We just spent a lovely weekend at a friend's gorgeous beach house. Historic charm, tasteful yet comfortable decor, and a gathering of old friends.
But there was one change this weekend compared to trips of the past; the arrival of two little ones. Children change the dynamic of a group outing, though for the better. Single/unmarried without kids and wondering how to acclimate to the new situation? The same house guest etiquette rules apply with a few additions:
1) Bring Gifts for the Parents AND Baby:
Hostess gifts can range from a bottle of their favorite wine, candles and flowers, or anything thoughtful that pampers the new parents.
For baby gifts? Our no-fail suggestions are always games (if the child is old enough) or books. Educational and enriching gifts will always have lasting value. Games can be enjoyed in a group and books encourage a life-long love for learning at an early age. Our Keith Haring Domino Set and Set of Classic Games by Nathalie Lete fit the bill.
2) Be at the Ready to Chip in with Chores:
Again, this is house guest etiquette 101, but being a helpful guest is more important than ever. A parent's main focus will be on the child, not making sure you're entertained all of the time. Always offer to help no matter how small the task.
3) Offer to Watch the Baby:
Even if it's a ten minute break, a little time to themselves or to focus on other chores can be a lifesaver to a new parent.
4) Organize Dinner Plans:
BBQ, ordering in, or just making reservations, take the responsibility off of the host and initiate plans.
As in, bring a bottle of the parents favorite drink as a gift (see #1) and make sure the refrigerator is stocked.
5) Don't Act Like a Child:
The world doesn't revolve around you (shocking!). Parents have no patience for obnoxious behavior, crude comments, or disrespect. Or, for that matter, getting wasted like you two used to do pre-baby. Act like an adult at all times or don't show up at all.