Having a baby is hard work, and when you finally see your baby for the first time, you might not have thought about what you want to say to your baby after waiting a long time to see your baby. Some cultures have special prayers that are said immediately after the birth or at least specific sentiments that should be said or heard.
When I asked moms and dads what they said to their baby when they saw them, I got a wide variety of responses.
Here are just a few of the things that you can say to your baby at birth:
- I love you!
- Happy birthday!
- Welcome, little one.
- Peace, child.
- Talk to me…
- God bless you.
- I can’t believe it.
- I’m a mom!
- You were worth the wait.
- You’re going to grow up to be so amazing!
- We will always love you.
- It’s girl!/It’s a boy!
- May you never want for anything.
- I want to hold you forever.
- Baby, I am your mother/father. (It’s even better when it is said in a Star Wars accent.)
- Welcome to your crazy family.
- You are so cuddly.
- So you are who has been kicking me inside.
- You are beautiful.
- I’ve been waiting for you.
- Thank you.
- Bless you, child.
- I can’t believe it!
- I’ve got so much to tell you…
As I said, some religions have special prayers that are meant to be whispered in baby’s ear at the moment of birth. Most moms and dads wind up saying whatever is on their mind at that moment. It can be an incredibly moving experience, no matter how your baby joins your family, be it birth or having your baby placed in your arms for the first time after birth.
Some doctors or midwives also have traditions. This may include special wishes for your baby as you push. Some particularly inspired practitioners sing to every baby at every birth. One practitioner I know sings Happy Birthday at every birth. (If you don't know and don't want this - be sure to ask.) If this is something that sounds like a tradition that your family would like to start, consider various songs that you would want to incorporate.
Will you have the same song for every baby? Will you choose a song with every birth? Perhaps you will choose whatever moves you at that moment.
This is not something to get bent out of shape about if you can’t think of just the right thing. Many moms and dads don’t have anything planned, they simply figure it out as it unfolds. Having attended hundreds of births, I can tell you, you will know what to say to your little one and sometimes it’s simple. Follow your baby’s lead and don’t panic.
If planning out what you want to say is important, consider writing it down. You may also want to appoint someone as the person to remind you to say your special sentiment, should you get caught up in the moment of birth and forget.
The good news is that you can continue to talk to your baby. This is actually a good thing because talking to your baby helps them focus and learn speech patterns, much like reading to baby. Even if you're not sure what to say, you can certainly narrate their day. "Hi, baby! I'm going to change your diaper right now." Your tone and the fact that you are talking is most important.