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.