When a newborn baby comes into our lives, it’s always an exciting time. We cannot have enough of the sweet newborn smell and warm snuggles. However, when a loved one brings their new family member home, it’s important to remember that it is all about their wants and needs, and not about your need to have that first cuddle.
When you set your mind to visiting a newborn and its parents, keep in mind these 7 things to make sure it is a pleasant experience for everyone.
- Ask the parents before you visit
Having a new baby can be quite stressful for parents. There is a whole new feeding and sleeping schedule they need to set up, and there can be many late nights and early mornings. If you drop in unannounced, it can feel like an invasion of privacy.
Coordinate with the new parents before you visit to make it easier for yourself and them. Let them know that you will meet the baby when they’re ready. It is also a great time to go a step further and ask them if they have run out of any essential items that you can bring.
If they have older children, why not include an offer to help by taking older children to the park?
- Bring a meal for the new parents
Babies are lovely but can be hard work. Many new parents struggle to find the time to cook and eat a decent meal in the first few weeks. You can help by taking food for the new parents to either enjoy at the time or use later. Parents always appreciate having something in the freezer that they can eat at a time when the baby is fussy or when they are just too tired to cook.
- Keep away if you’re sick
This is a no-brainer but often needs repetition, especially in these challenging times. A newborn's immune system is not well-developed, making it highly vulnerable to illness. If you feel under the weather, delay your visit. Make sure that you’re in the best of health when you meet the baby. Wash your hands and use a sanitizer before you pick the baby up, and refrain from kissing the baby. Even without symptoms, you may carry nasty bugs.
- Don’t overstay your welcome
Arrive on time, meet the baby, congratulate the parents, and then be on your way. The first few weeks with a newborn can be quite challenging, and the new parents need their time and space to form a strong bond with their little one. Don’t stress out the parents with a longer stay.
- Respect the parents’ wishes
Quite often, parents are uncomfortable with the thought of having someone visit them at the hospital or in the first weeks at home. Mum has just given birth, is tired, and needs her sleep. Meanwhile, the other parent is trying their best to be supportive and present. If they need their space, respect their wishes, and choose a later time to visit. Remember, it’s not about you.
- Ask permission before taking photos
Don’t be the visitor who takes and posts pictures of the baby before the parents do. The parents may want to keep the swaddled baby to themselves for now, or they might feel that the photo of their baby is unflattering. For privacy and security reasons, many parents don’t want photos of their children on social media. Be respectful of the boundaries parents have set.
- No prying or unsolicited advice
Visitors who offer unwanted advice and pry into sensitive details can be the worst. No matter how much experience you have of raising and looking after kids, do not offer advice unless asked. Any details that the mother wants to share, she will do so when she’s ready. Try your best to be supportive and understanding.
By keeping these suggestions in mind, you will find that the parents, in their own time, are more than happy to have you share some precious moments with their new bundle of joy.