8 Tips to Keep in Mind before Visiting a Newborn Baby
We’ve all had the experience of visiting a newborn baby at some point. But have you ever asked yourself if you met the expectations of the baby’s parents? What’s correct? What’s not?
How should I behave? Will I be bothering the parents and the baby?
Visiting a newborn baby
In order for your visit to be a happy time for the new parents and not something that creates discomfort, we want to offer you some useful advice.
“Today our home is lit up, and I’ve discovered why. Our newborn wants to meet you. ”
Avoid visiting a newborn baby if you are ill
Parents will be delighted to introduce their little one to friends and family. But it’s also true that, like all parents, they want to make sure their tiny baby doesn’t get sick.
Therefore, the best thing we can do if we are sick – even if it’s a simple cold – is to hold off on visiting the baby. His parents will be enormously grateful, and will be happy to receive your visit once you are healthy.
With a simple phone call or text message you can be sure that your visit won’t come at a bad time. It might be time for the baby to breastfeed, the family might be catching up on lost sleep, or they might already have visitors.
The first few days of a baby’s life are delicate times, so surprise visits are not the best idea. Be sure to get the parent’s okay rather than just popping in.
If you see a lot of other visitors, be respectful
Before entering the hospital room or the home of the newborn, you should make sure there aren’t a lot of visitors there already. Sometimes it’s hard to control this issue, since friends and family want to be around and unfortunately not everyone calls ahead.
Therefore, if there are more people than expected and you think your visit could be more overwhelming than well received, then leave. Perhaps you can arrange to come back at a later time.
Don’t wake up the baby
This should go without saying. Nobody likes to be woken up when we’re sleeping. Newborns need their sleep, and we should respect that.
You should never wake up a sleeping baby, nor should you even suggest it. You might be curious to see what color the baby’s eyes are, but the baby’s needs should come first and foremost.
Avoid giving unsolicited advice
Unless the parents ask you straight out, never give your opinion of what you would or wouldn’t do. Your advice will only make the new parents uncomfortable and perhaps remind them of their lack of experience.
Remember that there is no one right way to raise a child, so be respectful of methods that are different from your own.
The baby’s parents will quickly gain experience and discover what works best for them and their baby. Be respectful and you can’t go wrong.
Always wash your hands before touching newborns
If the parents don’t offer to let you hold their baby, resist the temptation of picking him up. Depending on the situation, you might want to avoid even asking to hold the baby so as not to make the parents feel uncomfortable.
It’s true that newborns bring out our soft side and our desire to hold them in our arms. But unless you have permission, let the baby be.
However, if you do have the chance to hold the baby, or even just touch him, make sure you just washed your hands – they need to be clean. Our hands are full of germs and the last thing you want to do is make the little one sick.
Where to give kisses
You should avoid the urge to kiss the baby when you’re holding him. Some parents don’t mind it, but others do. So, just in case, it’s best to hold off on the kisses.
If you do happen to give the baby a kiss, then the best place for those kisses is on the newborn baby’s feet. If you kiss the baby’s face or hands, then you could unknowingly be spreading infection.
Offer a helping hand
Besides not making the new parents uncomfortable, you could also offer to help them out. Without a doubt, the new parents are exhausted and won’t have the time or energy to do all that needs to be done.
Perhaps you can care for older brothers and sisters, make a trip to the supermarket, drop off a meal, or take care of some household chores. You will surely be taking a weight off of mom and dad’s shoulders.
“Do unto others as you would have them do to you”
– The Bible –
If you take the initiative to help out with whatever needs to be done, you will be giving the tired and stressed out parents a chance to rest and enjoy their new addition to the family.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Information for parents of newborns. Texas Department of State Health Services. Nº 1-36. 12/2015. [Booklet avaiable online].
- Kollmann, T; Kampmann, B; Mazmanian, S; Marchant, A; Levy, O. Protecting the newborn and young infant from infetious diseases: lesson from immune ontogeny. Immunity 46, March 21, 2017 ª 2017 Elsevier Inc. [Avaiable online].