What New Parents Actually Need From Visitors
Family and friends can be super supportive and helpful during the birth of a child. However, it can be overwhelming bringing a newborn home and the constant swarm of visitors does not help. When my husband and I had our daughter we had many visitors at the hospital and for the first two weeks, it was like we had a revolving front door. With the following tips hopefully, it can help new parents feel less overwhelmed. I know for me it would have been a lot less stressful if our visitors would have followed any of these tips.
- Food: If you plan on visiting the expectant parents it would be super helpful if you brought over prepared food. This could include bringing over easy snacks to grab and go or a frozen meal that they could place in the oven to warm up. It is very difficult to find the time to make food with a newborn. My parents brought over healthy snacks that were already prepared which were super beneficial. This was probably the most helpful for me.
- Housework: Offering to do chores while you are at the house. This could just be helping with the dishes, taking out the trash, or laundry. It doesn't have to be the whole house.
- Groceries: Ask before visiting if they need any groceries picked up. Most new parents are advised to not take their babies to public places especially during flu season. Plus it can be quite a bit of work to pack up a newborn and take them out for just a few items. If you are able to grab the essentials from the store it can save a lot of time and effort.
- Offer to hold the baby: If you feel comfortable enough offer to hold the baby while the parent(s) take a nap. Sleep is so hard to come by with a newborn in the house. I always heard the advice to sleep when the baby sleeps, but this isn't always possible when you have a house full of guests to entertain.
- No Surprise Visits: Please do not make any surprise visits. Always call the parents beforehand to see if they are up to having any visitors. It is overwhelming enough trying to adjust to post-pregnancy to then be surprised about not being prepared for the company.
- Unwanted Advice: Please do not start giving out advice on what the new parents should be doing unless they ask for input. Some individuals would like to try on their own. It can be added pressure to live up to your advice. This can come off as judgmental.
- Waiting: I know newborns can be exciting, you've waited nine months to meet the bundle of joy. Maybe wait another week or two once the rush of visitors dies down. It depends on the parents but it can be overwhelming and exhausting having visitors all day long. This can also allow time for the new parents to adjust to their new life.
- Pets: If they have a dog, offer to take it on a walk. If the parents are still at the hospital, offer to feed and water the pet.
- Kids: If they have other children, it can be helpful to try to entertain them while visiting or offer to take them out for a couple of hours.
Newborns can be very time consuming, so if you are able to do any of these simple tasks it can take off some stress of the new parents. Ask beforehand if the parent(s) have a preference when you should visit. Family and friends, please be mindful of new and expectant parents. They are already stressed about adjusting to newborn life please help create a less stressful situation.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Amber