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What to Say to New Parents of a Baby with a Diagnosis of Down Syndrome

Tips for Families and Friends When a Baby is Diagnosed with Down Syndrome

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Updated March 29, 2009

What to Say to New Parents of a Baby with a Diagnosis of Down Syndrome
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It can be difficult to know what to say to new parents of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Remember, they will appreciate almost anything you do say over silence. Below are some sentiments that may make it easier to talk to the new parents.

Things to say:

“Congratulations on your new baby.”

These are new parents and all parents should be congratulated on their new infant, regardless of the infant’s health or diagnosis.

“This baby is lucky to have you as parents.”

It is important to reaffirm that these new parents have the skills necessary to parent this child.

“Let me know how I can help. I would be happy to…”

Parents appreciate sincere offers of assistance and knowing that others are around to help. Also, be specific about what you can do such as bringing over a meal or offering to watch the couple’s other children for a while.

“The baby has your eyes" or "The baby has his Dad’s coloring.”

All babies resemble their parents and new parents of baby’s with Down syndrome will appreciate you seeing beyond the diagnosis and recognizing the baby as a member of their family.

“She is adorable” or “What a handsome little man.”

All parents love to hear their child complimented, and there is no reason to withhold compliments simply because a child has Down syndrome.

“He will be fine.”

New parents are often worried about the future and a simple expression of confidence can be very reassuring.

“We are here to help.”

Just knowing that they are not alone can be tremendously reassuring to new parents.

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