Dos and Don’ts for Visiting New Parents

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Your friend or family member just had a baby - how exciting!  It’s wonderful you want to visit  but you don’t want your visit to turn into a stressful event for the new family.   Here are some ideas to help make your visit more relaxing and peaceful for everyone:

Please Don’t…

  • Expect the new parents to entertain you.
  • Give advice when they complains about being tired or about how difficult everything is.
  • Ask whether baby is getting enough milk or whether he is sleeping through the night yet. These questions can undermine a new mother’s confidence and can ultimately affect breastfeeding too.
  • Cause stress by offering to take the baby out. They might be grateful for the same offer at some point, but a new mom needs to bond and be with her baby.
  • Create more work by bringing huge bags of unwanted baby clothes or toys. A small bag of baby clothes of the right size is more manageable for a mother to sort through.  Newborns don’t play with toys right away, so wait a few months before bring toys to pass onto.  
  • Forget that the mother needs help for some months (years!), not just the first few weeks. 
  • Forget to keep on offering your support.

In Colorado?  Sign up for a Bradley Method Class or Breastfeeding Class!

Please Do…

  • Bring food when you visit.  Meals and snacks that need little or no additional preparation are best.  Also think about the containers - do they need to be washed and returned or can they just be tossed or recycled?
  • Bring mom something healthy to drink.  
  • Make a meal (and clean the kitchen afterwards).  
  • Do the grocery shopping.
  • Help with chores such as sweeping, vacuum, or tidy up.
  • Do laundry, fold the clothes, and put them away.
  • Give mom a back rub or a foot massage while she nurses the baby.
  • Change the baby’s diaper.
  • Look after the baby while Mom takes a bath or shower, or a short walk.  Make sure you know newborn feeding cues so baby doesn’t go too long between feedings.
  • Accompany mom when she has to go somewhere to offer an extra pair of hands.
  • Offer to take her to an LLL meeting or give her the local Leader’s contact details.
  • Listen to her worries.
  • Comfort her.
  • Let the parents know what a good job they are doing caring for their new baby!

Above all, remember the new parents are exhausted, sleep deprived, and mom is healing from birth.

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