Having a baby is a beautiful yet traumatic event. It doesn't matter how the baby enters into this world, it turns your world upside down. It could be your first or tenth child, again same story, different day. After the baby arrives everyone wants to come visit and see your precious bundle. That's all fine and dandy but here are a few things visitors need to remember that the new parents will be oh so thankful for.
1. This visit isn't about YOU, it's about THEM. Make it short and snappy, don't linger. The new parents are worried about their new baby not entertaining guests.
2. Bring a meal, always bring a meal. Offer to hold the baby while the parents eat. If they decline, put the meal in the fridge for them. Unless they invite you, do not assume you are invited for dinner. See #1 about entertainment.
3. If you are an out of town guest and plan to stay for a day or two, offer to stay elsewhere. There are always nearby hotels. Let me further address this, unless you were my mom or stepmom I was not comfortable with anyone helping me and my postpartumness...(Brendan however is lumped in here, that of course is by default). Don't assume that a guest room is open for business after a baby is born. Bring in meals to cook, refer to #1 in regards to entertaining.
4. Even if you are from out of town and staying elsewhere, give the parents a break. Leave for a while and let them sleep when the baby sleeps. I don't care who you are if there are guests in the house I feel like I have to entertain. I will not nap if you're here.
5. In town guests, give the new parents notice prior to your visit. 10 minutes is not enough notice, at least it wasn't for me. I wanted to at least shower and our dog goes nuts when someone is at the door. Baby sleeping + dog barking = no bueno. Call and make an appointment to visit, never just stop by!
6. When you do visit ask if the new parents need anything done. Is there laundry to be folded, does the new mom need 10 minutes to take a shower? The best visit I ever got was after I had Drew, I was overwhelmed and my older sister called and asked if I had showered that day. Of course I hadn't. She came over and held Drew while I showered and did my makeup and hair. It was so refreshing, I felt like a new person. It's the little things like that, that make new moms feel so much better and they appreciate so very much.
Visitors for a new family can be a stressful and very emotional time. Be conscious, be aware, and above all its about the new family and the precious new life that has entered this world.