New mom food delivery with a delay factor.
May 5, 2012 7:37 AM   Subscribe

How long after having a baby would food delivery be appreciated?

My friend is having a baby and I really want to bring over lasagnas, soups, or [your new mom suggestions inserted here]. I love making food, I love my friend, and I would love to have a summer "project". But, I don't get back to our mutual town until 6-8 weeks after baby appears.

I don't want my friend just to be humoring me. She is a high powered Dr., used to sleep deprivation and is extremely competent in all areas.

Would bringing her food (if she seemed to appreciate it after first attempt) after 2mths be weird? I don't have kids obviously. Would the 1.5-4mth zone still be a time when she might want/need help in this area?
posted by bquarters to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes. That is a totally awesome time for food. Things don't really start getting back to normal until 5-6 months, from what I've heard and experienced, and even then getting dinner on the table is a pain because you have to do bedtime, deal with bottles/pumping equipment/baby get the picture.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:45 AM on May 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

It is always nice to bring someone food - even extremely competent people need to eat. Just check in with her when good times would be and if she has any preferences/allergies/etc.
posted by mutt.cyberspace at 7:49 AM on May 5, 2012

I'm single and childless, and capable of and even enjoy cooking for myself -- and I would do backflips on my eyebrows if someone brought me food. Because everyone has a day when they're too damn tired and don't want to go to all that bother, and if there's something already in the fridge, fantastic.

Any time is a good time to share food with people. Whether they've had a baby or not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on May 5, 2012 [7 favorites]

I'd ask what they'd like, first. I know I would have been thrilled at food delivery but wept at endless vats of lasagna.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Okay, cool. Lasagna was just an idea. I read an earlier thread that said 'one handed' foods were good so I will have to think about what fits the bill there. I know her well and am pretty sure that variety won't be a problem, was just wondering if it was only the first few weeks that were really the 'help-required zone'.
posted by bquarters at 8:05 AM on May 5, 2012

My friends with children are almost always happy to have food brought, regardless of the kid's age. I think 6-8 weeks would be nice because at that point, the brigade that might have organized itself right after the birth will have disbanded.

If she's OK with your seeing her home looking somewhat disorganized, why not offer to cook and then come over and eat with her, instead of (or in addition to) simply dropping off meals? I have friends with small kids whom I would see very rarely if we didn't get together at their place. It can be a big pain in the butt to organize an outing with a small kid, especially close to bedtime. And my friends, at least, enjoy having some adult conversation at home. You could even play it by ear, depending on her energy and stress level.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:11 AM on May 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I was going to say 18 years! But I think during that first difficult month it would appreciated.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:21 AM on May 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

If she's going back to work, she'll likely appreciate meals then as well.

(Pardon my assumptions about man/woman/work/gender roles/etc but I think you get my point about the meals ;)
posted by thatone at 8:21 AM on May 5, 2012

I like brianogilvie's suggestion best. I would add to it - clean up the kitchen after eating. We had some friends visit us and bring dinner - we so appreciated those that cleaned up the table and kitchen for us. (Not just getting dishes to the sink, but filling the dishwasher, wiping counters down, wrapping up leftovers, etc ... it was just really very helpful.)
posted by stowaway at 8:23 AM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

My babies are five and nine years old and I would still love for somebody to do this for me. What a good friend you are!
posted by Andrhia at 8:43 AM on May 5, 2012

[Folks, if this is not your question, please do not turn it into your question, please follow up with each other over email or MeMail, thank you]
posted by jessamyn at 9:35 AM on May 5, 2012

My kids are 18 months and 5.5 years and if someone brought me dinner right now I would cry with happiness.

More specifically, my church organized dinner for me for the first 2 weeks after our second kid was born, and then for another week when the baby was 6 weeks old. Six weeks is a developmental spurt that often results in a lot of fussiness and broken sleep, and it was so lovely to just know that someone was going to come by with dinner at 4 PM and I didn't have to worry about it. There's another similar spurt at about 3 months, so yeah, there is basically never a time when this isn't helpful.

The BEST deliveries were the ones that were complete and nutritious (i.e. came with vegetables) AND where the person brought 2 or 3 single-serving plastic containers to pack leftovers in, so I would know that my husband and I had lunch the next day without me having to think about that, either. If you do this, get the "take and toss" kind that can be microwaved and thrown away without guilt. (The VERY best delivery was the one where the person brought dinner and then she folded all my laundry while her husband cleaned my kitchen. But that is truly exceptional.)
posted by KathrynT at 10:05 AM on May 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Tell your friend you'd like to help her out by bringing some meals when you're in town and ask if she has any preferences/requests. This gives her the opportunity to decline if she wants, but also lets her ask for something other than the endless lasagne. (Lasagne is great and many new parents appreciate it, but it's sort of a default and some new parents end up kind of drowning in pans of the stuff.)

Depending on how she's feeling, she may or may not appreciate you hanging around. But definitely offer to help her out. Infants are exhausting and if the two of you are close enough she might end up feeling hugely relieved to let you clean the kitchen or do a couple loads of laundry. Offer to babysit so she can take a nap or go out for an hour or whatever.

As for food suggestions, I'd recommend a homemade stir-fry or pad thai or something. Lots of healthy veg, some protein, some carbs from rice or noodles. Bring sliced fruit for dessert since it's the summer. Likely lots of people will be offering her sweets like cookies, but fruit will be refreshing and light, and it can be so much effort to prepare with an infant in the house.
posted by asciident at 12:09 PM on May 5, 2012

baby brambory is 7 weeks and I can confirm that this is a great time to bring meals. In fact, my brother-in-law just made us lunch and dinner today and it was amazing.

Sure, I can cook (unlike right after giving birth) and even enjoy the pleasant pre-baby normalacy of cooking most of the time, but it is really, really nice to be pampered. Especially after a night of feeding every 2 hours. Really, really nice.

So, even if she is dealing incredibly well with the sleep deprivation and adjusting well to the baby and even if the baby is happy being put down so she can technically cook, I'm guessing she'll still be very happy to have the meals.
posted by brambory at 1:40 PM on May 5, 2012

I love cooking - but nobody wants to do that with a little baby, especially once one partner goes back to work. You could bring those meals over for the first year, there is no bad time.

I actually tried to do this myself before the baby was born, after doing it for some friends a few times and seeing their joyous reactions. I cooked up a shitload of lasagne, pasta sauce, chili, dhal and other things that freeze well. We used all of them. It is a great idea, especially things that freeze well. The other thing that's super helpful is healthy things in general, especially healthy snacks, cause when the batteries are low, temptation is very hard to resist...

Bless you OP. The only thing people did for us post-pregnancy that was this gratefully received was staying overnight with the baby, and gifts of nappies (which are just so great! Nappies! Who knew!?).
posted by smoke at 3:57 PM on May 5, 2012

My child is almost two and I take advantage of free/already-prepared food wherever I can get it; sooo yeah.
posted by celtalitha at 4:32 PM on May 5, 2012

Adding to everyone else. Food given to parents anytime during the first 18 years is awesome. Offering to take care of other things while you're there is huge too.

Something to think about: if your friend/their partner is breastfeeding, consider bringing interesting non-alcoholic beverages. Nursing makes you thirsty and drinking plain water gets boring. I went through a pile of those huge cranberry juice jugs in the first few months and I always ran out when I was home with Jr. by myself with no car to get anywhere.
posted by melissa at 4:58 PM on May 5, 2012

My son is 24. I'd be delighted if someone brought over a tasty meal.
posted by theora55 at 7:29 PM on May 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

My favorite foods one week in: waffles (homemade ones heat up nicely in the toaster and can be eaten one handed -- blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon extra good because you don't needs syrup to make it tasty), steak and veggies if you want to cook, good sandwich stuff (carrot sticks or similar are an awesome addition). And finally, half a really good beer and a chocolate chip cookie.
posted by ejaned8 at 6:26 AM on May 7, 2012

Food? Any day, any time.

Bring along paper plates & plastic silverware if it's the first few weeks: a meal is awesome, but a meal WITHOUT DISHES is a slice of heaven iteself.

My mom always said, "hell is two people and a whole ham" -- so consider bringing over enough to eat plus already-wrapped left-overs. Heck, bring over meals already frozen and just appear, slam the freezer door, and take off into the night like Zorro. You'll be a hero.

(Also, and I don't know how to say this delicately, but if the delivery resulted in some physical trauma then stuff like chili might be cruel in the early weeks.)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:10 PM on May 10, 2012

My wife, to her everlasting credit, believes in delivering a meal to new parents or to folks just moved into a new house. Everyone swoons.

No, they don't set the menu (which is lasagna, bread, salad & dressing, cookies, and paper plates, sometimes with homemade ice cream), but I have never seen anyone turn it down. And as for "an endles sea of lasagna"? Well, how about instead "a freezer with something in it." :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:13 PM on May 10, 2012

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