As a Newborn Care Specialist, I get to witness lots of visitors coming and going while I am working in client’s homes. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. From grandmas’ first time meeting the baby to best friends stopping by daily. My guess is that if you are reading this, you fall somewhere in between. This blog is a must read for anyone who plans on visiting a new mama and her little one(s) after they are born
Don’t stay too long
New moms have a lot on their plate! Her body is doing weird things, she is experiencing sleep deprivation like never before, she probably still feel like crap from delivery, and she’s doing her best trying to adjust to motherhood. Chances are, she probably doesn’t want to spend a majority of her day hosting new visitors; she probably wants to lay in bed with the baby so she can rest and recover. Therefore, you can be respectful of her journey into motherhood by limiting your visit to 30 minutes.
Don’t come empty handed! When I visit a friend who has just had a baby, I always bring 3 things to their home: a meal, a small gift for the baby, and a small gift for mom. My “go-to” meal for a family is a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods, a salad (specifically, this one from Momme Meals), and some sort of dessert. For the baby I bring my favorite board book “No Matter What” with a little note inside, and for mom I bring a card or some other small token (flowers, picture frame that matches her home, or something else that I know she might like) of congratulations for her.
When you bring a meal, try to coordinate with the family (or a friend in charge) to make sure they don’t get spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread for the third time that week. Also be sure to pack your meal in something disposable if at all possible. Providing the meal in a disposable container eliminates unnecessary dishes and frees the family from the pain of needing to keep track of what dish belongs to which family and then actually trying to return it to them.
We already know new moms are busy; so always make sure you come prepared to do something when visiting a new mom. Maybe it’s taking the dog for a quick walk, folding a load of laundry, or washing the pile of dishes in the sink. Many mom’s will resist the offer but gently reassure her that she doesn’t have to do this alone and that it really, truly does take a village to raise a baby. This is a great way to support your friend in a time when she really needs it.
Keep your advice and opinions to yourself
I know this one might sound really harsh but new moms are so overwhelmed with unsolicited advice from others. I can almost guarantee that she will reach out and specifically ask for your advice if she needs or wants it. There is certainly something to be said about a new mom finding her own way in this world.
In conclusion, know that you are a wonderful friend to support her during this beautiful transition. Take time to listen to her, be there for her, and remind her that she does not have to be a super mom or have to do this alone. Follow these few simple rules and you will become her favorite visitor who might just get invited back over.