Visiting a new baby

I am an Aunty again! 

The phone call last week completely threw me as the baby has arrived on her due date. Immediately after the phone call I called Andrew and burst in to tears, the sheer delight for my sister in law overflowed. Hearing that Mum and baby are doing well is really all that you are waiting for, those words are some of the best in life that you can hear. Of course I was excited that it is another girl to add to their family as they already have a little girl and to help balance the testosterone levels from our little lot of daredevils.

I immediately started to think about what to take for the baby, what to take for my sister in law and my little two year old niece whose world changed in a heart beat the minute her new sibling was introduced to her. It got me thinking about what are the things and actions that are actually the most helpful and valued when someone comes to visit you and your newborn, so here’s some from experience.


Bring Food

After having my second son a friend of mine rang the doorbell and left on the front step a shepherds pie and an apple crumble, she also left a baby toy and bath toys for my toddler and some little sweet treats. She didn’t wait for us to answer the door and not only did she make us a home cooked meal she thoughtfully made it in silver baking trays with the cooking instructions for cooking from fresh or frozen. We didn’t have any washing up to do! She wasn’t someone that I had known for a long time, I had met here through playgroups and she had a young son and twins who were less than a year old. Her life was incredibly full so I was so touched that she had found the time to do this for us, but it immediately hit me that she had been there and she just knew exactly what parents with a new born really need, and I don’t think I will ever forget her gesture.
It doesn’t have to be home cooked food, but bringing lunch with you for everyone will be well received when you make a visit, even soup and bread would be great. Fresh juice also cheered me up, breastfeeding made me so thirsty and having a drink with lots of nutrients was fab.


Wash Up and Clear Up

Imagine if someone turned up, brought lunch then washed up and cleared up, how grateful would you be, think of how grateful you would be if you had just had a 24 hour labour or were recovering from a C-Section. Ask if there is a load of washing that you can put on or washing that needs hanging out, it doesn’t seem like a lot but when you are struggling to move around after stitches those kind of jobs can feel like a mountain of a task.


Remember me! 

Visiting someone who has had their second or third baby will have a little person whose life has changed in an instant, even if they are loving and kind towards their sibling and seeming to be coping admirably there will still be a lot of emotion and change for them to process, going from an only child to having to share parent’s time with a sibling is a big adaptation. When my family came to visit us after Gabriel was born they spent time with Sebastian asking how he was, what he had been up to and if he had any news, it was then that he told them about his new baby brother, and asked if they would like to meet him. Not only was he not overlooked when they visited he was given the same attention by them if he had not just had a new brother. Don’t forget the eldest one and if you are bringing gifts make sure to include them, magazines and puzzles were great. In the early days, we sat and read them or played with them whilst I breastfed. Toys and games that involved lots of setting up or outdoor activities were a pain as I couldn’t give them the proper attention and he became even more frustrated with me.


Great Gifts

There are two categories of gifts for a new baby which are fairly obvious, practical and indulgent. It is great to have a mix of both and every gift will be gratefully received.

In the practical camp I recommend towels, even if this is not your first baby you can’t have too many towels, there is always some in the wash and baby’s dirty a towel really quickly. There are some great options from Cuddledry practical solutions, Mori personalised towels to Aden & Anais towels which you could match with other items such as blankets and swaddles. Towels are the first item to be bought off most of our baby shower lists.
Basic clothing, sleep suits and vests are a great buy, particularly in larger sizes, 3-6 or 6-9 months, lots of people buy the new born sizes for clothes which is great, but it is brilliant to have a stash of clothes for the next sizes up. Just have a think about the season that it will be when the baby can fit in to those clothes.

In the luxurious and indulgent gift category there are so many items but I really like buying gifts for the nursery, framed prints such as those from Olli Ella, hanging moon and clouds from Little Cloud or storage baskets for toys and clothes from 3 Sprouts.


Don’t forget Mum

Just before my first son Sebastian was born a friend sent me a tiny package with a bottle of Neal’s Yard Lavender Oil and a little note to say, ‘you will need this in the bath, it’s like a little bottle of magic’. She was right, I put a few drops in the bath for a few weeks and it was so soothing for my stitches and swelling. I think that yummy toiletries are appreciated more than anything else as they are a little treat when you finally get to take a bath. I am in love with the Bloom & Blossom range at the moment with gorgeous packaging and pampering for both Mum and baby.


Bring Happiness

A new Mother doesn’t particularly want to spend their time entertaining people, I felt so proud showing off my new baby to visitors but I was tired and once they left I could veg out a bit and if I wanted to sit in bed with the baby any breast feed with no top I could then do so. Whilst everyone brings well wishes and love it can also be pretty tiring so don’t stay too long.


We cooked up an enormous spag bol that was divided in to meals for two to be put in the freezer, some chocolate brownies and banana muffins that will keep everyone going and will hopefully be given out to visitors.
We also took along big cousins to entertain the toddler which was apparently a big hit! The best part of the visit was breathing in her new baby smell and holding her tiny hand for the first time.