Post # 1
So I have a friend who is due with her first in December, and I was looking into something little I could do for her once the baby was born (and after a few weeks of letting her adjust). I came across this article:
Basically, the article claims that you shouldn’t just visit to hold the baby and do nothing but that. You should help clean, bring food, bring a gift… Do something, not just show up and bounce the baby (and possibly eat the new parents’ food).
What really got me were the comments. They crucified this author, calling her greedy and ungrateful. But I don’t know, I think she brought up some fair points. Like how new mom shouldn’t feel like she needs to entertain guests and feed them.
So now I ask the Bee… What are your thoughts on the protocol on visiting new mom and baby?
Post # 3
@Apple_Blossom: I read this the other day and I totally agree with it. People can be so rude when it comes to visiting new moms. Sorry but if someone tries to camp out in my house for hours on end with no purpose other then to hold my baby, I’ll politely ask them to leave after about 30 minutes. I can’t stand people who overstay their welcome, especially at a time when you’re not feeling 100% up to having visitors in the first place.
I always love reading the comments scarymommy gets. People take her way to seriously. It’s supposed to be real but also funny and a little exaggerated. I’m guessing the people who call her out so frequently don’t have kids yet. As a first time pregnant lady, I’m already getting anxious about how I will deal with annoying visitors without pissing anyone off too much. Bringing a new baby home is a special, family bonding moment that only happens for each child one time. I want us to be able to settle and bond and have alone time as a family without having visitors everywhere, even though I know they have the best intentions. Give me like at least a week or two, then come by – but NEVER unannounced (baby or no baby that’s just rude and I will not answer my door for you!)
Post # 4
@Apple_Blossom: I actually didn’t mind having someone to hold the baby for a bit as it gave me a break, but I definitely loved any snacks that were delivered 🙂 I remember visiting a dear friend after her daughter was born and she was so tired I spent a couple hours holding the baby while she took a much needed nap! I think what you want to avoid is being the sort of guest who requires entertaining – sitting down and letting the host pour you wine and expecting snacks. If this is a close friend of yours, I’m sure she will be happy to see you and enjoy your company.
Post # 5
Keep your visit brief! Bringing a meal would be very thoughtful and much appreciated, though not required. Doing household chores is totally not necessary.
ETA: just read the blog and with an attitude like that it’s a wonder she has any friends at all.
Post # 6
I agree with her…mostly.
I perferred that people actually visit me in the hospital in the days following my delivery…rather than bug me at home.
Also, I don’t like people in my stuff at home. It makes me really uncomfortable to have somone else cleaning or cooking for me in my home. I just don’t like it. For me, I’d rather my friends visit (not necessarily expecting to hold the baby) as normal. Short visits perferred.
Bringing food and goodies is welcomed 🙂 hehe
You just have to know each individual mommy well enough to know what is appropriate.
Post # 7
@Apple_Blossom: I totally think bringing food or some kind of “treat” and helping out with dishes or something is a great thing to do, but not mandatory. I wouldn’t set about cleaning someone’s house unless I was very close to them, similarly I do not like when people try to clean up in my home unless we are close, it makes me uncomfortable and I like things done “my way”.
When my kids were brand new, I was grateful for short visits and food. My best friend came to the hospital with a box of chocolate and some magazines, then she got me a popsicle (baby was born in June) and sat on the couch and did her homework. She was just there, if I needed her but not demanding my attention, it was perfect.
Post # 8
In our group we are three couples. One couple had a baby a few months ago. We visited a week after the baby was born, along with a babygro and a box of toffee for mum and dad. All four of us were there for a few hours, we just had water/juice/tea to drink, and when the baby went to sleep we all just chatted as normal. It depends on your relationship. Eg my colleagues probably wouldn’t come to my house, but I would take my baby into work for a while to meet everyone.
Post # 9
I assume that anyone who visits a new mom is close to them. If you aren’t that close, then you shouldn’t be there. You can see the baby at a public or group event in the future.
As a close friend, you should keep it short and know the parents well enough to understand when you have stayed long enough. I would also assume that close friends and family would WANT to help out. Fold some towels, let mom get a shower in, offer to drop of the dry cleaning. It doesn’t have to be showing up with a catered meal, but offering to make them a sandwich is just being nice in my book.
Post # 10
My sister is due any day with her first child and I wanted to bring her a gift at the hospital but then thought that is just something else they have to lug home with them. I told her this and she agreed so what I am doing it gifting her my time – whenver she needs/ wants it. Whether it be making food to keep in the freezer, doing her dishes, doing her laundry, watching the baby so she can get some sleep, etc. This way it is appreciated but I am not imposing on her as soon as she gets home. It will be what she wants, when she wants it. She seems to like that idea. Also, her SO works midnights so when he goes back to work she will no longer have help in the middle of the night.
Post # 11
I think it depends on how well you know the Mom. For my sister I deep cleaned her entire house while she was in the hospital and made sure I asked her if she needed anything when I went to the store etc. For my school friend (a new Dad) I went over with another friend and brought onesies, recieveing blankets, and homemade banana bread. My other friend never relaly knows when to leave, so I made sure that I was the one to say “ok well we should get going!!” after about half an hour. Bottom line I’d say just be respectful and cater to your friend’s needs and not your own.
Post # 12
I think bringing a meal and a baby gift is very generous. Staying 1 hour or less is ample visiting time. I think asking to clean their house etc is ridiculous, she had a baby, her legs aren’t broken. (this does not apply IMO if said woman is a close family member, has no partner to assist with child or house chores or is a close friend that had a c-section)
Post # 13
I think your first step when visiting a new family should be to contact the parents and ask what THEY want, since it’ll be different for every situation. If I were a new mother, I’d be much more comfortable letting a visitor keep an eye on my baby while I did a few chores (dishes, shower, laundry), rather than vice versa. But when I’m the visitor, I’m happy to do whatever the new parents find the most helpful.
I always come bearing gifts (usually food that’s ready to go in the oven). I always call ahead to make sure my visit is timed as conveniently as possible. And I start the visit with a cheerful “I get so sucked into how adorable babies are that I forget the time – just go ahead and shoo me out when my time is up!”
One of my coworkers had her first baby in April, and she is now my motherhood inspiration. She handled everything so tactfully, and I hope I can do the same when my time comes! I actually got to babysit her little girl the other night. I was in heaven, even though she’s teething 🙂
Post # 14
@Apple_Blossom: to be honest I have read SEVERAL different articles on this subject just cause its baby fever around me… like many different sites diff authors and seen them posted all over FB…and every single one of them say the same thing including the stuff about helping out/cleaning etc….
and every single mom I know commenting on their shares is like “hell yes” “so true”
I’m not sure how I feel about the cleaning part but every other point seems to be on target according to people I know…..although if my IL’s become crazy campers (which I know will be 100%) I probably will envoke that theory and tell my MIL she can only come over if she wants to play housemaid lol…………
Post # 15
I will be a new mom in the next few weeks and have visisted a bunch of friends with new babies. I would never show up empty handed. The last couple I visited, DH and I stopped and bought everything to make a healthy dinner at their house on their grill (mom was breast feeding so healthy was a must and she wanted to stay home). We even picked up napkins, cutlery and plates. The husbands prepared the meal while I visited with new mom and baby & after dinner I did all the clean up. Other times i have brought the baby a little gift and the mom a bottle of wine or given the new parents a homemade dish that they can throw in the oven or gift card to order dinner out. I think cleaning someone’s house is a little extreme though, I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable with any friend or relative cleaning up after our family and if I ever tried such a thing at any of my friends they would order me to stop.
Post # 16
I think she’s a little snotty and rude in this article, but I agree with the overall principal. I always bring a meal or something the parents can eat on a night they want to, and I try not to overstay my welcome. I am also cautious not to visit too early or at a bad time. I don’t THINK I’ve ever been in anyone’s way and I hope not.
The last friend that had a baby though really shocked me. It was her second and I had made them refridgerator lasagna, bought garlic bread and salad, and was stopping by, and when I got there, she was dressed and make up on, house was spotless, and baby was quietly taking a nap while big brother played outside. Oh and she was making dinner. I was like WHAT kind of twilight zone is this!? LOL