- DO wait to be invited. Even
saying ‘I want to come and meet the baby!’ can be too much at this point. Give them
time. Even if they’re posting pictures online and appear to be out and about
already, you don’t know the amount of blood, sweat and tears that has gone into
producing each instagram shot or the hours of preparation that a thirty minute
- If you do get invited round,
DON’T let her make the tea. Or him, if dad’s around. These guys are exhausted –
even the happy, no complaints, make-up wearing parents. They’re all exhausted.
Offer to make the tea.
- DO offer to clean the toilet.
Or if this is too gross and you’re financially able, gift them a few hours with
a local cleaner. Nobody wants to ask someone to do chores, but all new
parents’ bathrooms haven’t seen bleach in a while.
- DON’T assume she’ll be
comfortable breastfeeding in front of you. I’m the kind of person who is happy
to get changed in front of someone they’ve met twice, but when it came to
breastfeeding it took me on average five minutes to get the baby to latch on
properly, and I just couldn’t do it if I had anyone watching – even my husband,
because it interfered with my focus. Reassure her that you’re fine with her
breastfeeding but that if she wants to step away or wants you to leave the room
she should just say. Sometimes breastfeeding can take ages (an hour at each
feed) so it might not be possible for her to feed in private and then get back
to you, which is why I advise you
- DON’T stay longer than half an hour. I know, thirty minutes is nothing – especially in London where the
journey probably took twice that long. However thirty minutes is a very long
time in newborn world. In those thirty minutes the new mum could have brushed her
teeth/hair, napped, text her family, checked her facebook, or just lay down quietly,
awake, enjoying the silence and lack of demands.
- DO wash your hands before you
hold the baby.
- DON’T expect the baby to be
- DO try to go with other friends
at the same time. Not twenty people in one go, but it is easier for new parents
to see more than one person at once, rather than having back to back non stop
visits for weeks.
- DON’T question what the parent does. ‘Is he not supposed to wear socks?’ ‘Is that position comfortable for him?’ ‘Does he always feed that often?’ Give it a rest, mate.