Top 5 things NOT to do when someone has a new baby

There is nothing sweeter or more precious than a new baby. In the majority of cases, a new parent’s reaction to a newborn is love at first sight. Moms and dads could just sit and stare at their new bundle of joy for hours.

Family and friends often want to see newborns as soon as they can. Even though the new parents are likely to be proud and want to show off their new baby, giving them some time to be alone and bond with the new member of the family is advisable. If for no other reason, postponing a visit to see a new baby might be best for his or her health. Take a look at the following new baby etiquette tips.

5 things NOT to do when someone has a baby:

1. Don’t rush to the hospital to see the baby immediately after the delivery unless invited by the baby’s parents.

Labor can be exhausting for some women. A new mother may need time to rest afterwards. But even if she’s full of energy after giving birth, the last thing she’s going to want to do is hand someone else the baby that she has been waiting nine months to hold. If there are any complications or health concerns after the baby is born, doctors and the new parents might need time to address those issues without interruptions from visitors. Babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) should not be visited by anyone other than parents, siblings, and very close family members.

2. Don’t show up unannounced at the new parent’s home. Find out from the new parents when the best visiting hours would be.

Getting a baby on a feeding and napping schedule is important to some new mothers. The first few days at home will set the tone for the rest of the days going forward. Visitors showing up at random times can prevent the establishment of a routine. New moms are advised to sleep whenever the baby sleeps so an unannounced visit could come at an inconvenient time. Calling or emailing before a visit is the courteous thing to do. If the new parents are reluctant to have visitors, give them some time to get settled before attempting to schedule a visit. First time parents may need more time than veteran parents.

3. Don’t visit with the intention of sitting and holding the baby.

Every set of parents is different. Some are eager to share their new baby with family and friends; others are more particular about everyone who visits holding the baby. It’s best to wait for the parents to offer for you to hold the baby. If they don’t offer, try not to be offended. As the baby gets older the parents will loosen up. Initial visits should be about supporting the new parents, not cooing over their baby. If the baby has an older sibling it would be a good idea to pay them some special attention since there is likely to be a lot of fuss over the new baby.

4. Don’t visit the baby if you are sick, or have recently been sick.

If there is the slightest chance that you may be sick, or if you’re getting over an illness, stay away from a newborn. A baby’s immune system needs time to kick in. An illness that is minor for an adult can be deadly to a baby. There is never any reason to risk exposing a baby to illness.

5. Don’t touch the new baby without washing your hands first.

Hand washing is super important before holding a baby. Throughout the day a person can be exposed to an unimaginable number of germs. Holding a baby without washing your hands exposes that baby to all those germs. Soap and warm, running water can help rinse away potentially dangerous germs and help keep a new baby healthy.

A few things that you should do:

Leave toddlers at home, they could carry viruses that a new baby is not immune to yet. Viruses like RSV can lead to serious complications in newborns. Short visits of 15 to 30 minutes are best when there’s a new baby in the house. Bringing the new parents a cooked meal would probably be welcomed. Offering to run errands could also be a big help. Take cues from the new parents. Try to be understanding if it takes time for them to adjust to their new addition.

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