One of my best friends welcomed a new baby girl into the world this weekend and I had the pleasure of being one of the first people to meet their sweet baby. She is absolutely perfect and very lucky to have I & Z as parents.
On my way to the hospital yesterday morning I was thinking about some of the unwritten rules that need to be followed when visiting new parents and their new baby at the hospital or at home. I am writing these from my own experience as well as from visiting several friends in the hospital or just after they are returning home with their new baby.
These tips are just my opinion, everyone is different, but I’m certain that you can’t go wrong following any of the tips below. Do you have your own undocumented rules?
1. Ask if they want visitors. Not everyone appreciates a visitor and just because it’s a good time for you doesn’t mean it’s a good time for the family. Ask first.
2. Wash your hands. I know that you just washed them in the bathroom on the way over, but it makes a new mom feel better to see you wash them in front of her. Also, the baby is BRAND NEW. Wash.
3. Bring a gift. I know you just gave a shower gift and I know that they will tell you it’s not necessary, but it’s nice. A balloon, flowers, a hat for baby… something.
4. Don’t overstay your welcome. The new parents and baby likely haven’t slept much and quiet moments may be rare in the next few weeks. Say hello, give everyone a hug, share your well wishes, and go.
5. Communicate but don’t expect a response. It is SO nice to text or call to let new parents know that you’re thinking about them, but don’t take it personally if they don’t return your message right away.
6. Ask new parents if they need anything since you’re coming anyway. They’re likely to say no, but offering an alternative to hospital food or picking up something that they may need on the way to the hospital or home can be helpful for the new parents.
7. Let new parents take the lead with the conversation. If mom doesn’t want to talk about her labor, don’t ask.
8. Ask before taking pictures of new parents or baby.
9. Let the new parents be the first to post about the new baby on social media.
10. Excuse yourself when doctors come in to talk to the mother or see the baby and offer to leave the room when mom is nursing her new baby. New moms are trying to learn as they go. Your opinions and feedback may be helpful (if asked), but for the most part, keep private moments private.
11. Clean up after yourself. You may be there for 30 minutes but the new parents are living in this small hospital room for a couple of days.
When you speak and act with the best intentions, you can’t go wrong.
Are there special things that people did for you or things that you wish people didn’t do / say when you had a baby?