Coming home for the first time with your newborn is an emotional and physical roller coaster. You and your baby are getting to know each other and developing your special bond. Besides needing to care for another person, as a mom you are also recovering from birth and you are probably not well rested at all.
Added on to that is the fact that newborns are sensitive and delicate creatures. There may be some family members who will not understand the situation. It is your role as the mom (and dad) to set boundaries. Here are the 8 golden rules you can share with friends and family.
Here are the 8 golden rules for visiting a newborn (that you must send to your family)
1. Schedule a visit, please no ‘pop in’ visitors
Having an unplanned visitor ‘pop in’ is a no go. It is the equivalent of popping into someone’s house for some tea at 5 am in the morning. It’s just not on and it is rude.
2. Bring food and beverages
Now is not the time to expect a spread of food or a jug of delicious homemade ice tea. It is your duty to take the load off a new mom. As you are planning your visit, throw it in that you will bring some food and something to drink.
So that she does not need to spend time thinking about feeding you. The demands of caring for her newborn is already taking up all of her energy).
3. Just say no if offered food or beverages
If you did not bring food and the new mom asks if she can get anything for for you (out of politeness). Please say no, or get it yourself. She is healing from birth, sleep deprivation, tiredness, struggling with breastfeeding (if that is the case) and all of that is a lot to deal with. And honestly cannot deal with having to feed you too (the new mom herself barely has time to eat these days!).
4. Offer to help
It can be as small as doing the dishes, or picking up groceries or ordering in the family’s favourite meal. Every little task helps. What new moms often need in these days is help with basics. So many house chores do not get done, and a small gesture will go a long way.
5. Keep your visit as short as possible
Now is not the time to think you can show up and shoot the breeze (unless the new mommy insists). Keep it super quick, 30 – 45 minutes max.
Related Post: Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist
6. Do not assume, ask if you can hold the baby
Do not assume you can hold the baby. Ask if you may hold the baby, and then wash your hands. If hand sanitizer is handed to you – do not feel offended.
7. Don’t forget about the older sibling
Bringing home a new baby is also a huge adjustment for an elder child. Hence, if you are a visitor, do not only focus on the new baby, also reach out to and engage the elder sibling.
8. Just use common sense
The birth of a baby is an exciting time for parents and their friends and family. However, during this time let the parents set boundaries as to what they need and tune into that. However, no new mom and dad will say ‘no’ if you say ‘Hey, I am dropping by to drop off a lasagna.’
There you have it!! Moms, do yourself a favour and share this with your family.
Further Reading: Why you Need a Baby Tracking Journal for your newborn