New babies can be an exciting time for both Mama & friends! Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting your friend and her newborn.
(1) Go visit, love, then leave.
Don’t overstay your welcome. Between lack of sleep and the time it takes to feed (anywhere between 8-12 hours/day in the beginning; basically a full time job) mom & dad are short on time. While they’re excited to see you & show off their new babe, it’s likely they don’t have the same amount of time for you as they have in the past. Love on their new baby, then leave.
(2) If you’re going to bring a gift…
…my friends and I have a rule that says, “Friends don’t buy friends snaps” Stick with the zipper option when buying jammies. Snaps get to be a lot, especially in the middle of the night
…Consider bringing clothes that are 6+ months in size; it’s likely the newborn size is already covered between the baby showers and other visiting friends. If you’re going to do this, think ahead about the seasons (ex: A baby born in July will not need a size 6 month summer dress because it will be winter when that baby is 6 months old).
…don’t forget Mama! A bag of coffee or a few new K-Cups go a long way.
(3) Offer to help around the house
While you’re there, ask if you can load the dishwasher, switch over the laundry, or take out the trash. First time parents will probably refuse, but you can gently ask a second time. This doesn’t need to consume your entire visit (remember – it’s going to be short!), but something small like this is very helpful and will go a long way.
(New moms: if you’re reading this, just say “YES!”)
(4) Bring (healthy!) food
This might be best to set up ahead of time, but ask if you can bring a prepped meal or some sort of dish/side/snack so they can grab when short on time. (These banana bites and this quinoa side are awesome options!). I say “healthy” mostly because they probably have enough other sweet treats from others.
(5) Offer support…which doesn’t necessarily mean advice
It’s true new parents are overwhelmed and you’ll often hear them say something like, “I have no idea what I’m doing!” but this is not necessarily a window for you to offer your unsolicited advice. Remember that every parent & baby are different, and just because they’re doing something than what worked for you & your baby, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. If they ask for advice or mention something they’re struggling with, then share your experience….but beyond that simply offer support & encouragement.
(6) Don’t forget the big kids!
If the baby has older siblings, be sure to take a little time to play with them, too. Mom & Dad will really appreciate it.
(7) Remember, this visit is about them (not you!)
While nuzzling a newborn will probably bring back so many fond memories of your own baby, but keep this visit about THEM. Complement THEIR baby, ask questions about THEIR birth, tell them THEY’RE doing a great job.
There’s no better way to make them feel special, and talking about yourself & your experience takes away from that. (For example, when they tell you their baby was 7lbs 8oz at birth, immediately responding with “Oh, [your baby’s name] was only 6lbs 5oz when born” takes away from their experience. Instead, try something like, “Aw that’s perfect! I love when they’re this little!”). Pocket all your thoughts about your own newborn life for now, there will be time to have a more mutual conversation down the road.
Enjoy your newborn visit! I know mom & dad are excited you took the time to come over…they’re excited for you to meet their new babe!