If you are the type of person who loves newborns, you may be tempted to rush right over to your friend’s house the minute that they get home from the hospital with their new baby. In fact, you may even have a hard time keeping yourself from going to the hospital to see them before they are discharged. Admittedly, there is nothing better than holding a tiny baby for the first time. You also may be worried that your friend’s feelings may be hurt if you don’t express enough interest in her new baby. No matter the reason, it is important to follow proper etiquette.
During a baby’s first four months of life, visits from friends are often appreciated but need to be done in an appropriate way. Here are some etiquette tips that you should keep in mind:
1. Bring along a gift.
Even if you already gave them a grand gift from Silver and Pewter Gifts, at the baby shower, it is a great idea to show up with a gift the first time you visit the new baby. You can check the registry to see what gifts didn’t get purchased for the shower. Alternatively, you can also ask your friend outright if there is anything that they still need. You don’t have to go overboard with something expensive. For instance, you can bring along some cute new pacifiers or a package of swaddling blankets. Even something as simple as diapers can be a good gift.
2. Show up with food in hand.
After having a baby, going out to a nice restaurant becomes a thing of the past – at least for the first few months of the baby’s life. One great way to ingratiate yourself to a new parent is by showing up at their door with take-out from one of their favourite restaurants. Make sure to bring plenty of food for the new parents to eat. You may even want to get enough that they will have leftovers that they can snack on the following day. Bringing a homemade dish is nice. However, if you really want to make them feel special, grabbing something from a restaurant that they love is an even better option.
3. Help out.
If you really want to make your friend happy, offer to help out with tasks around the house. Even if they are the type of person who likes to do everything themselves, they may be willing to accept help, simply because having a new baby is so time-consuming. There may be tasks that they can’t get to that they would really appreciate help with.
4. Wash the dishes in the sink.
Doing the dishes often becomes an afterthought when dealing with a newborn. If you show up and there are dishes in the sink, wash them by hand or load them in the dishwasher. If you don’t think your friend would be offended, jump right in and do the work without asking if she needs it done. Most people try to be polite and say no even if they could really use the help.
5. Help out with the laundry.
If you are visiting and see a pile of freshly washed laundry that still needs folding, dive in and start folding it while you visit with the new mom.
6. Be a really great friend.
Think about all of the ways that you could help your friend with their new baby. For instance, if you happen to be at the drugstore, consider picking up the phone and calling them to see if there is anything that they need you to grab. If they had a C-section that limits their mobility, consider helping out with tasks such as placing items on high shelves. By coming up with ways that you can help out, you will take a great burden off of your friend, allowing them to enjoy their time as a new mom much more.
7. Don’t be a bad friend.
The last thing that a new mother needs is someone showing up who is only there to visit and not to help out. Their days are already hectic and full. They definitely don’t need the task of entertaining guests added to their to-do list. Every time you go to visit, do your best to help out. Bring along a special gift or find a way that you can contribute. That way, you still have a chance to visit with your friend but you don’t add to their overall burden.
Being a new mother can be extremely overwhelming. The more that you can do to help, the more grateful your friend will be. At the same time, however, you should avoid pushing yourself on them or becoming a burden. Talk openly with your friend about any help that they need or about whether they just want some downtime to bond with their new baby without visitors dropping by.