- Don't just show up, text or email first. Always.
- Don't bring additional people with you on your visit without notice.
- Do be flexible and accommodating when you show up. If your visit is cut short for whatever reason, "no big deal" is the best mindset.
- Do keep any visiting short.
- Don’t offer unsolicited advice.
- Don’t ask how the baby is sleeping.
- Do keep checking in beyond the first month post-birth.
- Do bring an easy to handle meal.
- Do bring easy to handle food:
- Wrap sandwiches
- Cut up fruit
- Tea, coffee, flavored coconut water, gatorade
- Any dish that could be warmed up quickly or handheld
- “A friend came by with a bunch of whole foods prepped foods and good frozen stuff without being asked and I cried. Lunch/weird dinnertime food for a week.”
- Do bring caffeine: “show up with GOOD coffee (people bring wine but you want coffee)” and “just visit - bring a cup of coffee with you - for mom!”
- Do make nutritious snacks: “A snack to eat at 3am.”
- Do make a home cooked meal
- Do clean up: “The best to do is: bring food - and clean up food before leaving.”
- Do go to the grocery store for her.
- Do food prep: “Some of my visitors did vegetable prep for me—top and tail green beans, rinse and pack lettuce, and so on—so that I had some easy-to-cook/eat veggies in the fridge. Particularly useful in my case as the baby arrived early and I had a bunch of food from my CSA share in the fridge but maybe helpful for other new parents too!”
- Do let new parents know when you are going to the grocery store and if they need anything picked up!
- Do make a meal-delivery schedule: “I had another friend who planned a meal-delivery schedule for me pre-birth, so that I knew that people would be bringing food by almost every other day for the first month after my son was born. A lifesaver!”
- Tips for bringing food
Things you can do around the house:
- House cleaning and any tidying up
- Walk the dog/ change the cat box
- Pet/Brush the dog/ cat
- Water Plants
- Fold clothes
- Do the dishes/ unload the dishwasher)
- Take out the trash
- Do a load of laundry or go to the laundromat
Things you can give:
- The ultimate “I Just Gave Birth Mom Kit.”
- “Someone came the day I gave birth with a "mom kit" full of lanolin, Colace, pads, chap stick, dermo spray, tux, etc. not glamorous but much appreciated for a first time mom!”
- a babysitting coupon
- a food coupon
- Bring non-baby items: paper towels, milk, toilet paper, water:
- “Show up (announced) with diapers or wipes. Kids go through so many, and rarely are they not appreciated.”
- Make a “Baby Sleeping” sign for the door to help keep the ruckus down.
- “I donated at least 30 onesies and outfits that never got worn. I also needed lip balm in every room and corner because I was dry as hell. Any nice scents of those are good also.”
Give without needing to be thanked or even seen:
- “There was nothing more helpful than people who dropped off food or drink and left with no pressure to entertain them even for five minutes.”
- “Since giving birth, I’ve signed every baby present for a baby/new mom with "no thank you card please" - because oh man, writing those on no sleep was brutal.”
- “Make a drug store run for supplies.”
- Text: “text supportive messages, photos, jokes but don’t visit.”
- Services: “see if you can buy them a cleaning service for the day. Or have the house cleaned while they are still at the hospital.”
- “I also loved when someone did an errand run for me for stuff I needed (Amazon prime is still two days!). Also, bringing over movies and DVDs would also be great - lots of time to watch stuff when baby is up feeding in the middle of the night.”
- Hold the baby while mom takes a nap, shower, shaves,
- Take the baby out: “Offer to take the baby for a walk and give mom a few minutes to do the 2000 things she wanted to do before you came over.”
- “If they have another kid, take #1 out for fun.”
- Help out at bath time
Things to do with mom:
- “Listen to her birth/adoption story.”
- “Ask questions about how THEY are doing. Baby Blues and the hormonal rollercoaster of emotions after the baby arrives is no cause for concern. However, longer term self-neglect and disinterest in baby can be a sign she needs help.”
- “If there are complications, be extra helpful. Colic and reflux are things that make a baby more work than normal. Give help more often.”
- “Take mom and baby for a walk (help with stroller and stairs)
- “Give mom a ride to/from the hospital if kid is in NICU.”
- Veteran Parent? Teach her how to use her breast pump.