A new mum holding a baby's hand

12 things you shouldn’t say to a new Mum

Being a new Mum is an exciting time, but it can also bring with it feelings of anxiety and doubt, which can leave you feeling more than a little bit vulnerable. You’re exhausted, you’re sore, and you have hormones that have set up camp in your body, ready to mess with your emotions at the drop of a hat.

Figuring it out

You’re swept up in a wave of nappies, bottles, boobs and night feeds and you spend your days analysing poo and wiping baby sick out of your clothes. Then, just when you think you’ve got the whole newborn thing pretty much figured out, somebody comes along and says something that makes you question everything you’ve been doing.

Keep it to yourself

Whether it’s a comment made by a friend, a relative, a partner or the random woman in Asda that thinks she knows it all, some things are best left unsaid! At least until we feel more human again. New Mums, especiall first time Mums, have a hard enough time as it is, so be kind and try not to make a them feel any more overwhelmed than they already are.

6 things you shouldn’t say to a new Mum

Baby's feet

You look tired

Every new Mum looks tired, it’s just part of the deal. We all realise that we look a mess in the first few weeks of having a newborn and we don’t need to be reminded of that fact. We’ve got more important things on our mind than doing our hair and make up. We know we look tired, but actually, we don’t care.

Wow you have a big/small baby

New Mums worry about every little thing, including how much or how little milk our babies are getting. What we don’t want to hear is how big or small our little ones are compared to everyone else’s babies. All babies grow and develop at different rates, and if there is a problem, then you can be sure that it’s already under control.

Your baby really should be doing ‘this’ by now

As above, all babies develop at different rates. Just because your baby was able to roll over, crawl and sleep through the night at 2 months old, doesnt mean that everyone elses will. There’s no definitive guide to when babies will do things, it really does vary widely. The last thing a new Mum needs to worry about is comparing her baby to others.

He/she really looks like their Dad

Yes, the baby may have it’s Dad’s nose and Dad’s chin, but what about it’s mothers eyes. We want to know that our baby looks like us too, so please don’t miss us out.

Are you going back to work

Give us a chance to enjoy our maternity leave before asking us about work. It’s likely the first long break we’ve had in years and the last thing we want to do is think about when we’re going to be going back. Also, don’t make us feel bad for either wanting, or not wanting to go back to work. Some women enjoy being a stay at home Mum, while others enjoy having the freedom of being themselves for a few hours a day.

Can I babysit, or let me take the baby for a few hours so you can have a break

New Mums are very protective of their little ones, especially in the first few months. You may think you’re being helpful and that we’d love a break, but in reality, all we want to do is sit and cuddle our tiny babies all day long and enjoy the newborn phase. If a new Mum wants a break, she’ll ask for it.

6 things you shouldn’t do to a new Mum

As well as things you shouldn’t say, there are also some things you shouldnt do:

Baby's feet and mother's hand

Show up unanounced

When you’re adjusting to life as a parent, and trying to bond with your little one, the last thing you need is a knock at the door. If you want to come over and see the baby, pick up the phone and call or send a text first. We may be sitting in the living room topless trying to get the hang of breastfeeding, or having a well needed nap with the baby, both of which shouldn’t be disturbed.

Pick up/hold the baby without asking

Mumma bear instinct will kick in here! If you want to hold our baby, please ask. The worst thing you can do is to just scoop them up, especially if they’re sleeping! Also, if the baby cries when you’re holding them, please give them back to their Mum rather than trying to comfort them yourself. There’s nothing worse than hearing your baby crying and not being able to do anything about it.

Give the baby something to eat/drink without asking

Everybody has different views on when and what babies should eat and drink, and ultimatly, it’s up to the parents to decide. Also remember that babies can have colic, reflux and allergies. Just because there is breastmilk in the fridge, or formula in the kitchen, it doesn’t mean that the baby can be fed just because you’re there and want to do it.

Change the baby’s nappy without asking

Again, Mumma bear instinct can kick in here. As mothers, it’s our job to look after and care for our babies. If we need help, we’ll ask for it

Try to tell us what our baby needs

When your baby is crying because they’re hungry, your first instinct is to feed them as soon as possible. Comments like, ‘Oooh, sounds like he/she’s tired, you better get them down for a nap’ are definitely not welcome. We know our babies better than anyone else and we know what their cries mean.

Tell us how we should be doing things

Unless we ask, we don’t need to know how you used to hold your baby, how you used to get them to sleep or where they used to sleep. Part of the fun of being a new parent is figuring it all out and seeing what works for us.

4 things you can do to help

After that long list of things you shouldn’t do, how about ending on a happy note and talking about things you can do to make a new Mum happy.

Ask her how she’s feeling and if she needs help with anything

Asking her how she’s feeling could be just what she needs right now. This could be your opportunity to hold, look after or feed the baby for an hour while she jumps in the bath. This way, it’s up to her, and she doesn’t feel pressured.

Bring food over

If you visit a new Mum, make sure you take food! Sandwiches, chocolate, and biscuits all work well. Looking after a baby is hard work, and you don’t get much time to think about yourself. Frozen meals also work well. If you had a casserole or a chili the night before, save some in a tub and take it over. Food that we haven’t had to prepare ourselves always goes down really well.

Make tea/coffee/lunch

Making lunch or a hot drink can do wonders for a new Mum. Her usual routine probably consists of cold cups of tea and slices of toast that take an hour to eat.

Ask if you can nip to the shops to pick anything up

There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve run out of nappies when you’ve had 2 hours sleep, haven’t showered in days and have a newborn that won’t stop crying. The last thing you want to do is leave the house. So offering to pick up a few essentials on your way over will go down really well.

Take her lead

Obviously, all women are different, and while some won’t mind if you sit and hold the baby for hours so that they can jump in the bath or have a nap, other’s will be crying inside and wishing you’d leave them alone.

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