Meeting a Newborn - Do-s and Don’t-s
Real talk: When I visited my first friend who had a baby. I made ALL of these mistakes and more. 🤣 This is definitely a #dontbelikeChristine moment. And to my dear friend Meghan, THANK you for all your patience with me and not just kicking me out mid visit - you’re the best.
1. Don’t immediately pick up the baby or take the baby out of the parents hands.
Instead wash your hands and ask if they feel comfortable with you holding the baby, and/or when would be a good time. There is so much information that mama has that you are unaware of like when the baby last ate, slept, and was diapered. There’s also important bonding and attachment being formed.
I remember introducing my child to a friend and she kissed my baby ON THE LIPS- I (her mother) had not even done that yet for fear of passing my adult germs to my little newborn. I was all the emotions and felt like my boundaries had been disregarded.
For the other 99.9 percent of my friends and family who met my little one early one - I have precious photos of them holding her for the first time that I still hold dear.
2. Don’t allow yourself to be waited on or hosted by the new parent(s).
It’s a privilege that they are allowing you in their home. Instead take the approach of trying to help out by doing the dishes and/or taking out the trash on your way out. If you want water, grab it yourself and also refill their water bottle.
3. Please don’t come empty handed.
It can even be a small gesture like a coffee or tea that you grabbed at a drive thru on the way there. A freezer meal (or take out gift card) is also always welcome! (We will have a blog coming soon with easy recipes that are perfect for drop off meals.)
4. Please don’t comment on mama’s appearance
This is probably just a good rule of thumb for life- but unless she has some chocolate on her cheek from the amazing cookies you just brought over, please do not make comments about her postpartum body. Like #1, there is SO MUCH going on - hormones, hair loss, movement of organs, lots of feelings, etc. Even if it’s that you want to compliment her body, it really best to just not go there. I’ve know mamas who felt embarrassed about how much weight they lost and how quickly. The “it doesn’t even look like you HAD a baby” actually doesn’t land great even though it may sound good in your head.
5. Please don’t ring the doorbell
People make these cute signs that hang on the front doors about NOT RINGING THE DAMN DOORBELL. Maybe they have a protective dog? Maybe the baby is napping? Maybe the dog bark makes the kid cry and the whole house feel chaotic.
Please instead text multiple times - a friendly can’t wait to see you on the day of (yes, it’s very likely with the sleep deprivation, they forgot you were coming all together). Then text when you are on the way (maybe they want to change their stained top, or maybe not, remember #4 haha). This is also a perfect time to also ask if they want anything - like a coffee, tea, McDonalds French fries 🍟, etc. Finally text when you actually arrive at their door.