Whether you stay at home with your new baby(s), or if you’re a working parent, life with a newborn is hectic. You doubtlessly get little done other than caring for your baby and cleaning your home in the early days. Yet, ironically, you probably have more visitors than ever before. I often feel like a terrible host after having a baby. I want those in my home to feel welcomed, taken care of, and fed. If you’re lucky in the initial days and weeks after the birth, your friends and family will come and help you clean, bring meals, snacks, or frozen casseroles over. But as your baby gets older, the days of assistance from friends and family are likely numbered. Entertaining will become a more gracious affair. A time when you must host.
If you stay at home with your baby, you may have more guests in the first 6 months of his/her birth than you’ve had in your previous life (before baby). Playdates often overwhelm my schedule. Although, I can’t make a fancy meal nearly everyday for my guests, I can care for them, make them feel comfortable and feed them with ease.
Steps to effortless hosting with babies!
- Buy it, don’t make it. You may be “Betty Crocker,” but you can buy a perfectly acceptable pie, even though it may not be as good as your own.
- Always think of both the parents and the children. I often experience hosts that only cater to one or the other. Everyone in your home should feel welcomed.
- Feed them. If you are having a gathering at a typical meal time, feed them. Even if it’s not, feed them.
- A beautiful serving dish will allow any box cake to shine.
- Even if you don’t usually have an item, think of your guests. We don’t drink juice or milk in our home, but most of my friends children do. If you know your friends children drink a beverage, get it (read below).
- Most will ask for water, just have it prepared. A pitcher and glasses on a tray will do just fine.
- A little effort goes a long way. Show your guest you appreciate them by putting in some forethought.
- Try to foresee problems and make adjustments (read below).
Problems with eating habits!
Juice and Milk
In our world, we all have different philosophies and ideas in raising our children. My children don’t drink cow’s milk ever, and I have only given my eldest juice a handful of times, but I’m not the norm amongst my friends. If your children don’t drink juice for example, but it’s a frequent issue during playdates whether your friends often bring it or you provide it, here’s the solution. Make sure you have enough kids cups for all involved. When my daughter asks for juice I give it to her. In a cup with 1/3 juice and 2/3 water. She is as thrilled–as–can–be and everyone wins.
A few other suggestions.
- Don’t make your guests take their dirty diapers with them.
- If you can afford it, buy another cheap additional high chair. It’s easiest for all involved.
- If you only want guests outside, inform them before they come.
- Hide crayons or markers if you don’t want the children coming over to play with them.