Our top tips for planning your first visit.
ANew babies and all their cuteness bring with them a queue of visitors. And while visits and kind wishes are most appreciated by new parents, there are a few etiquette rules that should definitely be taken into consideration in order to make sure you get invited back again soon!
Wait until you are invited
We know the excitement of hearing the fantastic news that baby has finally arrived! You may feel like you have been waiting for a long time to meet them but so have mum and dad. Allow them enough time to get home, get settled and wait for them to ask you over rather than just turning up.
Know when you shouldn’t visit
New babies have a fragile immune system. And there would be nothing worse than passing on any bugs or colds to either baby or mum. If you are feeling at all under the weather then postpone your visit – there will be plenty of time to see the baby later!
Wait until you are offered to hold baby
Try not to run in the door and grab baby straight away. Although they can be hard to resist with their adorable tiny fingers and toes and their amazing newborn smell, wait until mum or dad asks if you would like to hold them.
Remember the hygiene factor
As mentioned above, babies have fragile immune systems. So even if you aren’t sick, you should make sure that your hands and clothes are clean before you touch baby. You should also avoid kissing them on the lips or face or on their hands which can go into their mouths. Although you might not feel unwell there is still the risk of passing on bacteria.
Know when to give baby back
Everyone loves a cuddle but know when enough is enough. Particularly if you are visiting in the early days, mum may be anxious to get baby back. And if baby starts to cry, offer to hand them back to mum or dad no matter how long you have had them for. They may be happy for you to try and settle them but if not it can be awful to watch your baby cry in someone else’s arms.
Bring some food!
There is no greater gift in those first few days at home than a home cooked meal. Bring a casserole, a lasagne, a pasta bake – basically anything that can be thrown in the oven to heat and will have that delicious homemade comfort taste.
Assume the role of host
Even though you are the guest, don’t expect mum to get up and make you a tea or coffee! Help yourself and make one for mum and dad while you are at it.
Don’t forget mum (or dad)
Make a fuss of Dad as well!
It can be easy for the newborn to win you over and steal all of your attention! But don’t forget that mum has been through a big and exhausting event as well. Make a big fuss and give her lots of love. Ask how she found the birth, how she is feeling and if there is anything you can do for her. Don’t forget about Dad! He is just as much a part of this as mum and baby! So see how he is finding fatherhood and if there is anything that you can do for him.
Don’t outstay your welcome
No matter how happy they will be to see you and have some company and fuss around them, life with a newborn is exhausting. It’s also important that at the beginning mum, dad and baby get plenty of time to bond together as a family. So a quick visit is best at the beginning. Don’t worry – you will be invited back for more cuddles another time!
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.