It is always exciting when someone you know and love has just given birth and it can be your first instinct to go round and shower them and their newest addition with love and affection and of course steal some of the little squishy cuddles we all love.
Of course, however, before you turn up. Double check with them. Make sure they are up for having visitors – as I know, having a new baby is a big adjustment.
Here are some ways that we were most supported and were most appreciated after we had our son and daughter:
Don’t Put Pressure On To Visit
The best visitors are those who wait to be invited or don’t push to see the baby ASAP. As much as you want to see the baby and the parents, undoubtedly want to show them off, don’t push it. A new baby is a huge adjustment to any household, the Mum is still recovering from the birth and whether her birth story was straightforward or more complex, it can still take its toll on her both mentally and physically. Plus, remember whilst you want to bond with this latest addition so do the parents.
Don’t Expect To Be Waited On
When your are guest, it can easy to have certain expectations of being offered a drink or biscuit. But, when a family is adjusting and running on limited sleep, hosting is not going to fall high on their list of priorities. If you have a close enough relationship to warrant you being round their house, the likelihood is that you are close enough to say, ‘I’m off to make a cuppa, shall I make you one to?’. Taking the expectation of hosting away is one of the best gifts you can give. It allows the parents the opportunity to have support, and with a new baby in tow, there is no such thing as too much support.
The first fews days to months are the hardest, for even the ‘best’ parent. There is the lack of sleep to contend with, a new family dynamic to learn and even learning new ways to cope with older children and their new sibling. You’ll probably find, no matter how ‘together’ they look they are finding certain aspects of juggling day to day life challenging. If you are able to help take the pressure off them this is always massively appreciated. This could be taking the older children off their hands, watching the baby so they can grab a shower, a hot drink or even a nap, bringing over some prepared meals or helping with the shopping. If you ask you will probably find there is something that can be done to help ease the mental and physical load they currently have.
Give Advice If Asked
As a new parent they are bound to be learning on their feet. No new parent wants to feel judged in their parenting abilities. Remember, everyone parents differently and guidance changes so unless asked do not offer you opinion. If you do want to offer some advice, offer coping mechanisms such as a guide to dealing with the stress associated with becoming a new parent, for example ‘15 Ways For New Moms To Manage Stress And Stay Sane’
Limit The Visit
Although you visit and assistance is always appreciated, don’t over stay your welcome. It can be quite overwhelming having a constant stream of guest and visitors. In the early days especially keep it short and sweet. As. they find a routine that works for them and have managed to catch up on sleep and heal, you will be able to have longer visits and more social time.