1. Plan Wisely
Ask the new parents what is going to work best for them and never show-up unannounced! Dropping by with a gift is so nice and appreciated but you might interrupt a precious nap (or perhaps the baby just finally latched) if you don’t ask ahead.
Also – let’s just all agree that if you aren’t feeling well – you shouldn’t go. Cancelling is much more appreciated than visiting a new baby when under the weather (even that little tickle in your throat…).
2. Don’t Smother the New One
Everyone wants to hold the new baby, of course! But keeping the little one clean and healthy is number one priority. Keep unwashed hands and face-kisses on the no-no list when it comes to a new babe.
Also, don’t forget any older siblings who might feel neglected. Smothering THEM with a bunch of attention is going to be super welcomed!
3. Don’t Stay Long
Unless it is your BFF who is going to be super honest about telling you when to get out, limit your time with the new mama to 30- or 60- minutes depending on your relationship. If you guys are super close, asking to stay longer to help out is not a bad thing!
4. Offer to Lend a Hand
Come ready to serve! I have told my bestest friends to go take a shower, a nap, watch a show or go out for a coffee while I took care of their little one for a bit. I have grocery shopped and washed dishes. I have put away laundry and fed the dog. This is the role of a really good friend of a new mom. If the mama doesn’t want this kind of help, offer nonetheless. It goes a long way! Make it clear you mean it. If there is anything they will let you do, do it! Empty the dishwasher, bring in the mail, take out the trash.
Of course, there are plenty of parents who want chores done a specific way and will refuse the help, that is fine! Just don’t be expected to be ‘hosted’ (per #5).
If nothing else, make the new mother feel supported, loved, beautiful, and offer affirmations at whatever appropriate level these all fall.
5. Don’t be ‘hosted’
Don’t let the new parents go out of their way for you. It is our nature to ‘host’ a guest, but when a new baby is involved (and a recovering, tired, mother) – be explicit is your need not to be hosted. They don’t need to make you food, or get you a water – help yourself! Ask what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
6. Come with your Hands Full
At the very least, have a card in hand! Food, meals, snacks, gifts, flowers and treats are next on the list! Wondering about gifts a new mama wants? Visit my shop for a bunch of awesome recommendations.