Everyone says, “Treasure them when they’re small, it goes so quickly!” However you never realise exactly how insanely quickly it actually goes until bam your tiny newborn baby is suddenly 6 months and 1 day old and now you’re looking at your small one who is closer to turning 1 than being born. How did that happen?!
As Hayden gets older and with each month milestone card we use I can feel my maternity leave slipping away far too quickly and can’t help but feel a (big) tinge of sadness that soon I won’t be spending all day every day with my best little pal. With this I find myself thinking of his early days and Mitch and I have spent many nights in bed just scrolling through newborn photos and videos – that’s how our Friday nights roll now. As I’ve mentioned before, his 8 days spent in NICU was kind of a blessing in disguise. We spent it just us 3. Our new family of 3 and it really gave us time to bond. However the next few weeks, and with the flurry of visitors that came and went, were all a bit of a blur! Now don’t get me wrong I loved having visitors, we were absolutely amazed by everyone’s generosity and after a rocky start we were excited for Hayden to meet everyone. However at times it seemed that Mitch spent his paternity leave making tea and I was just holding my baby when he started crying. There are lots of guides online about rules for visiting a newborn, so here’s mine (in no particular order)…
1) Do not, under any circumstances, come unannounced. I’m the kind of person who needs make-up on to answer the door to the postman. It makes me chuckle when all the visitors I had complimented me on how good and well I looked. Well, they didn’t see me the day before with unwashed and unbrushed bed hair and PJs on all day!
2) Bring food! Biscuits are great but easy to cook meals are even better! We quickly got bored of my batch cooking freezer meals I’d done. Or if you really want to get in the parents good books…cook for them.
3) Wash. Your. Hands. Non-negotiable.
4) Keep cuddles short. Everyone gets excited about a new baby but no one more so than the new parents. I actually found myself treasuring the night times when Hayden would wake up for a feed and then peacefully fall asleep on me. Many times I found myself at 3am, when the world was quiet and it was just me and him, gazing at him in my arms in the moonlight. (I swear as a mother you develop night vision).
5) Ignore any housework that clearly has been neglected. Or even better help out and do some. 7 months on my lovely parents still clean my kitchen and hoover for me every time they visit. Do not however offer to hold the baby so the parents can catch up on some jobs, unless you’re asked to of course.
6) It’s totally normal for a new mum to not want to take their eyes off their new baby so if you want a cup of tea then offer to make them yourself.
7) New babies are exciting. Perhaps you’re a new uncle, aunty, grandparent or god parent and that’s amazing. But don’t forget that the parents are also new so try not to steal their thunder by making it about you.
8) Be thoughtful with your gifts. Now this rule is possibly a bit selfish. We loved everyone’s lovely gifts for Hayden but what really amazed me was the few people that were incredibly thoughtful and considerate and actually bought little gifts for us too. I wasn’t expecting anything so these came as a lovely surprise.
9) I (obviously) personally don’t mind Hayden being on social media and the internet but a lot of parents do. So it’s nice to ask before you post your perfectly posed Instagram photo for your friends to see.
10) And finally, as much as you want to have a squeeze and say hello, under no circumstances wake the baby!
We were quite lucky with our visitors and how considerate they were ‘sticking to the rules’.
What rules would you add?