Baby's First Year · Emotional Health

What’s the best Valentine’s gift for a new parent? (And no, it’s not chocolate!)

Dad playing blocks with his daughters

Most people associate Valentine’s Day with chocolate, flowers, and jewelry, but have all you partners out there thought about the best gift a new mom could ever ask for?

You guessed it … hands on, practical help to get through the early days with a new baby.

Being organized ahead of baby’s arrival can make for a smoother transition after birth.  Partners, here are some of the best ‘gifts’ you can give a new mom:

  • Healthy snacks prepared in the fridge for her to access throughout the day.
  • Make some big batch meals that can be frozen for later use.
  • Time to nap and rest her mind, knowing someone will care for baby if they cry.  New mothers should have a minimum of 6 hours of sleep in a 24hr period.
  • If you have other children keep them busy so your partner can have some alone time at home.
  • Consider organizing a ‘date’ for the two of you.  If you can’t leave your home, set the table with candles and a meal for you both when the baby is sleeping.
  • Bundle your baby up and encourage a family walk for some daily physical activity, this will help lift your partner’s mood.
  • Don’t feel you have to ‘fix’ everything for her, just make the time to listen to her and offer her a big hug.
  • Tell her you love and appreciate her, and that she’s a good mother.

 

An Important Hint for Moms:

You can also help your partners by keeping the lines of communication open.   Let them know how you are feeling and what they can do to help.  Your partner may not do something exactly as you would, but just stand back and give them the opportunity to figure it out their way…even if that means using 20 wipes for a single diaper change!  This builds their confidence and helps them become an equal partner in parenting.  In the long run, this will benefit you too!

 

If you are concerned about your partner’s mood and ability to cope with your new baby, consult your health care provider and/or call Toronto Public Health at (416) 338-7600.

 

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