5 Tips for Visiting New Moms

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 WomanIt 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.

Visiting New Moms

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?

36 thoughts on “5 Tips for Visiting New Moms

  1. I intend to be a hermit when we have another kid. I feel like I missed the newborn phase because some couldn’t take a blunt hint to leave. They meant well but we will be enforcing all of these next time. The food idea is wonderful so thankful for those that brought meals to us. Smacks for the new mom, healthy quick snacks are great too!

  2. All five are very good tips. Love the “bring the food” the best. Sometimes people don’t realize how exhausted a new mother can be, so it really helps to set some kind of guidelines for them as they regain their strength and bond with their newborn.

  3. This is perfect advice! I just had a baby 18 months ago and I am so thankful that my friends and family followed all of this. I remember coming home and just had an emergency c-section my house was a disaster and my mother in law was coming into town to meet her grand-daugther. I obviously was in no condition to clean on my first day or two back home. I was so embrassed, but you know she came into town and without any judgement cleaned my house. At the time I was mortified, but so thankful to have such a wonderful mother in law on my side.

  4. This reminded me of having my first baby in Holland where it is expected that everyone visits (it would be very impolite not to apparently) and indeed everyone came bearing endless gifts too – all my work colleagues, my boss, every neighbor, everyone I knew. A never-ending stream of people. And you have to serve them up a special cake which is called Beschuit met muisjes – a kind of dry rusk, buttered and then sprinkled with either or pink or blue and white aniseed flavored hundreds and thousands. I remember being stunned by having all these visitors but I had plenty of help from my husband and mother in law so it was nice too.

  5. #1 is so perfect! Many are so eager to see the new baby and congratulate you that they don’t consider that you’ve possibly been up all night and the house is in total disarray. Very thoughtful tips.

  6. Salma that picture of you kissing the babe is the cutest thing ever! Great tips. We never had friends bring food over, but with our first my mom and sister came and cooked some meals for us to freeze. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we appreciated it.

  7. #1 is definitely true. Some of my (obviously not very strong) friendships didn’t last because they did not understand that I was so sore from an emergency c section and so overwhelmed and just wanted to come and ‘see the baby’.

    Luckily we also had those that followed all your points and were awesome in feeding and looking after us!

  8. When my best friend had her first baby I had a great time staying with her for the weekend to help her adjust. I helped her put together whatever baby stuff wasn’t done yet, cooked for her so she could focus on the baby, and watched him so she could go outside for some fresh air. The little things really matter!

  9. I agree with a lot of this, especially bringing food! Except I would feel a little awkward if my friend came over and did housework. I’d just be happy to have them hold the baby and visit with me for a little bit. That’s just me though.

  10. These are great tip! I especially like the ones saying to help give the mom and break and not to stay too long. I recall all of these tips being useful when visiting friends and family after they had a baby.

  11. With my second I remember being so appreciative that all of our guests were so thoughtful of our older daughter, who was 4 at the time. They brought her gifts and took time to chat and play with her too. Made her feel so welcome and included in the celebrations!

    1. That’s an important point too Heather! With all the attention on baby, the older one can definitely feel jealous or left out. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. The most helpful was people waiting a couple of months before showin up. I suffered from PPD and had severe anxiety of people coming by. I hated it all.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Victoria. I know that must have been really difficult for you. That is definitely a good idea to ask before coming.

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