A new baby has arrived, whether it be a family member or close friend, you’re ridiculously excited to meet the new smush. Here’s the thing though, as excited as you are, that Mama who has just been through labour is tired, achy and full of hormones. I got thrown into the deep end with visitors after Jellybean arrived, pre-birth we had decided no visitors for at least a week but the excitement of introducing her to the family got a bit much. It’s only when I was chatting to a fellow Mama friend I realised there are some rules people need to know when a new baby arrives.
You will get to meet the baby. Don’t worry, they’re here now, they’re not going anywhere, you will meet them. Offer your congratulations to the new parents and allow them to suggest when you can come visit rather than asking. Thankfully our family were pretty respectful of this and we had the visits fairly spaced out.
What to bring
Most people bring gifts for the baby which is always appreciated, but think of the parents for a second. They are exhausted, terrified and second-guessing everything they do with their new baby, food comes second place. It might just be an extra helping of what you had for lunch or a couple of sandwiches you picked up from the shops but you have no idea how much it will be appreciated. We had prepared a lot of meals and packed them into the freezer, but there is nothing like fresh food brought to you!
What not to say
Anything about the mothers weight, shape, pre-pregnancy body, how long it will take to ‘bounce back’ how long it took you to bounce back or if they’ve gotten much sleep. Again. The parents are tired, Mama is tired and hormones are high, steer clear of sensitive subjects. They may want to talk about the birth, they may not, try and get a feel for how they want the conversation to go. Try not to take over about the drama going on in your own life, if you’re lost for words just focus on the new baby.
Your length of stay
Pick up on the cues, stay for a cup of tea, wash your cup out and leave. Don’t drain them of conversation, keep it fairly quick, you met the baby, gave them a cuddle, a short chat, a couple of biscuits (you provided), perhaps take a picture and on your way you go. You will meet the baby again, keep in mind how many visitors the poor parents will be entertaining.
Taking pictures of the little smush will probably be allowed, but when it comes to social media always make sure you have the parents’ permission on posting it to any social media platforms. As a general rule D and I don’t have any clear photos of Jellybean’s face online. We just rather she doesn’t have her face splayed all over the internet, it doesn’t feel like our decision. You may have guessed keeping her privacy is also the reason I call her Jellybean and not by her name.
So there you have it, a few guidelines! Feel free to let me know of any you think are important.