You're getting ready to go visit your friends and can't wait to stare at the little human being they created. You got the perfect gift but you wonder if there's anything else you should do. Yes! I put together a list of a few ways you can help out. Never ask new parents "Can I do something for you?" Chances are they'll reply, "We're ok". Now, when you get to their home, you'll be prepared. Your friends will forever appreciate it.
1. Call Before You Visit
Ok, I know this is a given. But even if your friends are expecting you give them a call. Lie and say you're going to Target/Costco/Trader Joe's and that you can pick up whatever they need before getting to their house.
2. Bring Food (and lots of it!)
Never show up empty handed. Bring breakfast, lunch or dinner depending on when you're visiting. If you have time, try to make a separate meal for them to put in their freezer that way they can have a meal ready to go on a night where they have no visitors. Soups or chilis are great options for this - when you're making yourself dinner, just double the recipe so you have a meal for the new parents.
3. Wash Your Hands & Take Off Your Shoes
Don't even ask, just do it. Newborns are at risk for infection and the easiest way to prevent the spreading of germs is by washing your hands.
4. Peek in their Kitchen
I'm not saying to be nosey, but if they have dishes in the sink clean them. Here's some other things you can do: empty the dishwasher, wipe their counters, take out the trash. If you're thirsty, help yourself that way your friends don't have to entertain you. While you're at it, offer to make the new parents tea or coffee.
5. Entertain The Older Sibling
Your natural instinct will be to smother the newborn with kisses. Try to restrain yourself if your friends have an older child. Ask if you can take the sibling for a walk or to a park. If you don't feel comfortable taking them out, offer to play a game with them in their house.
6. Walk Their dog (or tend to other pets)
Pets may not be receiving as much attention as they're used to. Take their dog for a walk. Fill up the water bowl. Play fetch with the puppy.
7. Offer to hold the baby
If your friends look like they can use a nap or shower or just time to themselves to eat, offer to hold the baby. Reassure them that you can hold their little one while they take care of themselves.
8. Don't be offended if you don't hold the baby
Newborns need to eat 8-12 times a day in the first few weeks and nursing sessions can seem like a marathon. Also, if your friend is having trouble breastfeeding the most important thing is for the mother and baby to be skin to skin. You'll have plenty of opportunities to hold the baby in the future (check in with your friend when she's chasing after a toddler, I'm sure she'll let you babysit for the day!).
When your visit is coming to an end and you're saying your goodbyes, remember to tell your friends that they are doing a great job. We don't hear it enough as parents. That simple compliment will stick with them for the rest of the day or in the late hours of the night!