Dos and Absolutely Do Not Dos – When visiting a newborn
Ever wondered what to do…how to act when a friend or relative has a new baby? You probably know the usual stuff like, buying a gift and avoid visiting when sneezing or coughing. But what about the REAL things? That nobody mentions because they are too polite? Sally Smith writes.
Mums are paranoid. I may be more paranoid than most. But, here is my list that I think ALL visitors should adhere to, or avoid, when visiting other people’s tiny bundle of joy.
- Take food for the new parents. Check what they want and can eat. If the mum is breastfeeding, she may follow a special diet. Dad will be happy to wolf food down. Any food that he normally likes. They are new parents, they don’t need surprises, but their favourite food is always going to be appreciated!
- Ask about suitable times in advance. Bear in mind that a baby needs to be tended to at every 2 hours. The books say 3 hours, but with all those exhausting events leading up to and winding down after doing stuff with the baby, it really is only 2 hours. If the parents invite you for 1pm, you are at the door at thirteen hundred hours. Below the age of 5 months you may ring the doorbell. But, check in advance. (Always. Check. Everything. In. Advance)
- Wash your hands as soon as you walk in. Okay, you may wait until you want to hold The Baby. Seems obvious, but most people don’t do it, and new parents (especially first time parents) are sometimes to polite to mention this. After all, they are still hovering between the omgIwillneverbeoneofthosesuperagitantmothersIwillbecoolasacucumber and the shitthewholeworldisjustaninfectiousdirtbag mindset. So, it’s best to wash hands and use a sanitiser. Just to make sure…
- Think about Gifts. Think practicality, rather than cuteness. Babies don’t need shoes, it’s just an accessory. Before spending 25 quid on a pair of trendy trainers, think about the parents. Their situation may be so that they would prefer nappies instead. If you decide to go down the nappy route, check with parents first, they may only use a certain brand.
- Praise the parents! Mum’s just been through one helluva job, her body is aching in all direction, she doesn’t know whether it’s Wednesday or Friday, so a simple sentence like ‘birth must have been so tough, but you look great, you are glowing!’ ‘You are such a natural at this!’ Same for the father too: if he is the hands on type, you should definitely praise him for helping out and that he is doing it so well.
- Smoke for 2 hours before visiting. Unless the parents are smokers themselves, new parents will dislike you for your tobacco scented clothes and hands. If you really want to impress then bring a clean t-shirt and wash your hands/face/teeth before touching the baby. Also, if you wear lots of make up, please tone down. Foundation is freakin’ annoyin’ on a baby’s outfit
- Mention that so and so had pushed the baby out with a sigh and that person had no pain, and they went to the gym the next day, only to go home, clean the house, cook a three course meal before going down on their husband. Stories like this are simply untrue and makes the (real) new mum doubting herself.
- Compare. ‘Oh, my son’s son has slept through the night from 2 months, he rolled over by 3 months and by 5 months he was running around and he actually sang happy birthday. To himself’ oh really. Parents need reassurance, not bullshit like this.
- Judge. Honestly it doesn’t matter if the baby is fed breastmilk or formula, from a bottle or a boob. It’s important for the parents. It has nothing to do with you, so keep your opinion to yourself.
- Overstay your welcome. Try having your sleep interrupted every two hours before going on a 15 mile trek. As mentioned above, check with parents regarding the time of visiting and only stay longer if they invite you to. Otherwise about an hour is enough.
Do you agree? Tag someone who has a baby or someone who knows someone who has a new baby!!