So, you know someone that just had a baby. Of course, you want to go meet the new bundle! But what are the rules for visiting a new mom? Do you bring a gift? How long do you stay? Do they even want you to visit?
So. Much. Unknown.
Having a newborn is an exciting time for parents, but it is also crazy stressful, especially for the new mom who is in a clusterfuck of hormonal changes. She has a mix of feelings from overwhelmed to elated to exhausted. It’s such a delicate time.
You’re also probably not the only one who is excited to meet the new bundle. Chances are there is a slew of family and friends that are anxiously waiting to meet the baby, but having visitors over constantly can be overwhelming. To make it easier on the new mommy and daddy, here are a few rules to follow when visiting a new mom:
1. Reach out ahead of time
Do not, I repeat DO NOT show up unannounced. You have no clue what you’re walking in to. Chances are her boobs are hanging out, she hasn’t showered, she’s exhausted, and she is probably hangry. Showing up unannounced is the surefire way to piss her off. Don’t do it. Bad things happen to good people. Instead, shoot her a text and ask her what day and time work best for her and work around that.
2. Bring a gift for her, not for baby
Preferably, in the form of food. Whether you bring over a frozen meal, a bag of groceries, or grab a cheeseburger and milkshake on your way in, she will appreciate the food. At this point, baby has been showered with gifts. But momma? Not so much. She just went through the most physically grueling moment in her life – she deserves a 55-gallon drum of ice cream. Shower her with deliciousness.
If you’re really close, it wouldn’t hurt to ask her if she needs some more pads. A new mom may easily underestimate the number of pads she will need after giving birth. If you MUST bring something for baby, diapers would be helpful.
3. Don’t ask to hold the baby…wait until she offers
It’s quite natural for a new mom to be very protective over her new baby. She spent months growing this tiny human in her body and just ripped herself apart giving birth – she might want baby all to herself for a while. And that’s okay! I know it’s hard but just respect it. Don’t ask to hold the baby – wait until she offers. She will do it on her own time. Be patient.
4. Do NOT clean her house or do her laundry
I see this on so many articles and it just baffles me. If you come over to my house and start cleaning the bathroom and folding my blood-stained, postpartum granny panties, I’m going to harshly judge you and forever think you have boundary issues. Unless you are her mother, do NOT do it. Instead, offer to watch the baby while she takes a shower or a nap.
5. Don’t bring germs into the house
If you’re feeling sick, stay at home. Baby lacks an immune system and is very prone to illnesses, especially because they wouldn’t have had any immunizations yet. Stay away until you’re feeling better. Everyone will appreciate it.
6. Wash your hands and skip the kisses
No matter how delicious the baby looks, don’t kiss him or her. Wash your hands when you get there and, if you get to hold the baby, keep it wrapped up in its swaddle. Babies are super sensitive to perfumes, detergents, lotions, etc., so keeping them wrapped up can help avoid contact with those things.
7. Leave your kids at home
Having them there just adds to the chaos and brings unwanted stress. Just leave them at home for that first visit.
8. Take a cue and don’t overstay your welcome
If she says baby is hungry, that means it is time to leave. Keep your visit short and sweet. There will be more time for baby snuggles later after mom and dad find their bearings a bit.