This is an invitation for the new parents to say something like, "No, you would be wonderful." Suddenly, the conversation has switched
to you instead of the parents and their new baby. Plus, you don't really know how the new parents are handling it, do you?
Things TO say
These are the things parents have found comforting or made them feel good:
They just had a baby! What better response to show that you love them and their baby than to say congratulations. It made us feel
like 'normal' parents when someone said that to us. If the hospital allows it, a bottle of champagne could be greatly appreciated.
"He/She looks just like you."
The baby probably does look like someone in the family. All of the baby's genes are from the family. My son looked exactly like my
daughter did when she was just born.
Friends and family who actually 'did' something like read about the disability (or find information on the web!)
This really means something to the new parents. It shows love and concern for the baby. The day after we told Mikey's uncle about
Mikey having Down Syndrome, he came to visit us with a handful of papers dealing with Down Syndrome he had gotten from the web.
That showed us that he really cared.
Offer to babysit.
It is a fear of the new parents that their family will not accept the new baby. By saying something like, "Well, when are you going to let
me babysit?" you are showing the new parents that you want to be part of the baby's life. This will be a great relief to them.
"He/She will do fine."
The new parents are probably pretty worried. They might not know much about Down Syndrome and they may be concerned about
possible medical problems. Having a positive attitude will rub off on them. They don't need pessimism or negativity from their loved
"We'll all learn from him/her."
This is another good way to show that you intend on being part of their lives. After all, how can you learn from their new baby if you
are ashamed of him/her? Their new child will be an opportunity to learn about love, acceptance, and respect for the disabled.
"We will always be here to help."
Another very good way to show that you are going to be there. Let the new parents know that you intend on being part of their lives.