The early months of motherhood are exciting, but they can also be very exhausting and lonely. Therefore, new moms are typically happy to have visitors. However, when you’re paying a visit to a brand new mama, it’s a good idea to keep a few simple rules in mind to ensure that your visit is one that doesn’t actually stress her out more! Jessica Munroe, founder of Supplet, shares ten quick etiquette tips for visiting a new mom.
- Visit when it’s convenient for her, not when it’s convenient for you. Always be sure to ask a new mom when she’d like you to come visit. Sure, heading to her home on a Sunday morning after your yoga class may work best for you, but it may be a really bad time for her (and her family). Certainly do not show up unannounced. No one wants to be caught off-guard and feel like they need to entertain guests when they just had a baby. Also, in many cases, you may want to wait until six weeks after the baby is born, a mom may be bombarded with family and neighbors visiting during the first few weeks. Be sure to ask what is best for mom! If you are traveling a long way to visit a new mom, have other activities planned in the area (because sometimes mom may be too tired to host you for too long).
- Tell her to put you to use. Even if she does not accept, you still should offer. Allow mom to get some rest with her baby while you do some much-needed chores, like washing the dishes or folding her laundry (these are easy chores and should not take long!). At the very least, bring her a glass of water – she needs to hydrate!
- Keep the focus on mom and baby. Ask how they are doing, and try to refrain from giving unsolicited advice or sharing your mom experiences – unless you are asked to.
- Bring food. Yes, bring it! Food is really the best thing you can bring. Chances are mom has enough cutesy baby gifts. You’ll get bonus points for bringing your delicious meal in a disposable tray (you don’t want her to have to clean up anything!). Confused about what to bring? You could ask mom if she has any preferences. Or, if you don’t want to bother her, check out Kitchn’s helpful tips on what to bring, or try one of PopSugar’s 24 Freezable Dish ideas.
- Refrain from visiting a newborn baby if you’re (even remotely) sick. Even if you just have a few sniffles or feel slightly under the weather, postpone your visit. Do not bring scary germs into a new baby’s home. Also, always remember to wash your hands before holding the baby, and only hold the baby if you have been invited to do so.
- Do not linger. Make your visit short and sweet. Mom needs her rest and does not always feel like talking. I once had guests overstay their welcome and I was falling asleep in their faces! Dad needs rest too. Try to keep visits to new parents on the shorter side—unless, of course, they request that you stick around. Trying to nurse, or put a baby down to sleep, can be stressful (and incredibly annoying) if there is an audience.
- Ask mom if she will want hospital visitors. Find out the mother’s preferences before showing up at the maternity ward — even if you are bearing a cute stuffed teddy and food.
- Respect the mother’s privacy. Mom may need to leave the room to breastfeed (not everyone is comfortable nursing in public). Respect her privacy, and follow-up with rule #2!
- Do not say anything disapproving – even if you may indeed disapprove. This is not the time or place to share your feelings. It is not your baby and not your life. Don’t like the baby’s name? Well, obviously keep that one quiet! Don’t like that mom is not nursing or is nursing too much? Keep quiet (even if you are close friends)!
- Gifts – Do you need to bring anything? This is a tricky/touchy subject, as not everyone has the budget to pamper mom and baby with gifts. Mom should also not expect any gifts. A friendly visit from you is a beautiful gift, after all, you are spending your precious free time to visit the new mom. It is also very kind if you offer to help mom with a couple of chores (rule #2!). I recommend you call or text the new mom on your way over to her house, and ask if she needs anything at the drugstore or local grocery store. A small snack of cut up fruit, or a refreshing drink like coconut water, can be a real mood booster for the new mom. If you’d like, however, a small gift is always a nice gesture!
Looking for unique gift ideas for the new mom? Consider ordering her a gift box From Supplet! Supplet offers single-purchase or monthly subscription gift boxes for expecting and new moms. All gift box products are premium, and carefully vetted by a panel of experts.
Jessica Munroe, founder of Supplet, has made it her mission to create a business that positively impacts the health of women and children. Prior to launching Supplet Jessica worked in the Natural Foods, Healthcare and Venture Lending sectors. She continually enhances her health education by studying with esteemed doctors, such as Aviva Romm. Jessica received her Pregnancy and Family Health Coach certification through the Dr. Sears Institute. She holds a BSM degree from Tulane University and an MBA from Boston College. Jessica lives in Boston with her husband and son.