Practical and Fast rules for visiting Newborns
Newborns are extreme delicate creatures. Their mothers are equally as delicate as they are so visiting both mother and child requires sensitivity, planning and adherence to a particular set of rules; no matter how closely related you are to the family This is not the time to show up unannounced, apologize for your cough and catarrh or request for a meal.
If you want to maintain your friendship or family bond — and ever be invited back again — follow these guidelines.
- Schedule your visit in advance, and don’t push if Mum’s not ready for visitors. Every new mum is different, but most need some one-on-one time with their new addition before they are ready to introduce him or her to the masses. Respect that timeline, whatever it may be, and simply ask if they’re ready for visitors. If not, check back a few days or a week later. When the answer’s yes, suggest a few times that will work for you and let Mom decide what will work best for her.
- Work around Mum’s schedule and be on time. New motherhood is an exhausting, sleep deprived, overwhelming time. If you’ve been given the green light on a specific time to visit, it’s important to remember that time was probably chosen carefully to fit in both Mom and baby’s schedule, so be punctual. Not early, not late.
- Don’t stay too long. Smart mums tell visitors in advance that they are only up for a short visit, but even if you’re not given a specific window, you should plan on keeping your visit short and sweet. An hour is probably about right, unless Mom begs you to stay longer.
- Take food. As a new mom, it feels almost impossible to shop, cook, or even feed yourself, so bringing along a meal — home cooked is fine, but a plate from her favourite takeout spot is equally acceptable — is a must. Just make it easy on her by not sending pans or Tupperware that need to be returned.
- Wash your hands and ask before you pick up the baby. No matter how irresistible that baby is or how recently you washed your hands before your arrival, just lather up when you get to her house. Also remember the baby lived in the mum’s body for a long time and she’s probably still feeling a bit possessive. Be respectful and ask if you can hold the baby. If after a few minutes Mum is looking uncomfortable and itchy to get her back, pass her back immediately.
- Offer to let Mum take a shower or nap. If you’re close enough to Mum that she’d feel comfortable leaving you unsupervised with the baby, offer to take over for a while. If she declines, however, don’t push it.
- Just say “no” if Mum asks if you want anything to drink or eat. You are there to help and check in, not to be served. If you’re really dying of thirst, get up and get that water yourself.
- Don’t bring your kids, unless they’re healthy and you asked in advance. You’ll probably enjoy your visit a lot more if you don’t bring your kids and can focus on Mom and baby, but if that’s not a possibility, make sure you ask in advance. Also, remember that while you might be totally comfortable with your 6-year-old holding a newborn, that newborn’s mom probably is not. Make sure your kids know and respect boundaries as well.
Don’t offer unsolicited advice. If the new mummy asks questions about breastfeeding, sleep schedules, or postpartum healing, of course, answe with your personal experiences. If not, zip it. This time is about her, not you. Keep your opinions to yourself.