Visiting New Mum and Baby
You just heard the baby has been born it is so exciting for everyone and visiting the mum and newborn comes top of all family and friend’s to-do list. But, before you tear off with your newborn baby hamper from Perfect Little Bundles to offer your congratulations there are a few things you need to consider. I know you would dearly love a cuddle with the baby asap, but you need to remember this time is about Mum, Baby and Family bonding. Your time for a cuddle will come soon enough. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to think about when visiting, as well as some newborn baby gift ideas.
Important To Note
Firstly, with the elephant in the room or the world. Covid 19 or coronavirus. Most hospitals are only allowing one support person with the Mum, and siblings are not allowed to come to the hospital either at this time. There are current restrictions on all of us to only leave your home for essential travel. There will not be a mum who is not worried about this virus some more than others. The level at which depends on the mum and how she is feeling. Do Not in any circumstances visit if you are showing any signs of illness; you may know you are not infected, but the mum will still have concerns.
Ring the new Mum to let her know you are thinking of her, and let her know as soon as you are ok, and keep in touch until you are fit to visit. Maybe send her one of our lovely newborn baby gift hampers to show how much you are thinking of her.
Even showing no signs or symptoms of being unwell, it is a good idea to carry an antibacterial handwash. There are many eco-friendly hand sanitizers that you can pop into your handbag, so always on hand, so to speak!
Some extra points to think on:
- Don’t take your own kids, however much the mum loves them and them her. Kids and germs tend to go together.
- Show her you are being responsible by washing your hands or using your sanitizer as soon as you arrive.
- Don’t kiss the baby – I know, it’s hard to resist, but do! The mum will really appreciate your thoughtfulness and be thankful she doesn’t have to ask you.
Don’t Just Pop In
I know you are excited about the new baby but do not just drop-in unannounced, this will not go well with the new mum. Always check when the best time to visit is and do not be offended if they do not want a visit. It’s not about you, she may not be ready for visitors, and that has to be ok with you.
Important you tell her you do understand and not make her feel guilty about not wanting a visit. Tell her you will call again and see how the land lies. Support is essential at this time, and showing you understand is a vital component to her peace of mind.
All mums are different, some crave social attention, but others want to hibernate and bond with their baby as a family unit before having visitors.
On Your Way
Reminder: don’t just pop in! Call first even for an arranged visit, new mums especially are still working out their time schedules and baby’s don’t always co-operate, but you can. If mum is sounding hassled, offer to come again or maybe a bit later. An extra thoughtful gesture if you are going to visit, is to ask if they want something from a store you will be passing, and collect for them.
Time to cook is the first thing that goes to pot when a newborn baby comes into the home. A much-appreciated gesture as a visitor is to bring food. Dinners that can be eaten immediately or frozen, like lasagne or a casserole. Maybe even some jelly slice, choc crackle or fairy bread! Know her dietary likes and dislikes, and this is a gift that will be very much appreciated.
It is also a good idea to stock the new mum up on healthy, nutritious snacks, like a range of fresh fruit.
Offers Of Help Are Always Gratefully Received
Offering to help around the house or with the baby, can be much appreciated. Please be careful about how you make your offer. You do not want to imply she is not coping or neglecting herself, home or other kids. Things you could do to help; Offer to vacuum or clean – careful with this one, she might be sensitive to the fact her house is not as pristine as she would like. Walk the dog
Play with the older siblings
Offer to hold the baby while she has a nap or shower.
Get a shopping list from her and go and do the shopping for her.
The visit has to be about mum, and she shouldn’t be expected to serve or entertain you. No work talk! Focus on them and their feelings. Allow them to talk. One thing about 99% of mums, even ones who have had babies before, is they are sensitive and can see some comments or questions as judgmental.
Think Before You Speak
Even well-intentioned remarks can upset a new mum. Consider not asking closed questions like, ‘are you breastfeeding’ or ‘is the baby sleeping all night’. Try to make them more open-ended, that is about how they are feeling.
However close a family member or friend you are, avoid questions about her body, her home and her parenting skills. Keep the unsolicited advice for in a few months, or better yet wait to be asked!
Some mums find it very hard at first with a new baby, often feeling inadequate and your unconditional listening might allow her to share any of her doubts. If you are concerned about what is being said, encourage her to talk with a medical professional. Postpartum depression is not just ‘the blues’ it is an illness that should not be ignored.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
New mums get tired very quickly, so keep an eye on the amount of time you stay there. I know it’s hard to leave, but the best thing you can do is let her have some alone time with her baby or just chill out.
When a mum brings a new baby home, the first few days or weeks can be full of visitors and well-wishers. Make a note to yourself to call and visit after a month, when motherhood can become more complicated, and there are fewer people around.
Be there for them, take some food around, ask her & baby to go out for a meal or simply chat on the phone, let her know you care and she is not alone.
Being a good friend to the new mum and baby means putting them first.