Family

The five golden rules for visiting new mums

So you want to visit that beautiful new baby, but you have no idea what to bring or how to act? We’ve got you covered (so you don’t look like and inconsiderate bastard.)

By Ellie Hooper
Stressed new mum
It’s always a difficult thing to balance – visiting a new mum. On the one hand, you desperately want to catch up with her, see how she’s doing, and meet her gorgeous new arrival. But on the other, you’re extremely aware of how overwhelmed, exhausted and emotional she must be feeling.
But when you get your invite, how can you make yourself the right kind of guest, and not one that will never be invited back?
Here are five tried and tested tips to help.
Bring food
Whatever you do, don’t turn up emptyhanded. New mums barely have time to dash to the loo, let alone prepare a wholesome meal for their family. Why not be generous and pick up some takeout you know the whole family will enjoy?
Or if money’s tight, make a one pot meal she can heat up in the microwave. You could even bring extras so there’s some for dinner on days when things are just too manic.
Call ahead for a stock check
New mum is probably so busy she hasn’t been able to make it out of the house for a week. Do her a favour and call for a stock check on your way over, just to see if she needs anything from the chemists or grocers. And regardless of what she says, bring round some basics like some fresh fruit, milk and bread so she has something to tide her over.
Treat her
If you really want to give her a boost, bring a gift. However small, it’s a little reminder that you care about her wellbeing and can be just the thing to put a smile on her tired face. Bonus points for if this is in the pampering range – for when she eventually gets time to take a bath. And if you’re going down the baby care range – keep it simple. Why not get some cotton babygros that can never hurt to have more of.
Be useful
So you’ve arrived with lunch, eaten, had a hold of the baby, talked about how knackered she is, now what? Now it’s time to make yourself useful. If hubby is at work and she’s been alone all day, chances are she hasn’t washed or had a moment to herself. Offer to watch the baby while she has a bath or shower, or if this just isn’t doable try and help with other things that need doing. Are there dirty dishes everywhere? Do them. Piles of laundry in the basket? Pop them in the washer. Don’t wait to be asked, just muck in and get involved.
Know when to leave
We did whip round, and the general consensus is that an hour and a half is the max time you should stay for a first visit. She’s exhausted, and with everything being so new and overwhelming, trying to be social and put a brave face is an effort in itself. Eat with her, have a chat, offer to watch the baby while she has a wash or does some chores, and then make yourself scarce. Nobody likes an overstayer.