A new baby has a way of bringing everyone together. Friends and family are filled with happiness and excitement, while mom and dad are more than likely filled with joy and exhaustion. Your love and support during these first few weeks are tremendously important to the new family. Offer your support and listen to the new family for ways that you can best help.
Here are five tips to remember when visiting during the early weeks.
1. Reassure the family that you are available to help: Assuring the family that you are available when they are ready or when they need something, like a pack of diapers, will allow them to rest comfortably and confidently. There is a sense of relief that we feel knowing that when we may need something, we have somebody we can rely on.
2. Do not helicopter: It is important to remember that you will not be the only visitor that the new family has over the next few weeks. You may think that once or twice a week is perfect, but for the new family who has everybody thinking that, it adds up. Remember that aunts, cousins, friends from college, will all want to meet the new baby. All of these visitors combined, can put a lot of stress on mom and dad. So, limit your visits and allow them to let you know when a good time to come will be.
3. Don’t arrive empty handed: Finding time to prep and cook a healthy, wholesome meal while adjusting to life with a new baby is slim to impossible some days. One way to help the new family is to always bring food to your visits. Whether it is a frozen meal like lasagna or meat pie, or a snack like fresh juice or muffins, they WILL appreciate it! Another way to help is to drop food off at their door and simply text that it is there.
4. Do lighthouse for mom and dad: What mom and dad might need the most right now is for their sink full of dishes to be washed, or that growing pile of laundry to be folded and put away. Instead of offering to hold the new baby while mom or dad does the housework, go ahead and do these tasks for them.
5. Remember mom too: The new baby will get lots of presents and attention during this time but it’s essential that mom receive the support and encouragement she needs as well. She ran a marathon to bring her baby into the world and this is her recovery time. Bring her a tea, some magazines, do her nails, simply listen to her. Mom is going through a lot physically, emotionally, and mentally, and needs you more than ever.