Visting new parents. the do's and don'ts + I'M AN AUNTIE.
So it's been almost 3 years since I held my third baby fresh and get this... over 7 years since my first. WHAAAA ya ya, I know they're still "little" but shit time is going way too fast.
Recently my brother and my sister in law just had a baby. YES!!! I'm an auntie. It feels pretty great but it's been killing me to keep my distance as I just want to smother her up and smell her newborn little self. I want to help my sis cause I know exactly what she's going through and with harvest just getting started by bro will be mia. The first almost 4 months of our daughters life my husband was on night shifts in north battleford. Let's just say that was a foggy area.
I want tooffer them all of my advice and words of wisdom. I want to help out and be there cause I know the lonely place she's in, but I can't. I need to zip my trap and let them figure things out on their own. Keep my distance, especially with my three active kiddos. We did of course visit about a week or more after she was born, and peeled myself away after about 30 min or so. I could only imagine the anxiety that would have set in with our "doesn't sit still ever" 2 year old. and why?? because I know better. So I thought I would share a few "tips" on how to visit new parents for those of you that don't have kids yet and your best friend that just gave birth or to the parents with now teenagers and may have forgotten.
(thanks to my hubby for the shot below)
- WAIT YOUR TURN TO GO VISIT: I get it, everyone is excited that a new bambino has entered the world. but don't you dare show up at the hospital unless your the grandparents or the immediate family and even then only if you were invited. That new mom just got what feels like hit by a semi and hasn't slept in literally three days and every body part is on fire and needs rest. They certainly don't need to entertain loud guests.
- LIMIT YOUR STAY: I know you likely want to snuggle that baby for hours. I do too, but don't overstay your welcome. get in and get out. 20-30 minutes max. The only reason you could stay longer is if mom asks you too. If she is begging you to stay. otherwise vamoose.
- WHAT TO BRING: food. bring them either a hot prepared meal that all they have to do is put on a plate and enter it into their mouths. Make sure you go easy on spices, onions, garlic, anything potent as baby's little tummy can't handle that therefore creating a long ass three nights for new mom and dad. Skip the baby rattle and blanket, get the practical list of groceries. You could also pick up coffees from their fav lil java house or better yet a bottle of wine to have on the cupboard when the time is right.
- HELP MOM OUT: You noticed that the dishes are piled high, do them for her. You noticed the laundry is in mounds in the corner, throw it in the washer for them. Take out the garbage. You notice her getting settled in with her nursing pillow to do the 45 min feed, fill up her contigo jug and make sure it's accessible for her. The second that let down hits, it's immediate pasty mouth. (well it was for me anyways)
- WASH YOUR HANDS: before you rush that cute lil babes, wash your hands and wrists. Newborns (until one actually) are not immunized from any germs or bacteria you're carrying on yourself. Whooping cough can be deadly to little ones. So change your dirty shirt if you just came in from work and wash your hands. Also try to avoid strong perfumes like you would a hospital. Mom's senses are on high mode and can bother both her and babes. If you are sick: don't even bother going. If you've got the sniffles, cough or any symtoms of sickness. stay away. I shouldn't have to list this one tho. common sense people.
- KEEP YOUR WORDS ADVICE TO YOURSELF: unless mom or dad ask for any words of wisdom, keep it to yourself. I want to share ALL of my tips and tricks with my new mom's and dad's I get to meet (I do a ton of newborn sessions) but I can't. Every new parent needs to go through the motions and figure out their new days just the three of them. They will ask if they need help.
- POSTPARTUM: if you're a close family member or friend. Watch for signs of this. It is a real struggle and can be quite a problem. It's unfortunately just swept under the rug and should be talked about FAR more. Just be there and be supportive.
- FED IS BEST: breastfeeding or bottle. I myself am a heavy supporter of nursing and was blessed to have nursed all three of my kiddos until 2. However it was NOT easy in the beginning. I won't go into the details ( you can dm me if you need to know more) but this process is difficult. Every breast is shaped different, every baby is different. every situation. Often newborns are born tongue tied and not noticed right away. this can make nursing difficult on top of all the other bodily issues they are going through. However mom and dad decide to get their baby fed. just support that. Not always is it the route they may have planned on. Regardless of the situation, offer words of encouragement.
- COMPLIMENTS: shower that new mom with compliments. Tell her how great she looks, how beautiful it is that she just created a little human. She's in another dimension at this point with an insanely sore vagina and just wants so badly to have a shower and brush her teeth. (which is winning if you can accomplish both of those tasks in one day.) Lovely words can feel like the blinds have opened so give her a hug and tell her how great she is.
- SLEEP: let them sleep. Wanna talk about sleep deprivation well this is it in all it's glory. Who am I kidding. I haven't slept since 2009. It's 12:04 am as I write this and those cuties will be up at the crack of dawn. Sleeping in until 9/10am is such a thing of the past. So if you want to do something amazing for those new parents. Take the babes for a walk so mom can crash on the couch.
I may have missed some so please feel free to add more in the comments below. I'd love to read more ideas. Congrats to ALL of the new parents these days. It's hands down one of the hardest and most beautiful jobs/adventures ever. You're all amazing!!!