Everybody loves a new baby and everybody wants to visit it! Sometimes family and friends in their enthusiasm can forget how hard it can be with a new baby. Here are some tips for what to bring and when to visit the freshly squeezed.
What to bring
- Food! We loved when people brought healthy ready meals. Even better many friends brought meals they had cooked themselves and portioned off into freezable containers. We had so many of these, we didn't cook for the first 6 weeks after our son arrived.
- If you would like to bring a present for the new arrival ask in advance what the new parents would like/need. We had lots of new baby outfits so when people asked what we would like we suggested items for an older baby.
- Sometimes our visitors brought a gift for us and this was a lovely thought. A particular favourite was when friends gave a voucher for a local restaurant and an offer to babysit whenever we would like.
- Another idea is to buy a gift for the new mum. I received several different pampering packs which I loved. Bath gel was a particular favourite as a bath was a lovely time to relax. small & me jewellery is the perfect option, as it's a treat for a mum as well as her baby. And even before my son was teething I found wearing the necklace a great distraction for him while he was nursing. What's more, every piece comes in a smart cotton pouch - that's gift wrapping sorted!
When to come
- If visitors want to see the new baby in its first few weeks they need to be flexible. Ask the parents in advance what day, and roughly what time would suit. Then check again on the day if it is still a good time. Be ready to reschedule if it doesn't suit anymore. At the beginning babies rarely stick to a routine and can sleep at different times and for different lengths every day. What might have seemed like a good time yesterday could be the worst today. The last thing parents want to do is to have to entertain visitors while their baby sleeps.
- Just before you come, send a text to check if the parents need anything. New parents can be so busy they might not have had a chance to get to the shops and they might need some supplies.
- If you are in any way sick, wait to visit until you are well. You would feel terrible if you gave something to a newborn baby.
- Check whether to ring the doorbell or call a mobile, you wouldn't want to wake the new baby if it is asleep.
During your stay
- If the baby is less than a month old a half an hour to an hour visit is probably enough.
- Think about taking control and looking after the parents, many of our visitors insisted on making their own tea and coffee, they brought cakes and let us relax.
- Think about helping out, a good friend of mine came over when my son was two weeks old, she emptied the dishwasher and put on a load of washing for me. It was so nice of her and the best present I could have possibly got!
- Take your lead from the parents, they will offer for you to hold the baby if they are comfortable with you doing it.
- If the baby get sleepy and the parents start to put him/her down for a nap, then its time to go. In the first few weeks parents, and definitely the mum, should be trying to rest when their baby sleeps.
- Try and tidy up before you leave, a quick wash of coffee cups mean it doesn't have to be done when you are gone.
Enjoy yourself, newborn babies are great!