Best Things to Say to Your Newborn

mom and dad in delivery room with newborn

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Having a baby is hard work, and when you finally see your little one for the first time, you might be overcome with emotion after waiting such a long time to give birth. Consequently, you may say the first thing that comes to your mind or you may want to have something prepared. Either option is fine, of course. So you should plan to do what feels right for you and your family.

Some cultures have special prayers that are said immediately after birth. Others believe in specific sentiments that should be said or heard. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, your words are sure to reflect the love you have for your new baby.

25 Common First Words

When we asked moms and dads what they said to their baby when they saw them for the first time, we got a wide variety of responses. Here are just a few of the many things parents might say to their baby at birth.

  1. I love you!
  2. Happy birthday!
  3. Welcome, little one.
  4. Peace, child.
  5. Talk to me.
  6. God bless you.
  7. I can’t believe it.
  8. I’m a mom!
  9. You were worth the wait.
  10. You’re going to grow up to be so amazing!
  11. We will always love you.
  12. It’s girl!/It’s a boy!
  13. May you never want for anything.
  14. I want to hold you forever.
  15. Baby, I am your mother/father. (It’s even better when it is said in a Star Wars accent.)
  16. Welcome to your crazy family.
  17. You are so cuddly.
  18. So you're who has been kicking me inside.
  19. Hi there.
  20. You are beautiful.
  21. I’ve been waiting for you.
  22. Thank you.
  23. Bless you, child.
  24. I can’t wait to get to know you.
  25. I’ve got so much to tell you.

Prayers

When a baby is born, most moms and dads often end up saying whatever is on their heart or in their mind at that moment. After all, birth can be an incredibly moving experience, no matter whether your baby joins your family through a vaginal birth, c-section, or even through an adoption. So, trying to say something scripted can be a challenge.

Some religions have special prayers that are meant to be whispered in the baby’s ear at the moment of birth. For instance, Muslims believe that the first words that a baby hears should be the Adhan, or the call to prayer. These words are usually whispered in the newborn's right ear.

Meanwhile, other religions such as Christianity may not have specific prayers that are recited, but instead focus on blessing the new baby with impromptu prayers of thanksgiving. Likewise, some Catholic families will pray a blessing on the mother and baby after the birthing process, and usually hold a baptism shortly after birth.

Even if you don't belong to a particular faith group or you are not religious at all, you may still find that you want to say a blessing over your newborn. You can be spontaneous and say what is on your heart at the time. Or, you can have something prepared ahead of time. The choice is yours.

If planning out what you want to say is important to you, consider writing it down. You may also want to appoint someone to remind you to say your special sentiment, should you get caught up in the moment of birth and forget.

Traditions

Some families have traditions that they follow after the birth of a child. For instance, Jewish families hold a naming ceremony around the eighth day after a baby is born. This timeframe also is when a male baby undergoes a circumcision.

Meanwhile, Hindu babies will be dressed in new clothes between the 10th and 12th day after birth for their naming ceremony. This celebration often includes a feast, songs, and sometimes a fire sacrifice.

Even some doctors or midwives have traditions. For instance, they may recite special wishes for your baby as you push. Some particularly inspired practitioners even sing "Happy Birthday" to every baby at birth.

If your family would like to start your own birthing tradition, think about what you might like to include, such as various songs, poems, or prayers.

Also, think about the details of your new tradition. For instance, will you have the same song for every baby? Or will you choose a new song with every birth? Perhaps you will choose whatever moves you at that moment or relates specifically to your new baby. Get creative and have a little fun with it.

A Word From Verywell

Starting a tradition or saying a prayer is not something that's required of you. In fact, many moms and dads don’t have anything planned. They simply figure it out as the moment unfolds. Rest assured, you will know what to say to your little one when they arrive. After all, sometimes the simplest statements mean the most.

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  1. Gatrad AR, Sheikh A. Muslim birth customsArch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2001;84(1):F6-F8. doi:10.1136/fn.84.1.f6

  2. Boulder Jewish Community Center. New baby rituals.

  3. Gatrad AR, Ray M, Sheikh A. Hindu birth customs. Arch Dis Child. 2004;89(12):1094-7. doi:10.1136/adc.2004.050591