February 13, 2017
Before you had a baby, you probably didn’t give much thought to how to be a good visitor to a new mom. You just thought, “Hey, my friend had a baby! I should go over and see the precious little thing.” And that’s totally understandable. But once you’ve had a baby yourself, you see things a little differently.
Whether you’ve had a baby or not, here are seven ways to ensure you are an awesome visitor to a new mom.
1. Make sure you’re invited
Some moms don’t want visitors for the first few days or weeks. And that’s totally ok! Respect their decision by checking in with them before you just drop by. (And that means a text message – don’t call!) And if you don’t get an answer? Take it as a no. And don’t feel hurt by it. New moms are just trying to survive, and sometimes that means texts go unanswered for a while. Give her a few days and try again.
2. Bring food when you visit
Seriously, bring food. Preferably something the new mom actually wants. You can find out what she wants when you text her to make sure you are welcome. And if she says no? Insist on bringing something anyway. Tell her you won’t show up empty handed and you prefer to bring something she wants. But if she really says no and you don’t know what to do, bring something anyway, even if it’s just a coffee or treat.
3. Don’t insist on holding the baby
Some moms don’t mind passing off their little bundle of joy to their friends and family, but others may prefer to wait awhile. If you really want to hold the baby, ask politely and accept whatever mom says!
4. Make yourself useful
If new mom doesn’t mind you holding the baby, offer to do it while she takes a shower/goes to the bathroom/does anything that she can’t do while taking care of her baby. And if she doesn’t want you holding the baby? Offer to help out another way. Wash the dishes in the sink, fold the laundry piled on the couch, take out the trash. Find some way to help out while you are there.
5. Don’t overstay your welcome
Entertaining visitors can be exhausting and even overwhelming for new moms. Don’t overstay your welcome, especially if there are other visitors at the same time. Most people don’t want to come out and ask you to leave, but juggling the demands of a new baby is hard enough without an audience.
6. Don’t bring your kids with you
Unless you have another tiny baby, leave your kids at home. While your bigger children are absolutely adorable, a new mom probably doesn’t them running around her house, bringing in their big kid germs. And you probably don’t want the headache of keeping your kids calm and quiet while you try to visit with your friend and see the new baby.
7. Take the hint
If a new mom says “he must be hungry”, and she doesn’t start trying to nurse him right then, that’s probably her polite way of asking you to leave. Especially if she’s breastfeeding! It can be hard to figure things out in the beginning. It can be an elaborate ordeal to get the nursing pillow just right, get the baby settled in and latched correctly, and she probably doesn’t want to do it with you watching. Offer to get her a drink or anything else she needs (like a phone charger!) then see yourself out.
I left off the basic rules: always wash your hands and NEVER visit if you or your kids are sick, but those are self-explanatory right? The important thing is, be as good a visitor as you can be! Being a new mom is hard enough without having to be a host as well.