8 tips for visiting a new baby
We get it, a new baby is coming and you CANNOT wait to snuggle and love that baby when you get the call or text. We are right there with you: babies are yummy and lovely and we love to snuggle them too. If you follow these 8 tips for visiting a new baby, everyone will be happy.
Wait to be invited
New families are often exhausted and overwhelmed with the new routine of a baby, and are recovering from birth. Holding a new baby for an hour or two so parents can sleep seems helpful, but often times, it’s simply an added stress to parents. Sometimes waiting a couple weeks for immediate family to go home is so helpful to new parents because that may be when they need that help most!
Bring a meal (or two)
Why are meals helpful? Because parents are so tired from feeding, changing, and rocking a new baby that sometimes they just don’t have enough energy to cook. Bring an easy to heat and eat meal to show you care about everyone in the home. And bringing it in a disposable container relieves the stress of having to wash and return dishes to the right owners. Or order a meal to be delivered by a company like Uber Eats.
Keep visits short and sweet
The most common complaint we as doulas hear from our clients is that guests overstay their welcome. Babies eat and sleep a lot, and new parents need to be resting when their baby is, and having to entertain guests is the last thing they should have to worry about. Keeping visits under 30 minutes is the advised rule.
Handwashing is the best!
Many people forget how dirty our hands are. New babies are susceptible to all these germs, so please wash your hands as soon as you walk in! We often carry germs that could make a baby extremely sick, but as adults with established immune systems, we simply don’t know or realize.
Lend a helping hand
Does a load of laundry need to be folded? Can you quickly sweep the floor and swiffer the kitchen? Do the dishes need to be loaded or unloaded from the dishwasher? Don’t ask permission, just look and do it! New parents don’t want to burden visitors with chores, but we promise, they appreciate it!
Kissing is for parents only
It’s way too easy to pass a potentially deadly disease to a new baby by a kiss. So just don’t do it.
Ask if there are rules for visiting
If you are asked to be vaccinated or wait to see the baby, follow the rules! Parents are making the best decisions they can for the new life they are responsible for. We don’t want to make them feel bad or guilty for trying to keep their baby safe.
Offering advise isn’t always helpful
Parents are most often overwhelmed with advise, from the pediatrician, to the nurse, to grandma, and the internet. And what they are told is conflicting and confusing! Wait to be asked, and don’t be offended if they choose a different route.
We hope these 8 tips for visiting a new baby help each and every family. Remember, every family is different, and things change from week to week. And often, what new families need isn’t always easy for the rest of us to provide. If you find that what your loved one really needs is help at 3 am, and you can’t do it, that’s where we come in.
It takes a village, and your loved ones are lucky to have you.