visiting a new baby
advice from real moms about what they really need after their new baby arrives
Congratulations, someone you love has just had a baby! We know you're excited about the new human in your life, which is why we wrote this. It's full of real advice from real moms, about what they really needed after baby arrived.
wash your hands
Don't make the new parents feel like germophobes -- head to the sink and wash up your hands before they even have a chance to ask.
keep your advice to yourself
If you've had a child before, it's natural and totally normal to talk about the way you did things. Even though it's coming from a good place, new parents get a lot of advice. What they don't hear enough is that they're doing a good job all on their own. Praise their good work – if they need any tips, they'll ask for them!
offer specific help
It's really hard to ask for help. We all know this, even when we need it. And when you've got your first baby, you don't even know what you need help with. Instead of asking "what can I do?" offer something specific:
+"I'll grab some essentials from the grocery store for you."
+"Let me pick up a box of diapers."
+"I'll empty your dishwasher for you."
Offering a specific task takes the pressure off of a new mom, who doesn't want to ask for too much, or may not even know what to ask for yet. Your specific offer may actually remind her of something she needs help with: "Oh, the dishwasher is emptied but I could really use someone to shovel the walkway for me!" You'll be a hero!
drop and go
Everyone is excited about meeting the new baby, but mom's hormones are on overdrive, the whole family is adjusting to their new reality, and nobody is getting enough sleep. You'll have plenty of time to get to know the little one, and someday, their social life will return to normal. But unless you've been invited for a specific event (dinner, a movie on the couch, brunch), keep it short: under 30 minutes is a good rule, and nobody will be mad if you just drop off some food, say hello and go!
leave things better than you found them
Even when your visit is short, find something you can do before you go. Walk out the door with the kitchen garbage, put your water glass in the dishwasher, or help break down all the baby gift boxes. Little things add up to big help.