My best friend just had her baby on Saturday and I am over the MOON! I wondered for the first time what is proper etiquette in visiting a new mom (especially a first time new mom) in the hospital with a baby. As close as her and I are, I wanted to be conscious of how long I stayed, made sure I put hand sanitizer on my hands and made her feel comfortable without asking her the usual questions people were asking all day.
I thought I would give some of the tips I went by since my visit went pretty well today and I was asked to come back the next day! Woo! Hoo!
It’s always best to call first and ask if visitors are welcome. Some new moms prefer to use the time to rest and learn all they can about caring for the new baby. Others welcome numerous and frequent visitors toting food, flowers, or balloons. Call your friend; see how she’s feeling. Ask her if she’s up for a visit or if she’d rather have you come by at home in a few weeks, then respect her wishes.
Also, if you are bringing a gift, remember she is going to have a lot to bring home with her already, so try to buy something that is easy to take home. Other than that, just remember to congratulate her!
Another idea is to wait until Mom and baby come home from the hospital. Then stop by with a meal that the family can enjoy (who wants to cook after giving birth!?) and get your baby fix then!
Here are some basic Do’s and Don’t’s while the new mama is in the hospital:
- Don’t snap mad photos without permission.
- Don’t stare or ask to touch her brand-new boobs.
- Don’t ask if there’s any way the baby’s conehead can be molded.
- No matter how big the baby’s head is, don’t speculate about the size of her pelvis or hips.
- Don’t refer to the child as having “elf ears.”
- Don’t attribute every baby smile to gas.
- Don’t ask when they are going to try for another one!
- Don’t try to persuade the parents to change the baby’s name by coming up with all the awful nicknames you think the child faces.
- Don’t talk about everything that is wrong with the world.
- Unless she offers, don’t ask the degree of her tear.
- Don’t “drop by” the hospital. It doesn’t matter who you are. This is not a “drop in” event.
- Don’t put anything on the new parent’s facebook wall. Give the parents a chance to announce the arrival of their baby.
- Do send a private message congratulating the new parents and sending well wishes.
- Don’t come into the hospital room smelling like you just took a bath in perfume.
- Do not complain about anything or start drama. Do be positive. Tell the mother she did a great job and that the new baby is adorable, wonderful, a miracle and all that fun stuff. That is all you need to say.
- Do not say “ew what is wrong with the baby’s face/ears/eyes/legs.” In real life babies do not come out looking like they are ready for a “cute baby contest” Their skin may have an odd tinge to it due to jaundice or other complications. Do say that the baby is beautiful. And that is all. Anything else WILL offend the new parents.
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