Everyone loves a newborn. Who can resist those tiny hands and that brand new smell.
It’s even more exciting when it’s a baby of a friend or family member.
You can impose yourself as soon as the baby is born, then hand baby back when he starts crying…perfect!……if you want to piss off and send your friend into a stressy mess!
When i had the twins 10 years ago, i was clueless.
I was trying to take everything in. Learning to make bottles, change nappies, the art of winding, and all this while trying to bond with my new babies.
Aswell as the babies to care for, i still had a house to try and keep on top of.
When i arrived home from the hospital our first visitors were waiting on the sofa for us to get back.
It was flattering to know people care so much and were getting so excited over our babies but i found it quite overwhelming.
They told me to go and have a lay down and they would look after the babies.
At 24, and a new mum, i did as i was told.
Their intentions were great. The realitly is, i wanted to be laying down with the babies.
The first couple of weeks visitors poured in with generous gifts and lots of love but if im honest, i hated it.
I heard alot of..
‘Dont worry about the babies, ill watch them, you get on with what you need to do’
Who wants to do housework after you have nurtured a pregnant belly for nine months and squeezed a human out if you?
What i really wanted was to chill out with my babies!
So…4 more babies later and a tonne more confidence, i’m going to tell you what works for me.
When you hear your friend has had their baby, these are my tips (because they wont tell you)
-Send your congratulations text and ask them to text you when THEY are ready for a visit.
No one knows what effect the birth has had on mum. There is nothing worse than sitting on the sofa, scared to get up infront of your guest because you have leaked through your pad!
It took me a couple of weeks to even leave the house with the twins. When George (number five) was born, i was out, digging into a tapas the next day!
-Take them round a diner, whether it is a M&S £10 meal deal or a homemade lasagne, it will be seriously appriciated!
-When you visit, after you have coo’d over the new bundle of gorgeousness, do a bit of housework.
Make new mum a cuppa, load the dishwasher or offer to hang the washing out.
It will make her day!
-Tell her how fab she looks after having a baby. She will probably look like crap but its always nice to hear!
-If they are a new mum and breastfeeding, be sensitive. Depending on your relationship and how close you are, it can be daunting….and embaressing.
The subtle breast latch, when you can start feeding your baby within seconds and with barely any boob showing is a talent that takes practice.
The first few days it is more of a undignified game of squashing your boob and nipple into all sorts of positions to try and encourage baby to ‘latch on’.
When you have an audience this can turn a already stressfull experience into a total meltdown.
If they look like they are not confident with feeding, either offer to help (if you know how to) or use that time to make a cuppa.
I asked some fellow bloggers if they had any tips, heres what they suggest:
Lisa at Mum and dad plus 4:
Don’t wake the baby if sleeping, don’t kiss baby, offer to make a brew and ask if they need help with anything pots, watching baby while they have a quick shower, making feeds feeding baby. Let them have a sleep if needed. Go to help not be waited on.
Lisa at Baremother:
Do: bring cake or food (but check that mum isn’t lactose intolerant first), offer to hold baby so mum can shower, be the one to make tea/coffee, offer to help tidy or put a load of washing on. Don’t: touch baby without permission, kiss baby, overstay your welcome (an hour is plenty long enough), offer un-asked-for advice.
Jen at Justanaveragejen:
Don’t insist on taking photos of the baby crying – my sons paternal grandmother did this and it broke my heart. She is not in his life anymore (not due to that) but it was weird and I am sure no one else would do it but you never know! And dont comment on how mum is feeding the baby, as long as the baby is being fed it isn’t your business!
Faye at Glossytots:
Take food and ask before you pick up baby
Emily at emilyandindiana:
Make sure to focus on how mum is doing, just as much as the baby. And if they have any siblings, make sure to include them too, so they don’t feel left out!
Natasha at itsatashathing:
Do take a little present for mum and baby. For mum some food and maybe some relaxing bath or shower stuff. Don’t tell her how to do stuff with the baby and sound patronising! Don’t pick the baby up without asking, especially if the baby is sleeping!
Vikki at familytravelwithellie:
Thinking back to what I wanted from my visitors …. keep the visits short, never arrive unannounced, arrive with delicious selection of easy to cook food for new mum and dad to enjoy that night ( m and s meals are a winner ) offer to help with any chores ( washing / dishes etc ) . Ask about mum and how she’s doing . Tell her she’s doing amazing. Tell her she has a beautiful baby . Tell her you won’t stay long this time but you would love to come back whenever she needs a little help , support, shower ….
Arabella at exeterbabyactivities:
Make a constructive but simple offer of help. I see you are busy feeding baby, – can I fold the washing for you? Looks like baby needs a mummy cuddle, can I make a cup of tea for you? Oh you are changing a nappy, shall I put the dishes away while you are doing that?
This lets mum and dad know you are thinking of them without offering any judgement on how they are coping.
Emma at readyfreddiego:
I have a nine week old and although the offers of tidying etc were nice they made me feel a bit awkward so I would have loved someone to send me off to have my hair done and make me feel a bit more me!
Abi at somethingaboutbaby:
I often hear people say to help new mums by doing some chores but I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable with my friends doing that – especially in the early days, my husband was at home so he was managing all that. I really just wanted to know that my friends were there for me, and interested in my new baby – that they wanted cuddles, and to take photos and feel involved in this little persons life. I also wanted that contact to continue – for them to continue checking up to make sure I was ok, and baby was ok. As a new mum it meant the world to me that so many people cared about us.
Vivienne at themothersroom:
Bring a useful gift – healthy food, a lidded thermal mug, a voucher for a sling consultation so they can get to grips with babywearing, an Amazon voucher so she can load up her kindle for those multiple night feeds – new outfits and teddies often go unused! Make hot drinks for everyone and if you do get a cuddle, don’t hog the baby!
(As an aside, don’t invite anyone round in the first few weeks of motherhood if you wouldn’t be comfortable sitting with them in your pyjamas – if they aren’t that close, they aren’t close enough to intrude on such a special time)
Claire at mumsymidwife:
Please do not bring your children if they have colds. I had this and my 12 day old daughter was admitted to hospital because of it. Do bring along something for Mum, as she is often forgotten.
Terry-Ann at notaneffingfairytaleblog:
Make the visit a short one, call just before to make sure its still okay to visit as things can change so fast with tiredness etc and don’t ask to hold the baby – the mum might not want even her closes friends to hold it yet
Stacey at onesmallhuman:
Bring a treat for Mum. One of my friends brought me a vanilla latte from Costa (my favourite) and it was brilliant! It had felt like ages since I’d had anything like that. Add to that the fact I felt like I hadn’t slept in days and that sweet caffeine hit was just fantastic.
And the other thing? Once you’ve met baby and had your cuddles, ask about Mum! And have a conversation about something not baby related – office gossip, something on the telly. Remind Mum she’s still a human being!
Nikki at yorkshirewonders:
Take Just Eat vouchers! I would have loved this when mine were born. It’s nice to take them food, but I would rather just have a nice visit then a Dominos delivery afterwards!
Chantel at twoheartsoneroof:
Great tips above, but don’t forget Dad!! I think Dad’s often get totally forgotten when it comes to new babies. Mums get all the attention and dad is often left feeling like a loose part. Ask him how he is doing too, and if your bringing coffee or something for mum get it for dad too! Baby will alter both of their lives majorly!!
Jodie at maidenheadmum:
I took ‘Pub grub’ for my friend and her husband in their first week at home. I went and bought some premium burgers, posh cheese and the best chips I could find along with a beer for Dad and something tasty for mum as she was breastfeeding. I then cooked it for them so they felt like they were having a treat, even though they were still at home!
I’d love to hear what your experiences were. Do you have any do’s or dont’s for visitors?
Please share this with your friends
Lots of love peps