It can be very hard to resist that new baby smell and rock up at your friend’s door two days after junior joined the world.
Coming home with the new baby was an exhausted, emotional and sore new mum who could really do with support rather than visitors. We’ve pulled together some of the best rules for visiting a new mum and her newborn.
Rule 1. No Unexpected Visits.
Simply dropping in unannounced is a big no-no. Remember, Mum may be still getting to grips with breastfeeding or desperately trying to settle a disturbed baby. She may be beyond exhausted, emotional and vulnerable to unexpected visitors. Call or text before you plan to visit. Ask when it would suit Mum for you to visit, as she may schedule visits around feeds or naps. In fact, wait to be invited and when you do, remember rule 2.
Rule 2. Bring Food!
Before arriving check to see what needs restocking in the fridge. Bring a casserole or lasagne which can easily be reheated at the new parents’ convenience. Bring snacks for big kids and little kids. And TP always comes in handy. Any forgotten essentials will be welcome.
Rule 3. Be an Extra Pair of Hands.
It may seem like Mum is happily nestling under baby while the dishes pile-up, but Mum needs this time to sit. It takes a year for a woman’s body to recover from birth and pregnancy. While she is resting, she is connecting with her baby and learning those all-important cues. While visiting, lend a helping hand. Sort the dishes, vacuum the floors and do the laundry. Every little helps.
Rule 4. Don’t Pick up the Baby.
As tempting as it might be to pick up or offer to take little junior from Mum’s arms, wait to be offered the baby. Always wash your hands first and never kiss baby on the lips. Mums need time to bond closely with their newborn and while she may feel obliged to hand baby over to you, remember that she may not want to. A baby is not a doll and shouldn’t be passed around visitors.
Rule 5. Don’t Outstay Your Welcome.
New babies are exhausting. Giving birth is exhausting. Recovery from pregnancy is exhausting. Entertaining visitors, even with small chit chat, is exhausting at a time like this. Remember to not outstay your welcome and give Mum and her family time together. A 30 minute to one-hour visit is plenty. Be considerate of Mum and baby and there will always be a next time.
What would you add to our list of rules for visiting a mum and her newborn?