Guide for Friends & Family for a New Mom and Dad

I’ve found a lot of great resources about how to handle the first few weeks after Baby H arrives. One of the items I have seen over and over has been how to handle visitors. Having family and friends coming by after baby makes his or her entrance can be a huge blessing for new parents, but could also be a huge stress. Today, I’m sharing some of the tips that I have found to help new parents set reasonable boundaries and for family and friends to understand when a new baby arrives.

  1. Keep the horror stories to yourself! New parents are already freaking out about their baby’s breathing patterns, poop color, sleep schedule…amongst other things. It is not helpful for the new mom and dad to be scared by what could happen. (Source: The Bump)
  2. Be patient. It is not surprising that you will want to visit to see the little bundle of joy as soon as possible! Let the new parents know you are interested, but don’t be pushy about it. They are exhausted, may have some medical things going on you don’t know about, and likely have lots of family in town. They will definitely let you know if they need help and are able to have you over. (Source: Mother Magazine)
  3. Never come empty handed! If you are going over to visit the new parents, don’t arrive empty handed. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to bring a meal, although it is probably appreciated. It could mean that you come prepared to do a load of laundry for them, clean up the kitchen, or just watch the baby while the new parents take a quick nap. (Source: Mother Magazine)
  4. Don’t go in with the expectation that you will hold the baby. The new parents obviously know you’d like to see the baby, and hold it if at all possible. However, there may be a very legitimate reason that you can’t at that time. A good rule of thumb is: don’t ask to hold the baby! If the baby is in a good position to be held, the parents will offer. (Again, they know why you are there.) If they don’t offer, you’ll get to hold the baby another time. (Source: Mother Magazine)
  5. Stay away if you are sick or even possibly could be sick. Not feeling ill but your kid has a cold? Don’t come. New parenthood can bring out the germaphobe in just about anyone. Also, newborns are very susceptible to germs (they are brand new in this world!) and so you have to be careful around them. (Source: Darcy and Brian)
  6. The name is a personal choice. If you don’t love it, say you do anyway. For that matter, if the baby is not exactly “cute”, don’t mention it. The parents don’t need to feel any additional stress and being critical, even in a joking manner, is not helpful. (Source: Little Rock Family)
  7. Don’t forget about mom (and dad)! Yes, obviously the baby is the star of the show. But don’t forget about the parents. Ask how they are doing without prying. Do something nice and special just for them. (If Dad loves beer, maybe bring over a four-pack of his favorite.) And don’t forget to congratulate them. They just went through a lot bringing this little bundle of joy. (Source:
  8. Don’t overstay your welcome. If you are invited over, don’t stay too long! The parents are tired and newborns are on a very short “eat, sleep poop, repeat” schedule. They are probably not going to have much time to spend, even if they would love to visit for hours. Plan on staying for a short period of time and if you are invited to stay longer, then that is just a nice surprise! (Source:
  9. Respect mom’s privacy. Some women are very open to sharing about the birth, whether or not they are breastfeeding, and all of the specifics. Some do not. Don’t ask or pry into the details. If they are shared willingly, that’s great. If not, don’t let your curiosity get the best of you. (Source:
  10. Have advice? Keep it to yourself. If the new mom asks you a question, you are welcome to share your opinion. Unless the new parents are doing something dangerous, this is not the time to give unsolicited advice. (Source: Seleni)


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