Your friends have just had a baby and they’re keen to show off their newest, most beautiful addition. You can't wait to meet your newest little friend and share the joy with the family, but aren't sure how or when to go about it?
Here are eight considerations for supporting new parents during this incredible life change.
Need a gift? Here are some ideas that no-one will have thought of yet.
1. Wait a while
Some parents can bond with their newborn immediately, but for some it takes a week or even several months to develop.
So although you may be tempted to rush round for newborn cuddles, allow the family to settle into their new normal—and await an invite for your first visit.
2. Schedule a visit
Each new baby has a different schedule for feeding and sleeping—so definitely don’t interrupt this by dropping by unannounced. Shoot the new parents a quick message (rather than a call) and they can respond to you when they’re free.
3. Keep it brief
It's not likely you'll be hanging out all day with your besties over a few beers. The new mom and dad may be getting as little as four hours’ sleep a night, which will impact their cognitive processing.
This is far from the recommended seven to nine hours sleep we need to function properly!
Be understanding that they may not want to engage with you for long periods of time and emotions may run high. Get in, have a cuddle and get out.
4. Bringing something
New parents will be inundated with presents for the baby, so if you want to take something, have a look at this list of original gift ideas so you’re turning up at their door with something useful and memorable.
Something small to make a sibling feel special is a thoughtful option.
5. Help out
It can take a while to adjust to a routine with a new family member so don’t be surprised to see washing lying around, dirty cups in the sink or a dog that’s dying for a bath.
So take the initiative and get stuck in to some of these peripheral tasks during your visit.
Staying for coffee? Wash up the cup!
6. Be entertaining
Their lives may center around the baby for now, but don’t forget that conversation can exist outside of baby talk. Ask how the parents are doing, bring some stories and fill them in on the universe outside of their home.
7. Cancel if you’re sick
If you’ve got the slightest sniffle—or if your child at home is spiking a fever—then do not under any circumstances visit the new addition. A newborn’s immune system is strengthening each day, but they’re currently more susceptible to bacteria and viruses.
8. Give the baby back
Although you won’t be running away with the baby, did you know that mom’s protective instincts will be heightened in these early days?
Wait until she offers for you to hold her bundle of joy and don’t keep them for too long.
Hopefully this guide will give you a few pointers on what to consider when visiting your friends’ new arrival.
If you have any other tips, please share them with the June community in our comments section below.