Many people love visiting a brand new baby, others find it a little daunting. Will I hold the baby? Can I pick the baby up? Are there any unwritten rules I should know about?
We asked some new parents for their tips and tricks so that you can feel well-prepared when you visit a newborn and their parents!
Almost all parents came back with this tip, which is why it’s right at the top of our list: bring along some food that doesn’t require any preparation, preferably something healthy.
Perhaps some lasagna, a pie or a pasta bake. Doing this means that the new parents have less to think about when it comes to preparing food and going on supermarket runs. If you don’t consider yourself the best cook, it’s ok to skip this option, of course.
If you have time to spare and would like to help the new parents out, why not offer to pick up some groceries for them? This is especially beneficial to parents with more than one child, as it saves them from taking everyone with them to do their shopping. Now they won’t expect you to do their full weekly shop, but perhaps you could pick up some baby wipes and a few food items.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends are all very welcome but do keep in mind that mum has just given birth and is recovering. This means that it may be better to leave your own little ones at home when you visit, in order to keep the visit quiet and peaceful. Definitely speak with the new parents and agree on who’s coming beforehand. And remember; mum is in charge!
Depending on how many children there are, the parents may experience rush hour several times a day, usually around mealtimes. The family will be preparing food, eating, loading the dishwasher or trying to get the baby to sleep.
These moments aren’t the best moments to visit, for both the family and yourself. Speak with the parents beforehand to determine a good time to visit, and stick to that time. If you’re late, you might mess with their schedule, which is especially important at this time.
We understand that you want to take lots of cute photos and share them on social media, but almost no new parent will appreciate this. Avoid posting pictures of the newborn on social media without asking their permission first, even if you’re the child’s grandparent. The parents may want to be the first to share, or not wish to share photos on social media at all.
If you have a cold or a runny nose, let the parents know, especially in these unprecedented times. They may prefer for you to visit once your cold has passed, which is their right. Keep in mind that a simple cold sore can have consequences if you accidentally pass the virus on to the baby.
With things as they are at the moment, some new parents may not feel comfortable receiving visitors in their home, but would still like to show off the new addition to their family. Ask them if they would prefer to have a ‘window visit’, where you can still see the baby, but they can also feel safe. A little less fun for you, but again; let the parents decide.
It can be very tempting to touch or pick up a sweet, soft, tiny newborn, but always ask the parents if it’s ok before doing so. They probably won’t mind, but it’s best to respect their wishes.
The same goes for the other way around; the parents should ask if you’re comfortable holding the baby before handing them to you, as this may be something you don’t feel ready to do, or would prefer to be seated for. If they do try to hand the baby over without asking and you don’t feel comfortable, simply say so in a friendly manner.
There are so many cute gifts for babies! Before you go mad buying rompers, socks and baby beanies, remember that the parents may already have lots of these, especially if this isn’t their first child.
It may be better to find an alternative gift, one that is specifically for this new baby. How about a personalised cutlery set, engraved with the baby’s name, or a personalised children’s book, in which the little one plays the lead role? They may not be gifts that can be used straight away, but they will last a lot longer and make lovely keepsakes.
If you’d like to take a look at more fun gifts, check out our tips at the bottom of this page or view all gifts for babies.
Almost all of the mums indicated that at least one of their visitors brought along a gift for them, making them feel extra special. So often it is only the baby that receives gifts such as rompers, cuddly toys or socks, but mum would be very happy to receive a lovely wellness gift set or some delicious chocolate.
Be aware of any hints the parents may be giving that it’s time to go, as they may struggle to ask you outright despite being exhausted, as they value your friendship or relationship. Keep in mind that a visit should last around an hour, two hours at most. If you hear them say things such as ‘I’m so, so tired.’ or ‘I’m about ready for a nap!’, it’s time to go. Let them know you need to get going and that you’ll be back for another visit when it suits them. If they’d like you to stay a little longer, they’ll let you know.