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The rules to visit a newborn

You really feel like giving kisses, don't you? But you should know what to avoid and what rules to follow when visiting a newborn.

The rules to visit a newborn
Margarida Gamboa
by Margarida Gamboa
When you see a newborn it is normal for you to feel like holding it, hugging it, giving kisses and cuddles. But remember that a newborn is very fragile and still have few defenses. Therefore all care and precaution is important.

Visit at the right time

- the first rule is one of the most important and the first to take into account. And there is no rule here: respect the parents' request and pay attention to the closeness you have with the couple. It may even be that you go to visit in the maternity hospital or that it is best to wait 2 months for the first visit. As a rule, you should always wait for at least the first 4 weeks, so that the parents get used to the new routine and the baby gets more defenses.

Don't show up without calling

- the second rule is totally related to the first one. Always talk to the parents and understand what is the best time to visit. Even with the visit scheduled, confirm a few hours before if everything is ok. And if the parents postpone at the last minute, understand. You will have many opportunities to see the parents and the baby.

Never visit when you are sick

- newborns have less defenses and should be protected. If you are going to visit a baby, never do it if you are sick (even if it is a small cold). What may be a small thing for you can become a serious thing for a newborn. Another disease that is often undervalued and that can be very serious if transmitted to a newborn: herpes.

Confirm that you can take children

- if you have young children, you can never take them if they are sick. If they are doing well, take into account the age of your own children and therefore their typical behavior. It is important that they do not put a newborn's pacifier in their mouth or cough on them, for example. If the baby you are visiting is less than a month old, avoid taking the children.

Don't touch the baby

- don't touch the baby without parental permission. Do what is comfortable for them and the baby. Never wake up the baby (unless the parents really say it is to wake up). Only pick up the baby if the parents make the offer (unless you have a lot of confidence, don't offer to pick up). Newborns are very surprised by the changes in the environment and that is why it is important to keep them comfortable in the little that is still familiar to them. In any case, always wash your hands before touching the baby or his things.

Kisses are (almost) prohibited

- do you want to kiss the baby? Always give the kiss on the forehead, head, feet or legs, for example. It is always to avoid giving kisses on the face and totally forbidden to kiss the hands (babies put their hands to their mouths).

Avoid strong perfumes

- smell is one of the most sensitive senses, also for newborns. In addition to the possible allergies they may have, strong odors are never pleasant. Ideally do not take any perfume. The same applies to tobacco. Avoid smoking before the visit.

Don't give work but be company

- it may even be the case that the parents really want company (motherhood can sometimes be lonely and often separates couples from friends). Bring dinner so that parents don't have to worry about preparing food. Then help to fix everything. The most common is that the visits are quick and not long. Be sensitive and be attentive, to understand what parents prefer.

Don't take pictures without permission

- avoid taking pictures of the baby or with the baby without authorization. Never use flash. If the parents authorize the photos and / or video, respect the baby's well-being. Beware of sharing on social media.

Watch your guesses

- babies are not always easy to decipher. And the new parents are doing the job the best they can. In addition, mothers became extremely vulnerable with tiredness and hormones. Be careful with the hint phrases "The baby must be hungry", "The baby must be sleepy", "Your milk must not be good", ... Even if you have a good intention, this may not be understood and you may not even have the necessary knowledge for what you are saying. Give an opinion only if the parents ask for it.

Respect the time to breastfeed

- many mothers are not comfortable breastfeeding with people around them; others don't care at all. But as a rule, breastfeeding can be a good time to go away.

Be useful

- usually the gifts all go to the baby. And believe that parents will love it! (ideally try to figure out what they might be missing first) But you will warm your friends' hearts if you remember them and bring a small gift. And that can even be useful! How about that great lasagna you made? Or a cupcake for their snack? Or a voucher for a tour to do? Also help at home with whatever you can, or if you have older children take them for a walk.

Don't disappear

- and after the first few weeks when everyone wants to meet the baby, it is very common for most friends (and even family) to get away. It is often the mother who takes maternity leave for a few months. That can be lonely months. Be present! Call, ask if you want to do something, keep company.

Of all these rules, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you must respect the time of the newborn and the new parents. Apart from health issues, all the others are very variable. If there are parents who prefer to be protected during the first months, there are also those who quickly choose to return to their normal routine. Respect and don't disappear.
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