10 Rules for visiting a newborn

There’s something about a brand new baby that makes everyone go nuts to see those tiny little fingers and toes. We get it! We’ve had three weeks with our new baby and we’re STILL in awe of how perfect and tiny she is. We want you to love our babies but there are some house rules we want you to know before visiting our newborn baby. 

This list has been written from new parents’ perspective and certainly not meant to offend.

Top 10 Rules new moms would like you to know before visiting a newborn

1. My body has been through a trauma and needs time to heal

As excited and everyone is to meet the newborn baby it seems a lot of us forget the mother who birthed the baby. That precious baby did not appear out of thin air! Please consider the new mom who has just gone through labor to deliver the baby. Childbirth is a physical trauma added to the raging hormones making us super sensitive and fiercely protective of our baby.

Postpartum recovery requires time to heal. Added to that is the painful first stages of breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and settling into a routine. A new mom needs so much support and lots of compassion. Poor form to rush to the baby and completely ignore her!

2. It’s not you it’s us – we need privacy

The one thing we did different to the other two times we brought a baby home was to restrict visitors. We were simply too tired and busy and I was too sore to receive visitors.

We were extremely fortunate that Ashley managed to take two weeks off work this time. As a family we needed this time to adjust to being a family of five and take care of me and our baby.

Having very few to no visitors for most of the first few days has been such a blessing! Now that paternity leave is over and I’m further along in my recovery from the Cesarean surgery I feel better about having visitors. Waiting a while before visiting a new baby means you’ll find a family eager to see you and not droopy-eyed and dying for you to leave so they can sleep!

3. Wait to be invited or ask if it’s a good time to visit

Always call or text first to ask if it’s a good time to visit. Never arrive unannounced. And if it’s not a good time, there’ll be a next time!

Unannounced visits can be very disruptive to mom, baby and the rest of the family. While we’re establishing a routine our feeding and sleeping times will be very erratic. In the past we’ve been so sleepy/busy that we’d only managed to put food out for the kids and ourselves by evening because we’ve had visitors drop by unexpectedly.

4. Mind your germs

Don’t visit while you’re sick

Never visit while you are sick or have been recently sick. Newborn babies are very susceptible to germs until they’ve developed an immune system. Visiting with even the slightest cold or sore throat can endanger a newborn baby. There will always be another time to visit when you’re fully recovered.

Wash your hands

On that note, please wash your hands with soap and water when you enter to protect the baby from germs. It will take only a minute.

Don’t kiss the baby

This should go without saying. Kissing a baby’s face or hands put’s the baby at risk of germs getting into his/her mouth. As irresistible as they are, do not kiss the babies! Breathe them in, admire their tiny features but you don’t have to kiss them.

5. Our house, our rules

Please be mindful that whatever feelings you have about what has worked for other babies or yours, etc. it’s our baby and our house rules. You don’t have to agree with it or even like it. Your feelings are not more important than our babies health. Simply respect us and our home and also – wash your hands when entering our home!

6. Don’t overstay

During recovery and caring for a newborn baby, we try to rest between feeds. Being mindful of this, thirty minutes is plenty of time for a visit.

Breastfeeding is a private, bonding moment between me and my baby. I don’t enjoy breastfeeding in company  and find it awkward to fumble around with my clothing trying not to flash too much skin. When it’s time to feed, it’s time to leave.

7. Be helpful

The best and most appreciated visitors are those who come not to be served but to help. New moms are simply unable to do all the dusting, vacuuming, cooking, etc they’d normally get to.

When you visit a newborn baby’s home there are bound to be dishes in the sink or other children that need to be fed never mind the hungry and tired new parents. Bring food, something cute or treats for the other siblings who are probably a bit neglected during this time. Bless us with your kindness and thoughtfulness.

8. Don’t ask to hold the baby

We’re simply not going to hand the baby over unless we feel absolutely comfortable to do so. Always wait until we offer to hand the baby to  you. You don’t know if the baby is sleeping, hungry or fussy. Wait until mom or dad offers the baby to you. If you don’t get to hold the baby there’s always next time. As a rule I never hold someone else’s newborn as I can see and admire the baby without touching him/her.

9. Come alone

Please come alone when visiting. Leave the kids, the extended family and complete strangers at home, please.  Kids are big germ carriers and a big concern around a baby. But also though, we look like crap! With a newborn you can expect to find me with messy hair, wearing my nightgown and dishes in the sink. A state I’m only comfortable in in-front of my nearest and dearest.

10. Don’t take or post pictures without permission

Many parents are mindful of the dangers of social media, especially to a vulnerable baby/small child.

As a blogger, I share a lot of photos of our family online but I’m very careful about what pictures are posted of my children. I don’t feel comfortable with photos taken of our newborn baby because babies are vulnerable. It’s poor form to take photos of our new baby without permission or invitation to do so. No matter how emotionally bonded you are with the new mom or dad. It’s their baby not yours. We haven’t vetted your contact list, done background checks or scrutinised your privacy settings. So please refrain from taking photos of or with the baby or simply ask mom or dad if it’s OK to do so first.

Hopefully these list of rules for visiting a newborn will help you to be more sensitive about what new parents need.

Is there anything on this list you’d like to comment on or even add from your own personal experiences? Please leave a comment below!