When your little one is born, everyone and their mother will be knocking on your door in hope of getting new baby cuddles. As well as a new baby, there is also a sleep-deprived, hormonal, potentially quite sore new Mum to consider, who is doing her best to build confidence and self-esteem in her new role.
While you and your partner are eager to show off the gorgeous little person that you made to the world, you may also be a little worse for wear.
Here are 8 top tips for you to share with your inevitable visitors. The tips will help them secure a second invite for cuddles, by impressing you and being the perfect guest.
The visitor rules
- Wait for your invitation
New babies are lovely, and the newer, the better! Those tiny little toes, their cute wrinkly arms, and the huge, adorable eyes they look up at you. But that doesn’t mean you can call around unannounced, especially in the early days when baby needs to be in their Mum’s arms most of all.Send a card, email or message congratulating the parents on the birth, and mention that you’d love to meet the new baby when they’re ready, and then wait to be invited. Don’t turn up unannounced, as it can really feel like an invasion of privacy.
- Don’t be selfish & know when to stay away
It’s important to remember that new babies have fragile immune systems, and they are especially vulnerable to sickness. If you are feeling under the weather, even if it’s just a runny nose, stay away. Rearrange your visit when you are feeling better, do not risk making a newborn baby unwell.Always, always wash your hands before handling a newborn and avoid kissing them, especially on the lips, face or hands which often go into their mouths.
- Bring food
Babies are hard work. Looking after a newborn baby is a fulltime job (with exhausting overtime hours), and many new parents struggle to find the time to cook, eat and wash up, at a time when a healthy, nutritious meal is so important.Take some food with you when you visit the new parents, even if they tell you they don’t want anything. You could make a stew, a hearty country vegetable soup or even some fresh fruit – anything will be a help!
- Help yourself
Don’t wait to be offered a cup of tea or be waited on; it is a privilege that mum and dad have invited you into their home to share the very important, early days at home with the new little one. Go stick the kettle on yourself and offer them a cuppa!
- Give a helping hand
If you notice some washing up that needs to be done in the sink, ask if they would be okay with you doing them. It’s always important to ask, just in case they wouldn’t be comfortable with you doing it, but for some (or most) new Mums, a hand with cleaning is an absolute godsend.
- Wait to be given the little one
Ideally you should wait to be offered a cuddle, when both Mum and baby are ready and comfortable.If you arrive and the baby is asleep, DO NOT wake up the baby, or expect the parents to wake the baby. Be understanding that you’ll have to wait until next time for a cuddle.
- Know when to hand the baby over
This has to be one of the biggest peeves of new Mums- when guests arrive and don’t want to give back or share the baby. Have a quick cuddle, and then let the little one have some time back with their Mum to settle and feel safe.If the baby starts crying during your cuddle, no matter how short or long the cuddle has been, offer them back to the parents. Some parents may be happy for you to settle the baby, but for those who aren’t, it can be torturous hearing your baby cry in the arms of another. Return the baby to their Mam!
- Don’t overstay your welcome
As a general rule, an hour is the maximum time you should spend visiting a new baby. It may not sound like much, but right after giving birth and with sleep deprivation to contend with, it’s a lot of work to be sociable, entertain and put on a smile on your face. Give the parents some time to readjust to the change of having a little one.
If you follow these rules you’ll be sure the get invited back! Enjoy your cuddles!