Now that I’ve been through those first few months of baby life (a.k.a. insanity), I thought I’d share 10 tips for visiting new parents. Things I found helpful and not so helpful. Hope it helps you navigate a visit or to prep yourself if you’re on the road to be a new parent yourself! Parents, add in your own thoughts in the comments below!
10 Tips for Visiting New Parents
- Bring Food: Don’t bring anything that requires assembling. The new nursing mom most likely doesn’t even have time to shower let alone toss a salad. Prep everything and bring it ready to eat! Bonus points for providing disposable utensils, plates, etc so there’s also no clean up. If you do not bring disposable utensils, offer to clean up if you’re staying for a while.
- Make it Short: New parents are exhausted. We don’t want to sit and shoot the breeze for 4 hours. We want to shove food in our face, shower, and then get back to nursing, diaper changes, etc.
- Clean Our House: If you don’t want to bring food but want to help, cleaning is amazing! Offer to clean the kitchen, wash dishes/bottles, sweep or vacuum the floor, clean the bathroom, etc. I had family do this for me the first couple of weeks and it helped me to feel more in order and relaxed.
- NEVER tell us you’re tired: We will want to punch you in the face. No amount of tiredness will amount to waking every 2 hours around the clock to feed a newborn…nothing. The only exception to this is if you are also a new parent…then tell us how tired you are and we will nod in agreement.
- For the love of humanity, do NOT ask us if the baby is hungry: Do not comment that the baby is “acting” hungry. Even if the baby begins rooting while you’re holding them, act like everything is normal. I can’t tell you the amount of times people ask me if she’s hungry directly after a feeding. As a breastfeeding mom, this causes more rage than I can put in to words. Crying often does not equal hungry.
- Change Diapers: It’s great to have a little break from diapers when visitors come over. Even if you’re new to the whole changing thing, give it a whirl. It’s not so bad, I promise.
- Don’t tell us to enjoy every moment: When we’re on the front lines of battle (newborn life), we aren’t enjoying every moment. Are we enjoying our new baby? Absolutely! Are we enjoying our new baby when we want to sleep or eat and they are screaming? No, we aren’t. While all of this is worth it, we don’t need to hear someone tell us to enjoy every moment.
- Unless you’re a new mom, don’t tell us to “hang in there”: Piggy-backing off of the point above, don’t tell us to “hang in there”. We know that things will get better. We know that this won’t be forever. But to be honest, many times it just seems like the hard stuff is never going to end. We can hang in there without being told to.
- No comments about our appearance, please: Unless you’re telling us we look like an Olympic athlete, don’t say anything. The combination of the postpartum body, lack of showering, and lack of sleep leave a lot to be desired in the looks department.
- If it’s feeding time and you’re uncomfortable, leave: Don’t make a nursing mom leave the room (unless they want to). If you’re uncomfortable with the mother nursing in the same room as you, make that your time to exit.
Hope these little tidbits help anyone planning to visit new parents. Also hope new parents get some nods and smiles from reading this post. Hope you all are doing well in the blog world! Things have been rough in the sleep department the past three weeks, but we’re doing well overall. Can’t wait to share more about my postpartum/new mom journey! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, friends!
Parents, what did I miss? Did you feel enraged when people asked you if your baby was hungry?
Tell me in the comments below!