Creating A Baby Helping Plan – Who can you call for help?

Are you welcoming a new baby soon?

Now is the perfect time to come up with a plan and contact list for support and help before you need it. We call it your Baby Helping Plan!

Knowing who you can call when you need help is a great way to reduce your stress as a new family.

You can write your Baby Helping Plan on your phone or make a handwritten list that you keep on the fridge – the important thing is to write it down and keep it somewhere you can always find it!

We recommend that each parent create their own list of helpers. Each parent needs their own list of people they feel comfortable calling for help. Make sure that you have shown each other your lists and both agreed that it is OK to call the people on your lists.

What type of help will you need?

1. Practical Help: Who will bring meals over? Pick up medication? Come and care for the baby for a few hours? Unload the dishwasher? Drop off diapers?

    1. Friends, family, neighbors
    2. Service options: Instacart, DoorDash, meal kit deliveries, pharmacy delivery, diaper service – whatever makes sense for your geographic location and situation.

    2. Informational Help: Who do you trust for parenting advice? Who would you call wondering if (fill-in-the-blank) is normal?

      1. Friends, family, neighbors
      2. Service options: Your pediatrician, consulting nurse line, Parent Trust Family Help Line: 1-800-932-4673

      3. Emotional Help: Who can you call when you’re feeling stressed? Who do you trust to call when you’re sad or overwhelmed? Who can you vent to when you feel like having a baby was so much harder than you expected? 

      1. Friends, family, neighbors
      2. Service options:  support groups, warm lines, faith groups Parent Trust Family Help Line: 1-800-932-4673.

      After your Baby Helping Plan is made, make sure that your friends, family and neighbors know what is going to be asked of them ahead of time. Talk with them and let them know what you may need BEFORE the baby comes. 

      Ask your chosen support people specific questions, like, “When I have my baby, can I turn to you for this kind of help?” and give them some time to answer. This allows people to take a few days to think about the level of commitment needed and be realistic about what they can offer. Then when you need to reach out to the person on your list, both of you will be expecting it and they are less likely to say “no” in the moment (letting you down) or say “yes” in the moment (and feel unprepared and resentful). 

      Think about all the times you have wished you knew what to do for a loved one going through big changes. Talking it through ahead of time can help everyone feel more comfortable and prepared.

      The early days can be WONDERFUL and HARD.  Every family needs community to support us — friends, family, neighbors, and services.

      Setting up your Baby Helping Plan ahead of time can help everyone be more prepared for when your new baby comes. 

      Want more ideas about preparing for your baby? Call the Family Help Line at 1-800-932-4673 and talk to our Parent Coaches. It’s a free call, and we’re here to help you!