Tips for Visiting a Newborn

· October 11, 2017

When it comes to visiting a newborn, the first thing you must keep in mind is that you are not his mother, father or close relative. You must behave around him just as you’d behave around a stranger: polite but reserved. Keep reading and we’ll explain.

You: the carrier of microbes

When you visit a newborn, you must view yourself as someone who comes from the outside, from the street, and therefore as someone who brings a series of pathogens with them.

You should know that the outside is invaded by all kinds of microorganisms that can attack the immune system of the child, which lacks the necessary defenses to protect himself.

Breast milk endows the child with not only nutrients, but also antibodies. That is how newborns manage to defend themselves against certain invasions. However, breast milk alone is not always enough.

Baby sleeping on mother's chest

Breast milk is much more than food. It is a form of physical affection, it is contact in the face of loneliness, comfort in the face of sadness, security for discovering the world, and anesthesia for pain.

-Julio Basulto-

During the first days of life, the child needs an environment that’s as hygienic and free of pathogens as possible so that he doesn’t get sick.

When visiting a newborn, smile at him, talk to him, sing to him… but avoid holding him, kissing him and picking him up too much.

Don’t touch his wrists or his clothes. If you love him, take care of him.

However, in case you decide to ignore this recommendation, at least take the following measures:

  • Wash your hands, arms to the elbow, face and neck.
  • Do not use heavily scented perfumes or deodorants.
  • If you smoke, avoid approaching immediately after. Wait about 15 minutes.

Other Tips for Visiting a Newborn

In addition to avoiding carrying the baby, there are other things to keep in mind when visiting a newborn. Among them, we have to suggest:

Do not be inappropriate

There are certain crucial periods that should be respected as intimate moments for the newborn’s parents and family. This includes the sleep schedules of everyone who lives in the house, as well as bathing and feeding times for the baby.

So, if you decide to go in the morning, avoid getting there too early, and if you go at night, do not prolong your visit into the late hours.

But noon is also complicated because the family will be having lunch, the mother will be breastfeeding her child, and everyone (especially the baby) will be having a nap… in fact, many parents use such a schedule to sleep a little more in order to rest after a sleepless night.

The same happens with any breast or bottle feeding moments or the times that the family dedicates to tasks around the home. In short: announce your visit and ask about the best time to visit the newborn.

Display your best manners

When you find yourself visiting a newborn and his parents, practice your best manners:

  • Wash your hands and go in clean clothes.
  • Do not stay for longer than 20 minutes.
  • Avoid speaking in a loud voice.
  • Do not insist on meeting the baby if he is asleep. Remember that his rest is essential. There are also parents who do not like to let everyone into the child’s room.
  • Never meet a baby when you have a cold or contagious disease. If you must meet the baby because that is your culture or family tradition, apologize to the parents over the phone and postpone the visit for later.
  • Do not try to be useful and help with work that has to do with the newborn, even folding clothes and putting them in the closet. Wait for the parents to ask for help. In any case, if you want to be courteous, it’s better to help with other household tasks such as cleaning the floor or washing dishes.
  • Avoid giving opinions, only doing so if asked, and certainly do not criticize any issue related to the newborn or mother.
  • Visit by yourself or accompanied by another person. Do not rush into the newborn’s home. Get in line with the other people in your circle of friends and family who you know are going to visit, and split up times to go.