7 Rules for Visiting a New Baby That Everyone Should Follow

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Few things are more precious -- or busy -- than the first weeks after bringing home a new baby. In addition to getting acquainted with the little one and debating whether showering or eating is time better spent, parents are faced with a revolving door of visitors. 

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Friends, neighbors, family members -- these people all mean well when they pop in to see how mom and dad are doing, and to (let's be honest here) get in some delicious baby snuggles. But sometimes their visits can wind up being a little stressful -- and a lot of work -- for new parents. 

Planning on visiting new parents and their little bundle soon? Keep these seven etiquette tips in mind to ensure you're a gracious guest. 

1. Don't come around dinnertime ... unless you're bringing dinner. 

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Dinnertime is a notoriously stressful time for parents -- especially parents of a newborn. Often dubbed the Witching Hour, moms and dads usually find themselves stressed out from simultaneously dealing with a fussy baby and trying to get dinner on the table. Please don't expect them to whip up a four-course meal for guests, as well. Don't even expect them to order pizza. Ask when a good time to visit is, and if that happens to be near suppertime, bring some takeout and offer to hold the baby while mom and dad eat. 

2. Wash your hands before holding the baby.

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Regardless of how ridiculous and germaphobe-y some people may find it (looking at you, old-school parents and in-laws), new parents really do want people to wash their hands before holding their baby. Spare mom and dad from making the awkward request that you scrub up, and head over to the sink on your own before you get your snuggle on. 

3. Don't just hold the baby.

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Speaking of holding babies, please don't visit new parents just to hug and hold the baby. Yes, everyone loves a good newborn snuggle, but what mom and dad could really use is someone to take their trash out and wash their crusty dishes. They'll be on cuddle duty; you be on pesky chore duty.

4. For the love of God, don't visit a newborn when you're sick.

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Just ... no. If you think parents are hypochondriacs for wanting people to wash their hands, wait 'til you see a brand-new mom or dad around someone with a nasty cough. Reschedule, please.  

5. Don't bring your kids.

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All kids are cute, yes. And it's true, few things are more adorable than a little one holding a newborn. But! Kids are also wild and germy, and their "inside voices" are about as quiet as a One Direction concert. Bringing your child will only make for unnecessary chaos, and it will take away from the real reason you're there -- to see the baby and help out.  

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6. Hold off on posting photos to social media.

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General rule of thumb: Always ask a parent before posting a photo of his or her child to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Not only may mom and dad not want their baby's photo on the Internet at all, but they also may not have posted any photos themselves. And obviously they should be the ones posting baby's first selfie

7. Don't surprise the new parents by showing up at the hospital.

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If you haven't given birth, or it's been a really long time, know this: It's bat-crap insane. Unless you're super close with the new mom and/or have explicitly received an invitation, wait until everyone is home and settled to pay a visit. Between the millions of nurse visits, breastfeeding tutorials, and complete lack of sleep the parents are getting, there's rarely a good time to visit in the hospital. 

 

Image via Christopher Futcher/iStock

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