How to Prepare Family and Friends for Your Baby`s Arrival

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Family and friends can be one of the best supports for new parents as they transition into parenthood. You will want to work with them, however, in order for them to know what the best way to support you is.

 

Here are some tips to help:

  • Communicate your wishes.  Start in pregnancy and discuss things like what do you expect when it comes to the labour and birth. Do you want family and friends at the hospital during the labour or just after baby is born?  Remind them that you need to rest so keep visits short. Ask them if they plan to visit on a regular basis after you get home. Grandparents, for example, may be able to come a couple of times a week for a few days to help out. This is especially helpful AFTER your partner goes back to work.
  • Make a list.  Write down useful ways visitors can help you. At the end of this blog is a sample email you can send. Visitors usually want to be helpful when they come over but don’t always know what to do. Tape a note on your front door with helpful hints for there visit. This could include things link “Thank you for your visit but please keep it short” or “Please take a look at our to do list on the fridge and feel free to do one or two for us”
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people to leave when you have had enough.   New moms AND new babies get tried easy.  It is important to listen to your body as well as pay attention to baby`s cues that he/she has had enough.
  • Have a open house. Invite everyone to come at the same time and for a specific amount of time. Having a revolving door of visitors is exhausting. Get it all done in a short period of time and then you can settle in to a better routine over time.
  • Take advantage of offers to pick things up or bring things over. If someone asks if you need anything, say “yes” and tell them what you need. Do you need milk, diapers etc.  ask them to stop and pick up lunch or dinner. It makes visitors feel like they are contributing and who doesn’t like that feeling?
Dear family and friends,
We are so excited to welcome our new baby into the world and can’t wait for you to come over to meet him/her. Please keep these things in mind for your visit:
  1. Wait for and invitation. We may not be up to visitors right away so let us tell you when we are ready.
  2. Keep your visit to a maximum of 2 hrs but an hour would be better. It is important for us to be able to rest so we can settle into our new roles as parents.
  3. Bring us food please!  A casserole or anything else that is easily frozen would be perfect. Something healthy is an extra plus.
  4. While you are over please understand that you may not be able to hold the baby. New babies sleep and eat and that’s pretty much it for the first few weeks.
  5. Feel free to help us with some of the less glamorous tasks that need doing. Such as fold clothes, do the dishes in the sink, empty the dishwasher etc.
  6. Please check out this blog for great ways to help us.  How to be the best visitor ever!
We look forward to seeing you soon and showing off our new bundle,
Proud new parents

How to be the Best Visitor for a New Family Ever!

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Someone you know has just had a baby and you are totally excited. What are some things you should keep in mind and some ways to be the best visitor ever!

  • Wait for an invitation. Send a quick congratulations message and let the parents know that you would like to see them when they are ready and then wait.
  • Keep your visit short. Under an hour is perfect. New parents don’t get a lot of sleep so time is very precious.
  • Offer to pick them up some groceries. Tell them you are going anyway so they don’t feel like they are inconveniencing you. Milk, bread, eggs etc are  almost always needed.
  • Bring food. If you are coming at lunch or dinner time, don’t expect the new family to cook for you. Pick something up on your way.  As a bonus, bring a casserole or other easily frozen and rewarmed dish for another time. Try to think healthy since fast food and ordering in for meals is a common occurrence for a new family.
  • Don’t ask to hold the baby, let them offer. It is sometimes tricky for new parents to juggle visitors and a new baby. Some babies are very sensitive and if they are passed around a lot, they become extremely fussy.  Parents will offer for you to hold baby when they are ready.
  • Ask how mom is doing. It’s amazing how when a mom is pregnant everyone wants to know about them but once baby is born people forget about the mom. Asking how she is will make her feel good and not forgotten.
  • Don’t ask about the birth, let mom bring it up if she wants.  Some births take more time to process than others. Resist the urge to make comments like “That was easy” or “OMG that labour was sooooo long”. Just listen and ask questions. Remember it’s not about you so just let mom talk.
  • Do some light cleaning while you are there. Pack a roll of paper towel, multipurpose cleaner, windex, toilet cleaner and some gloves. Go to the washroom and do a quick cleaning. Go in the kitchen and see if there is dishes to be done or put away. Ask them if you can throw in a load of laundry. They will remember this more than any fancy gift.
  • If you want to bring a gift ask them if there is anything they need. Its amazing how many blankets a baby will get as gifts. Gift cards for a drug store come in really handy. Diapers, not newborn are great too.  Include gift receipts so that it can be exchanged if necessary. If you are buying clothes, buy bigger sizes but keep in mind the season. If baby is born in winter and you want to buy 3 month clothes, go for spring/summer clothes for example.
  • If there is an older sibling pay special attention to them. ALWAYS say hi to them first. Almost ignore the new baby for a few minutes and only pay attention to them. Bring them a special big brother or sister gift. Talk to them while you are holding the baby.

Congratulations!  You are now on your way to being the best visitor on the planet.