Before I had Nathan I was one of those “overly-excited-aunties” and I wanted to visit my friends and families’ newborn baby as soon as possible and hold them. Not until I had Nathan did I realize inviting overly excited aunties and uncles over can be quite overwhelming to entertain. Especially when you’re sleep deprived, hooked on the breast pump all day, and needing to shower for 2 days. On top of that, having a newborn is like being in a new relationship. You’re completely smitten, but you’re still learning as you go.
|My mom visiting Nathan @ 3 weeks old.|
So, here are some tips on visiting a new mom & baby without overwhelming them too much:
- Wait to be invited— I know you can’t contain yourself and you just want to cuddle and get a whiff of that new baby smell, but give the couple a quick text hello and ask when is the best time of the day you can visit. Don’t visit unannounced! That is the worst!
- Safety precautions— Please do not come over if you think you’re coming down with something, have the sniffles or the cough. Us worry wart moms will not be happy, plus remember we’re still hormonal. Also, when you do come over, please wash your hands before touching the baby.
- Bring FOOD! –New parents will appreciate this the most! I remember being home every day, and not wanting to leave for the market. Cooking was also the last thing on my mind. Eating fast food isn’t the best for lactating mothers either. One of my favorite dishes to make for new parents are lasagnas or stews. It lasts in the fridge for at least 3-4 days, or makes a great freezer meal. Quick tip: for breastfeeding moms, I like bringing soups with ginger in it. It helps induce lactation.
- Come bearing gifts— If you can’t bring food, bring a small gift. For the mom or the baby even if you already bought them a baby shower gift. Ask mama what items they are missing or they didn’t receive. I always bring new moms nursing pads, mother’s milk tea, or a pack of diapers/wipes for the baby. They can never have enough.
- Help around the house— that may be asking for too much, but honestly it is the BEST thing you can do. Even if it’s just washing a few dishes for them.
- Watch the baby a little— if daddy isn’t there, not only snap photos or hold the baby, but also offer to watch the new bundle of joy for a little bit so that mama can take a moment for herself. She either needs to shower or pump, or maybe even squeeze in a little power nap.
- Remember the time limit— When visiting a mom & her newborn, try not to stay more than one hour, max. It may not seem like enough time to catch up, but remember she is tired and sleep deprived. So being sociable can be a lot of work and overwhelming. Depending on some moms, she may not be comfortable to breastfeed in front of you either.
- Show her you really care— Once you bid your farewells, let her know that she can count on you. She may not call you to hang out right away, but moms need the reassurance that she still has people she can count on. Even just for someone to talk to. Doing this may help prevent post-partum depression for her. Believe me, it’s common. Also, let her know she’s not alone in this whole motherhood adventure. Tell her to download the MomCo App and let her know there may be other moms in the area that she can meet up and hang out with or plan play dates with. This is also a great app for new moms if they need to find local services, such as, housekeeping or a sitter. Best part, it’s free!