But if you're the new parent, the last thing you need is to entertainer well-wishers while trying to adjust to a new child.
Child Magazine's editor-in-chief Miriam Arond visited The Early Show to discuss "baby etiquette" for new parents and outsiders.
Arond says the well-being of mother and baby should be a family's top priority, especially since women are routinely discharged from the hospital within 48 hours of giving birth, usually before they have a chance to recover.
Arond says no one establishes rules for this type of etiquette because no one is really thinking ahead. A mother doesn't know how she's going to feel after she's had a baby. She might have an easy delivery and want to entertain, or she might end up having a C-section and need recuperation time for the major surgery.
Arond says a mother who has had an operation in addition to a baby may not want her house filled with people. In other words, it's a very sensitive time.
It's also difficult because it may be the first grandchild, and the new grandparents are going to be very excited. But that doesn't mean that a mother may want them visiting all day in the beginning. Arond says in order to prepare people, the new parents have to have a conversation in advance and tell the grandparents that they're not sure how the mother will feel after the baby is born. Arond says the message is not personal and no one has to have hurt feelings. It's just that it's new for a mother and she just don't know how she's going to feel.
Friends and family should realize it's a needy time for the baby and mother and they can help with little things. Bringing a gift for the parents, even if it is just a box of cookies, is more helpful than you realize. Visitors should ask if they can bring the new parents food, do grocery shopping or watch the older children. These are helpful, but not everyone thinks about them
Arond says working out a visiting schedule is a really good idea. You don't want too many people in the house at once, and you might want to try to let the in-laws visit separately. Arond says the mothers-in-law are going to be in competition, and it's much easier on the new parents if each has her own time to spend and bond with the baby.
Arond adds that grandparents sometimes may feel as if they are losing their children. The new parents can say something like, "We love you and can't wait to have you involved, but this is a really special time for us and we're feeling overwhelmed and we really need some time alone".
It's easier said than done, as all family issues are, but saying it nicely and reassuringly can help.
Don't forget new parents have their own needs to meet and shouldn't sacrifice that to entertian guests. The new parents are setting a foundation for a new relationship in their lives, and people must understand that.
Arond says friends who are unsure of how soon to visit, should call and ask the new parents when would be an appropriate time. Friends can still send flowers and gifts and offer to do errands without visiting.
Additionally, Arond says, if you have given the family a nice baby gift at a shower, you may want to bring a nice lotion or something indulgent for the mom instead of another baby gift.
Arond suggests new parents have some sparkling water and cookies around for visitors, and she says visitors should plan to stay no longer than a half hour.
Arond says the husband has to understand the mother needs to take it easy. He can even entertain guests while the mother retires to the bedroom.
When it comes to birth announcements, experts say it's appropriate to send them out to let people know that you've had the baby. And they aren't reserved only for family and close friends. Arond says the new parents can send them to old friends.
An announcement tells people that parents have had a baby and want to share their joy with them. Some people feel like it's a solicitation for a gift, but it's not.