Your friend or family member has a new baby. You want to visit. You want to help. You want to meet that amazing new little person! Before you go, read this primer on how to be a good visitor to a family with a newborn in the house — the kind of visitor who will make the family feel loved, supported, and forever grateful!
Included are guidelines that apply to all visitors, plus tips specifically for close friends and family, long-term visitors, and friends and family who live far away but would like to help nonetheless. These tips are suggestions and ideas, not demands. Visitors should follow the suggestions with which they and the family are comfortable. And of course, no visitor would be expected to carry out every one of the suggested tasks – there are enough ideas below for a whole community of helpers!
In the United States, we shower attention on families during pregnancy, but not during the postpartum period — when in fact the postpartum period is the time when families need the support of their communities the most! Be a gentle, considerate visitor who puts the family’s needs first. Your thoughtfulness will be remembered and appreciated for years to come!
Always call/message in advance to schedule the visit.
Do not drop in unannounced. Be on time.
Front-porch meal drop-offs or short (10-15-minute) visits are good in the first several weeks, when families are overtired and commonly not feeling up to hosting company.