I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend, I hope all my fellow Canadians had a fabulous time celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday! And to my lovely American friends, I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July!
I recently found out that one of my best friends is expecting, and since I’m the only friend of hers who has had kids, she has had a toooon of questions for me!
All the questions made me remember the early days of being a new mom, and made me think back to when The Twincesses were itty bitty, and when our house seemed like a revolving door, with visitor after visitor for months! It was exhausting, and often frustrating. Since I’ve experience it first hand, I know the Do’s & Don’ts for when I visit my friend and her newborn baby, and when the time comes, so will you!
To some people this may seem just like common sense, or basic etiquette, but if you’ve yet to experience visiting a close friend or family member with a new baby then it’s something new to learn!
1) Don’t show up to the hospital unless you’ve been invited. I was furious that soooo many people showed up to the hospital to visit after The Twincesses were born. I looked and felt like crap, was half naked most of the time, trying to breastfeed, and sure didn’t appreciate it when my older male cousin walked into the hospital room(uninvited) when my boobs were out. AWKWARD!!! I specifically told people prior to giving birth NOT to come to the hospital, but not everyone listened.
2) Do know when to leave. When visiting a new mama and her little, it’s best to keep the visit short and sweet. A half hour to an hour (at the most) is a good amount of time to visit and cuddle baby. Any longer and I assure you, you’ve overstayed your welcome. Mom and baby are tired, and overwhelmed, so unless you plan on going grocery shopping, cooking, doing laundry and cleaning her house, please leave. See you next visit!
3) Do bring food. It can be fast food, frozen food, a pre-made grocery meal, veggie tray… ANY kind of food. When I was a new mom I couldn’t even manage to find the time to eat breakfast until 2pm, and I didn’t have the energy or desire to try to cook anything, so I ate a lot of granola bars and toast.
4) And while you’re at it, bringing mama some coffee or tea is absolutely something you should do! New mom’s are beyond tired, they are in a whole other realm of exhaustion. It’s basically zombie mama survival mode. I can’t tell you how many times I wished that visitors would have offered to bring me a coffee! Even when I was only drinking decaf, just having a cup brought me comfort and made me feel a little more like myself.
5) Do be normal! I can’t even explain just how sick I was of talking about baby stuff. After the first visit, talk to mama like a normal person, not just a parent. Talk with her the way you did pre-baby. Fill her in on office gossip, friend drama, and regular everyday things! Talking about labor, the birthing experience, and baby poop gets old real fast.
6) Washing your hands as soon as you arrive at their home is something you must do. Babies are just building up their immune systems and you’re a nasty, walking, talking, pile of germs, until you scrub those hands!!!
7) On that note, if you are feeling even a little bit unwell, reschedule the visit. Don’t risk the chance of getting mom and baby sick.
8) NEVER, EVER, EVER show up unannounced. Surprise visits are horrible even when you aren’t a new mom, DON’T do it! I warned family and friends that I would not be answering the doorbell if I wasn’t expecting visitors. I even warned family who had emergency keys to our home that if they chose to use it for a pop in visit, I would immediately change the locks, and possibly punch them in the face. I repeat, no unplanned visits!!!
9) Don’t under any circumstances comment on mom’s physical appearance, unless your comments are on how gorgeous she looks (even though she hasn’t showered in days, is in her pj’s, which are covered in baby’s spit up, and the bags under her eyes are the size of Kansas).
10) Don’t you dare give unsolicited advice, or share your new mom horror stories. It’s hella annoying, rude, and unnecessary. Mom is already overwhelmed and nervous, especially if she’s a first time mom. There’s no need to freak her out, or make her second guess her natural instincts. She has plenty of doctors, nurses, specialists and Google, if she has any urgent questions or issues.
What other Do’s and Don’ts would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments!