Visiting a Newborn? - Read this!
Whether you are a parent or grandparent yourself, there are certain things that can be avoided when visiting a new parent and their newborn.
Here is our short list of Do’s and Don’ts that will come handy if you are visiting a newborn baby!
- Avoid the hospital visit - Let the baby and parent bond, and keep your visit for after the baby is home. Hospitals are for recovery, and a home visit feels a lot more ideal, isn’t it?
- Call ahead – Do call ahead before dropping in. A new parent struggles with sleep – theirs and baby’s. And yes, parents would appreciate if the doorbell was not rung!
- Keep your visit short – Parenting can be overwhelming without the added pressure of guests dropping in and overstaying. Try and excuse yourself early.
- Carry a gift – Not just for the baby, but also the older siblings, if any, and the new parent (fruits, maybe?). Better still, ask what they need so that your money is well spent.
- Ask to hold the baby –New parents are very cautious and they have their reasons for it. If they refuse, try not to push it.
- Wash your hands before you hold the baby – And if you are offered sanitiser, use that too. You may find this over-zealous or silly, but their baby, their rules.
- Avoid visiting if you are sick – A newborn already has low immunity, so please reschedule the visit for later if you are sick.
- PPD is real – Do not assume everyone is delighted at the new arrival. And more importantly, do try and focus on the parent that gave birth when you visit and not just the baby.
- Tip toe around the sleeping baby – If the parent, or baby is sleeping, try and maintain silence in the room, so phones on silent! Sleep is so important for both after birth!
- Leave your children at home – If possible, leave your kids at home. It may not be possible to keep children silent around the baby. Else, leave them outside the baby’s room playing with some toys.
- Focus on the older sibling – The arrival of the new baby is an overwhelming period for the older child. Talk to the older child as you usually would, avoiding questions about the baby. They must be getting asked often enough, so it might be a good idea to skip these questions and connect with them in a different way instead.
- Be a good listener – Listen to anything the new parents might want to share and provide reassurance.
- Do not provide unsolicited advice –Give advice only if you are asked for it.
- Don’t bring extra guests – Visit in small groups to see the baby, to prevent overwhelming the new parents.
- Offer help, if possible - If time permits, make a plan ahead to visit and help later when you are free. It could be as simple as driving the parent to the hospital for a checkup, or taking care of the baby while the parent steps out for a walk.
- Offer privacy – Parents need to bond with their child and learn the ropes of breastfeeding, parenting - the whole gamut. Remove yourself out of the picture as soon as possible when visiting and avoid asking prying questions.
- Keep judgements out – Maybe you feel that the parent has put on weight, or that the baby is underweight. But these are not comments a new parent wants to hear. No judging, please!