A friend of mine just recently had her second baby. I also have some pregnant friends. They inspired a post I wrote called 10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman. It also made me start thinking about when I had a newborn and how exhausting and tough the first little while was, especially when you added a toddler to the mix.
When our own friends have new babies, we kind of forget about all that and we want to go see them and their new bundle of joy right away. But we also have to remember that new moms are still recovering from delivery, adjusting to a new way of life and probably surviving on very little sleep. It’s important to give a little time and space, no matter how anxious we are to see mother and baby. And when we do finally visit, we should make it as easy and comfortable for the new mom. So I’ve compiled some tips for Visiting New Moms.
1. Don’t show up unannounced: As anxious as you are to see this new baby and your good friend, DON’T just show up without calling or asking first. It doesn’t matter how much you did that before, when there’s newborn mode in the house it may mean that the new mom is probably in PJ’s, with some spit-up or a dirty diaper to change and just not ready for company. Give mom a chance to prepare herself mentally and physically for a visit.
2. Bring food: When you do come for a visit, bring food. The last thing a new mom needs to worry about is preparing meals. Cook dinner and bring it over. Something that’s easy to re-heat and even freeze for later use. This will be extremely appreciated!
3. Make yourself useful: Don’t just sit on the couch holding the baby, help out around the house. Wash dishes, fold laundry, put away toys. And don’t bother asking because the polite new mom will just say no. But trust me, (unless she’s totally a control freak) she will appreciate you helping out.
4. Give her a break: When you come over for a visit, offer to hold and take care of the baby for the next little while and let the new mommy take a nap or a shower or even just have some time for herself. If she has a toddler, offer to take him for a walk or to the park to give mom a bit of a break.
5. Don’t stay too long: Even though a new mom will appreciate the company, the food, the help and the break, don’t overstay your welcome. Once you’ve had your visit with the little bundle of joy and your friend and you’ve done whatever you can to make their lives a little easier, leave. Families with new babies are still bonding and they need their rest too. So make a timely exit. It’ll be appreciated and you may even get an invite back.
*What did you appreciate the most when you had a new baby in the house?