This post was originally published on November 19, 2009. I’m mindful of this topic since another friend of mine just had a baby yesterday (shout out, Jessie!). I’d love to hear your thoughts on what new parents need and whether or not you should “pay admission” to see a newborn!
My dear friend (who was previously on bed rest) had an absolutely beautiful baby girl last week. Tim and I were so excited to get to see her and her husband as new parents, and we were completely ecstatic about getting to see a brand new baby again. Even though we have a little one who is only 3 months old, she is already entirely different than she was just 90 days ago. She’s grown a few inches, doubled in weight, and her personality is really starting to shine now. We love her to pieces, but we already miss that teeny tiny little peanut we brought home from the hospital!
When we went to the hospital to visit, we knew we were in for a treat. We also remembered what it was like to be new parents (both exciting and also completely overwhelming) and what new parents need, so we brought a few things with us for the parents and the baby. In other words, we brought an admission fee! Later in the week I brought a dinner over to the family. I also got to see the little love muffin again! Now, I did not bring over dinner just so that I could see the baby. I brought dinner because I knew exactly how difficult it is to put together a meal when you are adjusting to a serious lack of sleep and a pretty much total loss of personal time (these things come back little by little, but the loss at the start can be quite shocking!). With that said, though, getting to see the baby was a really fun perk for me!
Newborns are so much fun to see and hold. It is no wonder that so many people want to come for a visit in the days and weeks immediately following a birth. But let me be clear about something: If you are going to visit new parents and their baby, pay an admission fee. You need to bring something with you. I’m not saying that you have to go buy a diaper cake, or bring over an 8 course meal from a restaurant. Rather, you need to either take the initiative to bring something practical (like a meal or some baby wipes, for example), or you need to ask what you can pick up from the store for them on your way over. Should they politely protest, know this: they are simply being polite. You need to be even MORE polite and bring something useful, anyway (even a gallon of milk and a few fruits and veggies would be nice!). It is so difficult to think as far ahead as even the next meal when you are a brand new parent, and anticipating the needs of your friends and family in this situation is such a great help. It is what new parents need! What isn’t helpful is coming over to see the baby, taking up their precious (yes, precious) free time with your visit, and leaving without helping them out in some small way.
What do you think about this issue?