Monday, October 8, 2012

Tips for visiting parents of a new baby

Man, my friends have it nailed! Just like with our first baby, they’ve been so generous with encouragement, help and food. If you’re like me -- I made an ass of myself many times over by not “getting” baby etiquette until I became a parent myself – here are some tips for that first visit.

Chill – Don't put pressure on too early for a visit even if you’re really excited (or family). If you’re a close friend, give it a few weeks. Even if you’re close family, realize that you’re not the only one who wants to visit, which can make that first week home even more hectic than it needs to be.

No hospital visits – Dear God, don’t even think of visiting if you’re not immediate family. If you do fall into that category, please don’t stay longer than 30 minutes unless you’re begged to stay. Medical staff pop in the room on the hour every hour and there’s a new baby, so parents really don’t get much resting done in the hospital. Also, please remember that Mom is a patient, not at a hotel.

Food is welcome New parents don’t have a lot of time to prepare (or eat) meals, so they will love you forever if you bring something edible when you visit, particularly if it’s easy to eat with one hand (baby will be in the other).

Hold the baby – Give mom and dad a chance to eat said food you brought and let their arms stop going numb for a few minutes. No worries if the baby cries in your arms because no one expects you to be a baby whisperer. Just attempting the feat will go such a long way.

Don't stay too long – When you do visit, keep an eye on the clock. Thirty to sixty minutes is plenty unless you’re begged to stay (which usually will only happen if you've been cleaning the kitchen or holding the baby while mom naps :))

Acknowledge an older child – If baby’s got a big bro or sis, remember to compliment him/her too on cuteness. If you bring a gift for baby, a small token for the sibling would be such a nice gesture.

Avoid visiting during nap time (for baby or an older child) – Peeps, that’s either when patents sleep, get shit done or spend some precious time together. Right before bedtime is another no no since little ones need time to wind down before being coerced into bed.

New(ish) parents – what tips would you add or challenge?

1 comment:

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