Monday, October 8, 2012

Tips for visiting parents of a new baby

Man, my friends have it nailed! Just like with our first baby, they’ve been so generous with encouragement, help and food. If you’re like me -- I made an ass of myself many times over by not “getting” baby etiquette until I became a parent myself – here are some tips for that first visit.

Chill – Don't put pressure on too early for a visit even if you’re really excited (or family). If you’re a close friend, give it a few weeks. Even if you’re close family, realize that you’re not the only one who wants to visit, which can make that first week home even more hectic than it needs to be.

No hospital visits – Dear God, don’t even think of visiting if you’re not immediate family. If you do fall into that category, please don’t stay longer than 30 minutes unless you’re begged to stay. Medical staff pop in the room on the hour every hour and there’s a new baby, so parents really don’t get much resting done in the hospital. Also, please remember that Mom is a patient, not at a hotel.

Food is welcome New parents don’t have a lot of time to prepare (or eat) meals, so they will love you forever if you bring something edible when you visit, particularly if it’s easy to eat with one hand (baby will be in the other).

Hold the baby – Give mom and dad a chance to eat said food you brought and let their arms stop going numb for a few minutes. No worries if the baby cries in your arms because no one expects you to be a baby whisperer. Just attempting the feat will go such a long way.

Don't stay too long – When you do visit, keep an eye on the clock. Thirty to sixty minutes is plenty unless you’re begged to stay (which usually will only happen if you've been cleaning the kitchen or holding the baby while mom naps :))

Acknowledge an older child – If baby’s got a big bro or sis, remember to compliment him/her too on cuteness. If you bring a gift for baby, a small token for the sibling would be such a nice gesture.

Avoid visiting during nap time (for baby or an older child) – Peeps, that’s either when patents sleep, get shit done or spend some precious time together. Right before bedtime is another no no since little ones need time to wind down before being coerced into bed.

New(ish) parents – what tips would you add or challenge?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mama-and-me trip - success!

The girls are back in town! As the Pickle said when we got home, “No girls. Just guys.” He was glad to see his little sis.

Thankfully, Sienna is a good little traveler too. She was an angel on both flights just like D was when he was two months old and we flew to Dallas to meet up with Sarah and her girls. I was a little nervous before we left since I thought she might be getting sick, but we lucked out. 

Sienna sleeping like an angel in my arms on the flight home. Thankfully, my seatmate let me use the arm rest!
She definitely had her share of overwhelmed moments (see pic of the back of Sarah’s car below…three car seats of kiddos is a lot for anyone to take).

Sienna did not like being the monkey in the middle. Lots of noisy car rides.

It was lovely to travel with so much less gear than my last solo mama trip as evidenced here. Since Sarah had all the baby gear a gal could ever need, I just brought a diaper bag and a carry on (and baby, of course).

We kept this trip low-key and I felt much less exhausted coming home vs. Dallas. We had lots of yummy meals in Minneapolis restaurants and took walks with all three girls in Hudson, Wis., right by the river where Sarah lives. Before the airport on the way home, we visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Sienna’s first museum (we’ll be going to CMA when the Cassatt exhibit – perfect! – opens later this month).

One of my favorite parts of the trip was finding out that Sarah and our fam’s vacations in Hilton Head next year will slightly overlap so we know when we’ll see each other next!

I’m expecting to travel for work in the not-too-distant future, but not sure if we’ll head anywhere with the kiddos before next summer.