Do you know these rules?
When you’re visiting a newborn baby, you’re not just visiting the baby, you’re also visiting the new mom. It’s a delicate and emotionally volatile time in a mother’s life.
If you’re a mom who just gave birth, you know this. You also know that your visitors only have good intentions. But it's hard to fully appreciate an unscheduled visit by a well-meaning auntie who covers your fragile newborn in kisses and gives you unsolicited advice.
To avoid situations like this, it's really important to set some ground rules for visiting a newborn. Now's the time to get your partner to communicate these rules to your potential guests! And if you’re the one visiting a newborn baby, please remember these important rules!
Rules for visiting a newborn baby
1. Set a schedule for your visit
Visiting a newborn baby and the baby's mom in the hospital or at home is not the same as visiting the mom pre-baby.
They won’t be able to accommodate you like they used to. Mothers need time to intimately bond with the baby before they can introduce the new born to everyone else.
This period must be respected so as much as possible, send them a message or give them a call to check their schedule. Always set your date of visit at their convenience first before yours.
2. Be punctual
New moms are often exhausted and sleep-deprived. This makes their time very difficult to adjust to sudden changes. So once you’ve set the date of your visit, make sure you’re on time. Don’t be too late or too early. You wouldn’t want to mess her schedule if you're visiting a newborn baby.
3. Do not outstay your welcome
New mothers can only take so much time out of their busy schedules so they generally prefer short visits. Some mothers will tell you this in advance, but others won't, so it's best you keep this in mind. In general, keep visiting a newborn baby short (and sweet), unless the mom asks you to stay longer.
4. Bring a care package
Mothers taking care of their newborns are almost unable to shop, cook or even eat as much as they would prefer.
So they appreciate home-cooked food or takeout from her favorite restaurant. Apart from food, it could be anything she needs/wants that you know of.
Just make sure they’re in disposable containers to avoid the extra hassle of returning non-disposable containers.
5. Sanitize your hands
When visiting a newborn baby, make sure you wash your hands or bring hand sanitizer for your visit.
The newborn baby is delicate and sensitive, with a significantly weaker immune system, so it’s really easy for them to catch a sickness from a visitor.
6. Ask before you hold the baby
Understand that new moms will tend to be a little possessive of their little bundles of joy who lived inside them for nine months. Respect them by asking before doing anything. Be sensitive to the new mom’s needs, facial cues, and body language.
7. Don’t kiss the baby
Like we said earlier, a newborn's immune system is still developing and therefore weak. This makes them very susceptible to catching bugs from visitors that could make them very sick.
There have even been cases reported of newborn babies dying from infections passed to them through physical contact (mostly kissing).
Remember that the mouth is actually the part of the body with the highest concentration of bacteria compared to the rest of the body.
8. Offer help
You can let the new mom know that they can shower or doze off while you get to watch the baby. Ask and wait for their response. If you two are close enough, she will entrust the baby to you and leave you to take over for a bit. If she says no, don’t insist.
9. Don’t play the hero
If the mother lets you hold the baby and then the baby cries, give the baby back. Don’t try to save the day and prove that you can calm the baby. Let the mom do it.
10. Say “no” if the mom asks you if you want anything
Every host asks this of visitors but if a mom asks, respectfully decline. As much as possible, visit to help and offer support. Don’t let them try and serve you since they have better things to do. As an adult, you can help yourself, you just have to ask how to move around the house.
11. Keep your own kids at home if they are sick/unhealthy and unasked for
Your visit will probably be more enjoyable if you can focus on the mom and newborn baby without worrying about your own kids.
Bringing the kids will end up worrying you and the mother so try not to add to their stress. The newborn hasn’t had enough vaccines to protect them from your child, who maybe carrying bugs that they’re already immune from.
If you don’t have a baby sitter, make sure you schedule the visit properly so the issue will be taken care of without needing to bring them over. If you do bring them over, please do not let them hold the newborn baby (the mom might not like it). Help your kids understand the meaning of respecting boundaries.
12. No unsolicited advice, please and thank you
Avoid advising the new mom about anything unless she asks you for it. The visit is about her and the baby, so celebrate them during your visit.
We hope these tips and rules on visiting a newborn baby are enlightening and useful!
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore