In the early days and weeks following the birth of a baby, parents generally prefer to be left alone, in peace to spend time together with the new family member. Even after a straightforward delivery, the mother will still need time to rest and regain her strength, and if the birth was difficult, she needs time to recover. Getting to familiarize with a new baby, learning how to breastfeed, and getting some rest in between caring demands a restful environment. A new parent should not worry about entertaining visitors because they will be too tired to do extra household chores for your comfort. A new mother needs to be looked after by other members of her family. By taking care of the new mother in the early days, she will have more strength in the months ahead.
Everyone loves a newborn baby because they are new and cute. So when a friend or family member brings home their bundle of joy, feel free to ask if you can drop by for a visit, however realize that she may not have the energy to tend to you. Here are a few things to guide you on what to do and what not to while visiting a mum with a newborn.
Things to do:
- Bring food when you visit (meals and snacks that need little or no additional preparation)
- Make a meal and serve it to her, or leave a packed lunch ready.
- Do some grocery shopping, helps her prepare something in case the baby sleeps or have a fresh bite of fruit.
- Clean up the kitchen, wash the dishes and leave the house tidy.
- Help to do laundry, iron, fold clothes, and put them in a place she can access.
- Change the baby’s diaper.
- If she has other older children help them do their homework or shower.
- Look after the baby as she takes a bath or a short walk.
- Listen to her worries.
- Let her know she is doing a great job caring for her baby.
Things not to do:
- Don’t show up unannounced, talk with one of the parents to arrange the set time.
- Don’t visit if you are sick, wear your mask on, keep social distance even if it is just a cold, a newborn has a weak immune and anything you consider small could compromise their health.
- Don’t stay too long, meet the baby, congratulate the parents, have a chat, offer to help in any way you can, and then be on your way. New parents are tired and trying to find rest.
- Don’t bring a crowd, although new parents enjoy showing off their baby they don’t want a visitor, they weren’t expecting. Don’t show up with any extra guests without clearing it beforehand.
- Don’t arrive empty-handed, bring something food, diapers, wipes, or bib it will be useful to the mother and baby.
- Don’t give unsolicited advice, offer your wealth of parenting knowledge only if the new parents ask a specific question. Everyone will be giving her advice at this time and she may be overwhelmed.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands and be clean, enter the house, and head right to the sink. Don’t touch the baby until your hands are scrubbed nicely and clean.
- Don’t visit immediately after the mother is from the hospital, give her time to heal and get used to the new normal.
- Don’t forget about older siblings, when a newborn comes, some siblings may feel a bit slighted. Show them some love by talking to them, playing with them and maybe even bring them a gift too.
- Don’t ask prying questions, if the mother doesn’t want to talk about something let it go and move on.
Even during these uncertain times, babies are a reminder of the hope and beauty in this world. Take this time to celebrate the new miracle in your life. And remember just because we are in a pandemic, you don’t have to do this alone.