Sit Down and Stay (but really, please don’t!) – Dos and Don’ts for Visiting New Moms

Dos and Don'ts for Visiting New Moms

Bringing home a new baby can be such an exciting time, but also exhausting and emotional for a new mom. Even if you have kids, you may have forgotten the overwhelming first few weeks home from the hospital (they are a sleep deprived blur!). Here are some rules and advice for loving on your friend and her new bundle of joy:

  1. Make sure she wants visitors. Sometimes new moms would rather soak up some alone time the first few weeks while others want the company to show off their newest family member.
  2. Don’t just show up or assume when you’re available is the best time to visit. Schedule a time to visit that works with the new mom but also make sure to be flexible. Text her when you are getting ready to head her way in case something crazy is going on and it turns out to be bad timing. With feeding schedules, naps, and overall fussiness, babies are unpredictable.
  3. Don’t show up empty-handed. Bring food. It may take a new mom a while to get back on her feet in the kitchen. Bringing a meal is a welcomed gift, but make sure to check in and offer options on what to bring. One of my favorite things to bring is a “goodie bag” of healthy granola, chicken salad, pita bread, salad, and fruit.
  4. Think outside the (casserole) box. Some moms don’t want or need you to bring food – so take a bottle of wine, diapers, Netflix gift card, or even offer up your cleaning lady for the day. Give them the gift of service and go pick up their dry cleaning or make a Target run. Let them take a nap or shower while you watch the baby. If they have an older child, ask if you can take them to the park for a few hours to get them out of the house.
  5. If you have kids of your own, leave them at home (unless they are infants and you plan to keep them in their carrier). No new mom wants your kid’s germs on their new baby.
  6. Wash your hands! Even if you have just washed them at home, wash them again where the mom can see you do it.
  7. Don’t take and post pictures of the baby unless the mom is comfortable with it.  Be sure she has already made the “we had a baby” announcement on social media because it would be über tacky if you were the first to do so.
  8. Keep the conversation about the mom and baby. Be excited to hear about the birth story or ask about the hospital stay. New moms love to talk about this. Don’t offer advice unless they ask.
  9. If you are sick (even with a little sniffle) STAY AT HOME! Going back to the germ topic, just don’t do it.
  10. (Most importantly) know when to leave. Chances are, you are visiting towards the end of the day – perhaps even during the “witching hour” when the baby is fussy and mom is exhausted from the long day. Drop off the food and leave. Heck, even offer to drop it in a cooler bag on their porch. Staying longer than 30 minutes is unnecessary and unless the mom begs you to stay, politely excuse yourself to let them rest.

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3 Responses to Sit Down and Stay (but really, please don’t!) – Dos and Don’ts for Visiting New Moms

  1. Candence
    Candence August 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    YES to number 7!!! My Mother-in-law made me cry because she posted a picture of the baby and told everyone we were headed home from the hospital on Facebook. I’m still fuming about it two years later. haha!

  2. Jennifer
    Jennifer August 15, 2016 at 8:26 am #

    Those are GREAT tips! I love the suggestions to get the older kids out of the house for a bit… when each of my kids were newborns, I wouldn’t want to leave them, but some time outside for their older sibling would have been welcome!

  3. Annie
    Annie August 19, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    Great post! I’ll be sharing this with my sister, who just had her first baby…so she can discreetly share with a few people who are dying to visit! And one more tip: please don’t just say, “let me know if you need anything!” I never knew what I would be needing one minute to the next. But if you brought food for me and diapers for the baby, that was the best. Major bonus points if you just took the bull by the horns and straightened up the kitchen or folded some laundry.