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July 17, 2017

7 Tips for Visiting New Parents

The first few weeks with a newborn can be a complete whirlwind thanks to sleep deprivation and an extremely needy baby vying for a parent’s attention around the clock. However, family and friends are often excited to meet the new family member and want to take time out of their day to visit with the new parents. Unfortunately, these pop-in visits are not always welcome by an overtired family with a complete lack of schedule. If you are considering stopping by to visit a new parent, here are a few things to take into consideration before heading over for some baby snuggles:

  1. Contact the parent in advance. Whether you call or text, make sure it’s okay if you can stop by and ask them when it would be a good time to do so. If they are too tired for a visit or they’re embarrassed by the state of their house, they will let you know and reschedule for a time they will be more well-rested and relaxed—allowing them to actually enjoy your company.
  2. Bring something to eat or drink. Most new mothers would love it if they had personal coffee delivery or even a hot meal in a to-go box from their favorite restaurant. Managing a household with a new baby often means unplanned meals or even stretches of time where parents haven’t had the opportunity to fix something to eat. Ease the burden by bringing something during mealtime.
  3. Wash your hands. The minute you arrive at the house, wash your hands before handling the baby.
  4. Stay home if you’re sick. Even if you feel as though you’re coming down with something, please stay home and avoid handling a sick baby or comingling with an already over-tired parent. Illnesses are rarely welcome, but are especially concerning for babies who have not had vaccinations and are highly susceptible to anything they come in contact with.
  5. Leave the littles at home. When you visit a new parent, keep your own children at home. The last thing this new mom needs in her house is more chaos—she’s got enough of it going on already!
  6. Help around the house. If you’re a good friend or family member of the mother, offer to complete a chore while you’re there. This may be washing up a load of dishes or taking out the trash. These little helpful actions sure add up for an overwhelmed parent.
  7. Don’t stay long. As easy as it would be to sit on the couch with the newborn and snuggle for hours on end, most new parents have a lot going on and are uneasy about spending so much time “lounging” with a friend during the day. Don’t overstay your welcome, and keep your visit to about 15-20 minutes unless you’re helping with chores.

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