How to be a good visitor when meeting a newborn
Rocking up spontaneously, empty handed and with unsolicited advice is absolutely not good etiquette when it comes to visiting a newborn baby and their parents. So if you know someone who's about to give birth, brush up on these all important rules before you visit and be the perfect guest.
An “out of the blue” visit is not advisable
Although you’ll be dying to see the little bundle of joy, it might be nice to give the new parents a couple of weeks to enjoy their newborn bubble. When you think it’s the right time, make sure to ask if they want a visit or just wait to be invited. Under no circumstance turn up spontaneously. Even if you’re a VIP like a grandparent. Accidentally waking a new parent up is just as dangerous as waking a new baby up. And don’t be early. And don’t be late. Basically, toe the line with this one.
Short and sweet is key
Once you’ve been given the golden ticket in, this doesn’t mean you can just stick around for as long as you want. These new parents are tired - having a conversation can be strenuous when you’ve just given birth as your mind is elsewhere and you’re surviving on minimal sleep. They may not have the cutting tongue to kick you out, so know when it’s time to leave.
Prizing the baby out of its parent’s arms is totally unacceptable
This brand new bundle of cuteness has been in the mother’s womb for nine months and now they have the long anticipated baby in their arms. The last thing they want is for their little darling to be taken from them left, right and centre. Again, even if you’re a VIP grandparent, snatching the baby is off limits. Wait to be offered the baby. And if the baby cries, give it back. Absolutely do not think you can soothe them better than their parents, because you can’t. Watching your own baby cry is anything but relaxing.
As the guest, you make the cuppa
As a new parent, nothing beats being offered a cuppa. Or a glass of water. Or asked if you want anything. The answer is always going to be yes. Under no circumstance should the new parents be making you a cuppa. If you can also do the tidying up and washing up, that will also be greatly appreciated. And maybe some hoovering. And fold the laundry...
Bring something helpful
Arriving empty handed is a big no-no. Arriving with a sweet treat, a delicious coffee from the local cafe, a food parcel, a box of tea bags or all of the above is imperative. And while flowers and plants are truly lovely gestures, they’re another thing the new parents then have to keep alive. Keeping a little human alive is hard enough - plant guilt is not needed.
The advice is probably not welcome
Telling new parents what your brother’s best friend’s cousin’s wife did with their newborn baby is the last thing they need to hear. There’s already a hundred and one things they have to think about, and this doesn’t need to be another one to add to their list. Being given advice can sometimes make you feel like you’re failing, and odds are the parents are already feeling like they’re failing at some element of it. So keep the advice to yourself. Unless they ask of course, then feel free to let it all roll out…