Your new little babe has arrived and you’re infatuated with them. You’re tired but you can’t take your eyes off them. You’re emotional and have tears of joy and love and just, well.. tears. You’re recovering from pregnancy and birth and finding your feet as a new Mama. You’re adjusting to your new life, your new family dynamic… And you have people wanting to come and see you.
A new baby is like a homing beacon for visitors. They come from everywhere to see you and your new babe. Which can be nice. Having an adult to talk to and hold a conversation with can be really good. And having someone around who doesn’t expect you to feed, change and swaddle them is really nice too. But it can also be incredibly exhausting.
So why not make the most of a visitor coming and ask them to help you in some way? Most people want to help, they’re just not sure how. So having a few things you can ask people to do is always a good thing – especially when you get those messages of ‘is there anything I can do for you?’ It’s hard to think of something on the spot but if you have a list of things people can help with, then you’ll always have a response ready.
Also, be sure to check out our free Motherhood Coffee Chat, where we talk about finding your feet in motherhood. We talk about adjusting to your new life in the fourth trimester, right through to finding your feet as a mother to a toddler and beyond. You can sign up here:
Here’s a list of things you can ask your visitors to do to help you out when you have a newborn:
1 – Bring Food
I know it’s Caitlin’s rule of thumb that when you’re visiting a new Mama you always bring food, and I will always remember when she bought me a massive container of pea and ham soup and I was so, so grateful.
As a new Mama, you’re pretty much always hungry. And when you have a visitor, the last thing you want to do is think about providing them with food or a snack or something to go with a coffee.
So, ask them to grab something on the way over. Maybe you’ve been craving a cake from your favourite cafe, or a snack you can eat with your visitor. Anything. A simple ‘can you grab some snacks’ is also a good request.
2 – Cook A Meal
When people ask you if there is anything they can do to help you, it’s okay to ask if they can cook a meal for you. As I said, most people want to help, and if they’re cooking for themselves anyway, it’s not hard to double a batch and make extras.
Having some meals stashed in the freezer is always such a good idea as well. So you could even ask a close friend if they could help you build a freezer stash of meals.
3 – Wash The Dishes
This is my go to when I’m visiting a friend with a newborn, always wash the dishes or at least stack/unstack the dishwasher. I get frustrated when there’s dishes on my sink and I know how easily a pile of dishes can make us feel like everything is messy.
It’s quick and easy to do, and your visitor can even chat to you while they are doing it.
4 – Pick Up Groceries
Online grocery shopping is amazing when you have a newborn and don’t want to leave the house. If you don’t want to or can’t get the groceries delivered to the house, you could always ask a friend who is coming over to pick up your ‘Click and Collect’ on the way.
Alternatively, if you’re like me and constantly remember things you should have bought but had forgotten, you can ask your visitor to pick up a few things from the grocery store for you on the way.
5 – Babysit Older Kids
A newborn takes up so much of your mental and physical energy. They are incredibly time-consuming cute little creatures, but if you have older kids, this can mean that they don’t get as much ‘you’ time as they are used to.
If it works for you, ask a friend or family member to babysit your older kids for a while. It could be as simple as asking them if they can play with them at your house for a bit so they get some dedicated attention, or you could even ask if they could go for a walk or to the park.
Just because you can’t give as much attention to your older children as you want to, doesn’t mean they can’t get one on one attention from other people they know and that are important in their lives.
It can also give you a bit of breathing room and helps alleviate some of that Mama guilt we all know too well.
6 – Talk About Anything But The Baby
While this baby is so cute and squishy, sometimes you want to just have an adult conversation about anything but the baby. There’s only so much you can talk about a newborn and their habits before it gets a little mundane.
If your visitor asks you what they can do to help, simply say ‘talk to me about anything but the baby’. They’ve probably got a whole lot of catching up to do with you that isn’t baby related so the conversation is sure to flow.
7 – Whatever YOU Are Comfortable With
Generally, the first thing many visitors will do when they come to see you and your newborn is make a beeline for your baby. Usually, they will say something like ‘let me give you a break’ which is lovely IF that is what YOU want.
But, don’t feel like you have to let someone nurse your baby just because they came to visit! This is your baby and you can do what you are comfortable with.
Some things to keep in mind are to ask your visitors to wash their hands before holding your new babe. You can also ask if they have been unwell at all lately or have been in contact with anyone who is unwell. Big germs are hard for little babies to process and they can be incredibly vulnerable.
If you are longing for the break though, by all means, take it. Use that time to have a shower, do anything that’s been on your list of things you want to do, take a nap, drink your coffee while it’s hot, eat! Any of the above.
Having visitors when you have a newborn can be really nice, but it can also be exhausting. By accepting help when it’s offered, and asking for help when it’s needed, you can make things easier on yourself and your visitors feel great for being able to help!