How exciting—babies! We know you can’t wait to visit your new-Mommy girlfriend to see how she’s doing and get a whiff of that new-baby smell. Before you run out the door, though, we’ve compiled a list of simple do’s and don’ts.

Do

Bring food.
If she says she’s not hungry and doesn’t want anything, bring gift cards to her favorite restaurant. She’ll be hungry later.

Wash your hands.
Cleanliness is obviously important, but make sure you announce you need to go wash your hands before getting close to the baby. This will make mom and any nearby teammates relieved that they don’t have to tell/remind you.

Be prepared to run an errand or two.
Ask her if she needs help with anything. Dishes? Laundry? Gas in the car? If they have other kids, ask if the kiddos needs a day out. Any returns? Grocery shopping? Believe us, she can think of something if she needs help.

Tell her she’s glowing and that she did an amazing job.
Look past the crusty eyes, chapped lips, and dried tears from an earlier cry session. She did it! She grew a baby for 9.5 months, went through an emotional and physical transformation comparable to spiritual ascension after climbing Mount Everest—and survived (if barely)! Hold her hand and tell her how amazing she is and how gorgeous her baby is. She needs to hear it, and there is no such thing as hearing it too much.

Bring a Gift.
Okay, so maybe not a new Cadillac but maybe a toy car for the baby. Dad will appreciate it, even if Mom is too tired to notice. Better yet—diapers! You can never go wrong with a pack of diapers.

Don’t

Be SICK.
This is serious. Sniffles? Rash? It doesn’t matter. Don’t give Mom a reason to feel uncomfortable you’re there. If you tell her before you go that you’re concerned your allergies might not be allergies, she will really appreciate it.

Touch the baby without asking first.
Do not reach out for the baby without asking Mom if it’s okay. There are a million reasons she may not want you to, and each and every single reason is okay. In fact, be sensitive about even asking to hold the baby; it’s probably better to wait for her invitation.

Bring kids without asking first.
Every home and culture is different when it comes to bringing children on the first visit. Some new moms love it; some might find it overwhelming so soon. If there are other kids already in the new baby’s family, it might be good to have your own kids to visit and hang out with them. Either way, don’t assume you can just bring your kids along.

Be late.
It can be really stressful planning for visitors when, as a new mom, you’ve barely had time to brush your teeth, let alone take a shower, so don’t show up late if you’re visiting . Let her know when you’re on your way and text or call before ringing or knocking on the door—the baby might be sleeping!

Overstay your welcome.
All right, you made it on time, you made Mom laugh, maybe you were a shoulder for her to cry on, or provided her some escape with news of the outside world. Good job. Now leave. More than 45 minutes is probably pushing it, and you don’t want to tire Mom or baby. You’ll see each other again, and you want to be someone she feels understands whatever she might be going through, so be receptive of any cues that might say the visit is coming to a close.

Do not reach out for the baby without asking Mom if it’s okay.

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