You know the scenario: A friend or family member just had a baby and you simply can’t wait to get over to her house to hold that little bundle of joy. But before you do, read this. Believe it or not, there is a type of etiquette that comes with visiting a new mom and her new baby. Here are 10 things you should keep in mind before visiting the new mama.
1. Always call in advance.
Whatever you do, don’t show up to “surprise” your friend. Having a baby is hard work. And your friend most likely hasn’t had much sleep or washed her hair in about a week. So always call in advance. Texts are even better. Unless your dropping off a cooked meal or two and then leaving. Just don’t drop by unannounced. Ever.
2. Bring a cooked meal or two.
You can’t go wrong with a meal for the family. And make it easy by bringing it in a disposable pan so it doesn’t have to washed and returned. You can also bring disposable plates, utensils and napkins so they don’t have to do dishes with your meal or any others that week.
3. Help around the house—even if she tells you to just sit and visit.
A new mom may feel bad about you coming and cleaning her home. But if you see laundry that needs to be folded, sit and talk and fold it. Or, maybe load the dishwasher or run the vacuum. Volunteer to help clean and tell her it’s your gift to her!
4. Don’t visit if you’re sick.
Both mom ad baby need a healthy environment one right now. If you, your spouse or your kids have been sick lately or seem like you may be coming down with something, stay home. Newborns have a weak immune system and are therefore vulnerable to diseases.
5. Leave your kids at home.
Especially early on. It can be quite stressful having someone over while their kids are racing around the house or yelling. New moms need a low-stressed environment and extra kis can bring germs and anxiety. Eventually, you can bring your kids, but for now, come alone.
6. Say “no” if she offers you anything.
Every host asks this of visitors, but if a mom asks, respectfully decline. Visit your friend to offer help and support. Don’t let them try and serve you since they have better things to do.
7. Don’t ask to hold the baby.
This postpartum time is very important for both mom and baby for bonding, nursing, healing and more. They may not want to be separated. If she is willing to share her baby, she’ll let you know.
I know it’s hard. Who doesn’t want to get their hands on a new baby. But if she wants to keep her baby close, you’re being a good friend by supporting that choice and not making her feel bad about it.
On the flip side though, she might offer to let you hold the baby. And if she mentions that she really needs a shower, offer to let her take one while you enjoy the baby. Let her tell you what she needs.
8. Wash your hands.
When visiting a newborn baby, make sure you wash your hands or bring hand sanitizer with you. Newborn babies are delicate and sensitive, and as I mentioned before, have a weaker immune system, so it’s quite easy for them to catch a sickness from a visitor.
9. Do not overstay your welcome.
New moms can only take so much time out of their busy schedules, so they generally prefer short visits. Some mothers may tell you this but others won’t, so it’s best to keep this in mind. In general, keep your visit short, unless the mom asks you to stay longer.
10. Do not offer unsolicited advice.
If the new mom hasn’t asked for any advice from you, keep your tips to yourself. Don’t start commenting about how she should hold the baby or that the baby needs an extra blanket. This is a new mom…don’t make her feel like she’s doing a bad job already.
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