Your friend just had a baby, which is amazing! You totally can’t wait to meet her. But now this tiny, crying, spitting-up little newborn is about to enter your completely and utterly childless home. Yikes! You want to be a good host (obviously!), but have no clue what to do when it comes to pleasing any guest under the age of 22. While your usual prep involves deciding whether to serve white or red, now you’re faced with menu planning, arranging your space and — well, you’re not even sure what else to consider on behalf of an infant. Never fear — we’ve got you covered. Scroll on for what you need to know to make your friend (and her baby) feel right at home.
1. Don’t assume anything. Unless you’re 110 percent absolutely, positively sure you know precisely what your friend’s baby needs during her visit, avoid assumptions. Call, send an email, text, skywrite or do whatever you have to do to get the low-down on what you need to have on-hand. It’s possible your friend will bring everything with her (in that super-stylish diaper bag you gifted her). But, asking does two things. First, it shows your friend that you care about both her and her baby. And two, it takes all the guesswork out of knowing what her little one may need.
2. How many for dinner? Before eight-months, most babies are on a liquids-and-puree diet only. If this is the case for your friend’s baby, it’s most likely a BYOBF (Bring Your Own Baby Food) affair. An older baby (in general, 8-10-months plus) can eat small-sized bites of soft fruit (such as bananas), smooshed avocados, cut up cubes of chicken and mashed veggies such as sweet potatoes. Okay, so you don’t have to go nuts and cook an entire meal of heavily mashed potatoes and teeny pieces of shredded beef (although, that might not be so bad). Instead, decide what grown-up menu items you can cut down to size.
3. Floor time. Even if your BFF’s baby isn’t crawling, it’s likely that she doesn’t want to carry her not-so-little bundle around for the entire visit. Mom and baby may show up with a portable gym and toys galore — all to use on the floor. Make sure that the space under your feet is as clean as possible. Vacuum carpets and sweep hard surfaces, but skip the harsh chemical cleaners. Even though they may leave your home germ-free, they also aren’t exactly “baby safe.” If you don’t have a carpet/area rug (or yours still has a subtle layer of pet fur mixed with a year-old wine stain), cover it with a clean towel, bed sheet or blanket.
4. Babyproof the basics. There’s no need to go all in and completely babyproof your home for one visit. Your friend doesn’t expect you to break out the power tools and install safety gates, cabinet locks and toilet lid latches just for her 45-minute drop-in. That said, consider moving all breakables (especially if baby is already crawling) into a room that you don’t plan on using. Now you can avoid a constant stream of saying, “Oops, please don’t touch. No, not that. Let’s move away from that one. Um, that’s a family heirloom. And, that’s glass. So is that. And that one too!”
5. Everyone likes a little attention. While the six-month-old on your guest’s lap isn’t exactly adding intelligent insights to the catch-up conversation between you and your friend, keeping baby out of the conversation won’t do. No, you don’t have to spend the whole visit with all eyes on baby. After all, Mom is probably feeling pretty invisible these days (in comparison to the mega-dose of attention that her mini-me is now getting). Instead, keep your friend as the focus, while making sure to acknowledge the infant in the room. If you’re not a “baby person,” simply smile, give a sweet (but, small) snuggle and say something simple, such as, “Aren’t you just the cutest!” It’ll make everyone — including the new mom — feel more comfortable.
How do you prep for visits from your new mommy friend and her baby? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!