Having a baby is a very exciting time for new parents and of course for their families. We can get so excited to see the new baby that we may forget our etiquette and how hard it is for new families to adjust to the beginnings of parenthood.
Here are my top ten etiquette tips for visiting newborns:
1. Ask mom in advance if she wants hospital visits
There are many new moms who may not want visitors at the hospital and it is always great to ask mom-to-be in advance on where she stands on this. Respect the mom-to-be's decision and know that when the time is right you will be able to see the new baby.
2. Be Patient
Since becoming a mom, being patient is a difficult skill to keep in tack. This is why I understand that being patient is hard to do at times, especially when you want to see the new addition to your family. Know that the new parents are just as excited as you are to have you meet their new baby. However, let the new parents let you know when it is the best time for you to come. Be patient and respectful and before you know it, you will have a date and time to visit them.
When you do visit the new family, know that you may not be able to hold the baby right away. The baby may need to be fed, changed or napping during your visit so it may not be the best time to hold the baby. But know that your patience will pay off and you will hold him/her soon.
3. Don't Come Empty Handed
There is a lot of adjusting and getting use to when a new baby arrives in the home so many new parents are not prepared to be "a host" when you visit. This is why it would be great to bring something with you such as some food and beverages.
Also it would be nice to bring a little welcome gift for the new baby. I recommend baby wipes or diapers as this can really help the family out. I know that it is hard to resist to buy adorable outfits for the baby but remember that they may have received tons of clothes at the baby shower and more practical items will be much more helpful.
Another neat gift idea for the new parents would be a gift card to a restaurant or coffee place. This can help with those days that a coffee is a must and dinner made by someone else sounds divine. You would be surprised how great a gift card is for a new family.
4. Wash Your Hands
This one is self-explanatory but just in case, here it is. Washing your hands is extremely important before holding the newborn baby as we do not want to pass anything on to the baby.
5. Check Your Health
Sometimes we can get so excited to see the new baby that we may not even think that our little sniffles is such a big deal. But it really is. Be mindful of your health and how you are feeling before visiting the new family. Remember that newborns and even the new mother's health is much more vulnerable, that even a little cold could be passed on.
Once you are feeling 100 per cent then you can let the new parents know and you can schedule a visit. The new parents and baby will appreciate your thoughtfulness in staying away when you are sick.
6. Don't Wear Perfume
Perfumes can be harsh and many people can be allergic to them. Be mindful of this when visiting the new family. Also what I have found is that sometimes the perfume smells gets transferred onto the baby when the person holds them. I had this happen with my daughter. She would also smell like the person who held her and depending on the perfume smell, it wasn't ideal.
7. Make Yourself Useful
When you do visit the new family, ask them how you can help. Maybe there are dishes to load or unload from the dishwasher, a diaper to change, laundry to load or anything else that the mom may need. Maybe offer to take care of the baby while the new mom takes a shower or even a little nap. Any little task you can do to help will be greatly appreciated by the new parents.
8. Limit Your Time
This one is important as you don't want to overstay your welcome. I would recommend to stay at least an hour as this way the family can have some time to rest after you leave.
9. Don't Forget Dad
We may forget of the new dad so make sure to ask him how he is doing and maybe bring a little something for him. Again, gift cards work great which can be a gift for mom and dad.
10. Don't Give Advice Unless Asked
Remember that every woman has a different labour and parenting experience. So focus on her and listen. Try not to give your own advice unless she has asked for it. It is overwhelming already for a new mom with all the changes and adding unsolicited advice does not help.
Overall, just remember to be patient, respectful and mindful. Be happy, supportive and helpful. Become their village that they can rely, depend, and lean on. This new family has a lot of adjusting to do and let's make it a little easier for them.
I would love to hear, what you would include on this list?
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