

It’s easy to forget how powerful what we say to our friends, coworkers, daughters, daughters-in-law, and sisters can be at such a surreal and vulnerable time. 

We want to come across as helpful, considerate, and understanding.

Just as babies didn’t come with a handbook, we don’t have a guide to refer to when speaking to a new parent.

new parent

So check out this list of 5 things to say to a new parent!

1). “How are you feeling today?”

Just because they’re no longer expecting or have visible back pain or swollen ankles doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate someone asking how they are feeling today.

Whether the parent gave natural birth or went through a rigorous adoption process, they are still new parents. Just because the baby has arrived, doesn’t mean emotional support is no longer needed. The well-being of a new parent matters, so remember to check in on the parent too!

2). “I’m going to the grocery store, what can I get for you?”

The more specific, direct, and actionable your offer of support is, the more likely it is to be received. An open-ended. “How can I help?” is hard to respond to. 

Take out the burden of feeling overwhelmed from attempting to answer a broad question by simplifying it. By specifically asking what you can get from the grocery store, it takes the tone that it’s not up for debate. 

If you word it even as, “I’m going to the grocery store, do you need anything?” Is most likely going to be an offer turned down.

You’ll probably get back a “no thanks” or “appreciate the gesture” response, when we all know of course they’ve probably had no time to shop, much less feed the dog and take the clothes out of the dryer. 

Remember, direct and specific, and to the point will work out best.

3). “You’re doing a great job!”

Parents are tired, overwhelmed, and second-guess their choices. They need encouragement and to know that they’re doing a good job. 

They can’t hear it enough, believe me!

We all want to be the best parents we can be for our children, and new parents can certainly feel the pressure to raise a kid who is confident, kind, and successful. 

They forget they’ve never done this before but may have very high expectations.

New parents may take their baby crying or that one time they forgot to use diaper cream as a sign that they’re failing. 

Parenting is one of the most rewarding but self-critiquing jobs on the planet!

So remind them they are doing a great job. Because they are.

4). “I’m going by [your fave restaurant], can I bring you dinner?”

Again – specific, specific, specific. Families with new babies need sustenance and they will forget to eat! It is easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re a new parent now responsible for someone else. 

Picking up takeout from their favorite place will go a long way. 

5). I’d love to come sit with you, can I come tomorrow morning?

It can get really lonely as a new parent, especially if their partner is working out of the home. Parents need to be witnessed and held in a safe space. 

When visiting a family with a new baby, set the tone immediately —

 “Can I get you some water?” “Can I wash your dishes?” 

Let them know you’re there to serve them, not for them to entertain you.

By implementing these 5 things to say to a new parent, it will greatly reduce their stress load and provide the help and support they might otherwise not have asked for. New parents need all the love they can get, as much as they are giving to their little ones.