Yes. I get it you are SUPER excited to meet a new baby. You have waited just as long to be able to love and snuggle that baby [the wait hasn’t been as hard as the parents but still it was a wait!] But there are so many important things you need to keep in mind and remember before going to meet a new little one. They are SO NEW and their immune system isn’t much of anything yet so remembering some key things is great so it can be a good experience for everyone. It isn’t just about protecting babies health but you want to be respectful of the parents and what is also going on at home.
Never show up unannounced. Sure you may have been in the neighborhood and thought it would be awesome to pop by with lunch or a coffee for the new parents and as amazingly kind it sounds, it can also come off as too much. Just give a ring. Make a plan. The first few weeks [in my case months] is a whirlwind of emotions, lack of sleep and grumpiness. Bring snacks, coffee or whatever but always make sure the receiving end knows you are coming and is okay with it.
Bring something. It doesn’t have to be a Thanksgiving feast….however that would be amazing because who doesn’t love a good gravy boat. I am talking about a dinner meal. I used meal train when I had my third and oh man it was a LIFESAVER. Seriously it sounds dramatic but when you have a million things going on and nobody is sleeping you forget to eat and there is NOTHING like a warm meal. Coffee is also amazing as is lunch. But one thing that I encourage is BRING HELPFUL HANDS. The first month, my house was a train wreck and it isn’t because I didn’t WANT to clean my own home. I was just recovering from surgery, my husband was tending to all three kids while I tried to rest and the house just had to wait. Pop by [announced] and do some laundry, run the dishwasher and even vacuuming is a HUGE help.
Don’t expect to hold the baby. Wait what? I am going to visit them so why wouldn’t I be able to hold the baby? Well I will tell you why. The postpartum period is a lot on new parents. The bonding, protectiveness, breastfeeding, all of it. So sometimes It is easier to wait to see if they say “Hey, would you like to hold the baby?” Vs snatching baby up and stressing the new parents out. Remember it isn’t personal it is just a lot at once.
Wash those hands. It doesn’t matter if you just went to the bathroom and washed your hands or used hand sanitizer in the car. It doesn’t count go do it again. I consider myself a super laid back parent but hand washing is super important because germs are gross. That about sums that up.
No kissing. This one I will never understand because I would never just start kissing someone's baby however, some do it. I get it they may be family, close friend whatever. Just don’t unless the parents are okay with it. Babies are seriously SO cute and smell edible however, keep that mouth away from the babies face. There are a lot of germs on the face not to mention cold sores have been known to pass the herpes virus to newborns causing a whole slew of problems. This isn’t saying you are gross it is just a courteous thing to keep in mind. Recently after having our third we let EVERYONE know even family. You can snuggle, love, hold for hours just please no kissing, not right now.
PLEASE do not visit if you are sick. You are so excited to meet the new little one and that makes so much sense but if you have the flu, just had the flu, have a cough or a runny nose. Stay home. JUST for a few more days until you are out of the clear. This goes for your kiddos too. Sharing isn’t always caring.
Focus on the mother not just the baby. The baby is seriously adorable but what about mom. She is exhausted, lonely, tired and feels down in the dumps. [most of the time] ask her how she is, ask the partner how they are doing. Be a good listener.
Give the older children attention too. When my youngest was born my oldest wasn’t too attention seeking. He is older and apparently too cool for most things and people but my middle child was upset she knew that she wasn’t the baby anymore. You don’t have to bring them gifts just talk to them ask them how they are doing in school or what hobbies they enjoy. It will brighten their day.
Keep unsolicited advice to yourself. I feel like this doesn’t really need an explanation. Just keep quiet on this one.
Thank you for being there for friends and family in your life that just had a new little one. It doesn’t matter how baby was brought into the world the parents are just as exhausted and just as protective. Be courageous and kind about all of your actions and overall just show love and support.
I feel like I can’t make a mistake as a mom without feeling guilty
i’m ready for this rona crap to be done with. let’s wrap this shit up!!!
Maintaining friendships feels like a full time job lately. Sometimes I question if having friends is worth it sometimes.