There is so much fanfare, energy and time put into hosting, planning, decorating and executing extravagant baby showers for the new mom to be. Which is great, and all, but what happens when the new parents are hit with the reality of caring for this new, cute, squishy little human that requires all of your time, energy and attention and you’re completely exhausted after most likely not getting any sleep? Most of the time there are dishes piling in the sink, loads of laundry to be done, your dogs haven’t been walked and life just seems to revolve around making sure you and your little one are surviving and thriving.
A new trend that has come into play recently is ‘postpartum parties’, which we think is actually better and more beneficial for new parents than baby showers! What is a postpartum party, you may ask? This is a time where your closest friends and family members will come over at the same time and help out with everyday life chores, bring over food, hold the baby so you can take a quick nap, shower or whatever else needs to be done around the house or for yourself. Usually when the new baby is born, friends and family will stop by, get their pictures and cuddles in, and then go on with the rest of their normal lives and they tend to forget or perhaps not realize the major life change that the parents have gone through, and how keeping up with their routine is now not possible, especially after being sleep deprived.
So how do you host a postpartum party? After you’ve given birth, you can invite over a few friends or family members over at a time and ask that they bring over a prepped or frozen meal and they can take turns holding the baby or doing a load of laundry. If you feel awkward about asking people to do this, perhaps you can tell a close family member or your best friend that you would really like having company around and help out with basic chores once a week for the first couple of weeks that you’re adjusting to life as new parents. They can send out texts or e-vites for specific dates, and that way there is one less thing for you to think of!
If you’re still on the fence about hosting a postpartum party, let us line out a few major reasons why you should absolutely have one (or a few!)
Newborn babies require to be fed every 1 ½ to 3 hours, which leaves little time for sleeping for newborn parents, especially moms who are exclusively breastfeeding. While household chores and responsibilities pile up, new parents have to choose between sleeping when the baby sleeps or getting chores done. A postpartum party will allow parents to take a nap, or two, while friends and family help out with caring for the baby, feeding him or her if you’re using a bottle or getting things done around the house. Sleep deprivation can really hinder a parent’s ability to cope with the stress of caring for a newborn, postpartum depression or their relationship with their spouse. There’s nothing more valuable than sleep!
A Clean House
Remember that pristine house you had pre-baby? Well say goodbye to that for the first few weeks after baby comes, and be OK with welcoming another pile of laundry from your new little one, a dirty diaper basket, burp cloths, bottles galore and more that comes with caring for a baby. With all of this new extra stuff to clean, sometimes the normal chores of dishes, sweeping, mopping, cleaning countertops, etc will become the last priority when your #1 priority is your new baby. A postpartum party with 3-4 people will whip your house into shape in no time if each person is assigned a chore, or even if 1 person does a load of laundry when they come over, there is no little piece of help that won’t be appreciated from the new parents.
After hearing baby cries and coos and talking in your ‘baby voice’ for a few days straight, you’re going to crave some real adult interaction and conversation. Also, having adults to speak to about any problems you’re having or catching up on what’s going on in your friends’ lives is very important! Although you’re a new parent, your identity still holds as a friend, sister, daughter, etc and there are other things that are going on in your family and friends’ lives besides you having a baby that you can talk about! Be sure to ask them how their lives are doing instead of talking about your newborn’s sleep schedules or poop horror stories. We promise they’ll appreciate it!
Dogs or Siblings need love too
If you have four-legged friends or other children at home, having a postpartum party will allow your dogs, cats or other kids to get some attention too! Most of the time a newborn consumes a family and your pets or other kids can get left to the side. You can ask your postpartum party attendees to bring a toy, coloring book or activity to do with the other kids to allow them to feel important as well. Or, you can ask your friends to take the dogs on a nice long walk, play tug of war or get treated with a new toy! It is important to make sure that everyone in the household is feeling loved and not neglected of time or undivided attention.
There is nothing more exhausting than having someone knock at your doorbell every few hours to come and see the baby. Of course, you’ll be excited and want to welcome visitors and have them spend time with your new little one, but having a rotation of visitors all day long can be exhausting. Especially for parents who are normally introverts and prefer their time alone. Instead of having a day-long rotation of visitors, ask everyone to come over at one time, say, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM and then you have the rest of the day to yourselves!
They say that raising a baby takes a village, so don’t be afraid to rely on those that are closest to you and love you the most for help, especially during those first few weeks. This will help reduce stress on the new parents, perhaps relieve a little tension in your relationship, provide you with time to sleep and also spreads the love for your four-legged or other babies in the home!