Friday, August 8, 2014

10 Tips for Visiting A New Baby


Now you probably want to go bother the severely exhausted parents and rub your germy nose all over the baby's delicious smelling head... I totally understand! I'm a doula, so I do the same thing ;)

Since your desires to meet this new little human MUST be quenched, let me at least give you some tips for making your visit as seamless as possible and increasing your chances of seeing the little bundle of poop again... do you babysit?

10 Tips for Visiting A New Baby:

1. SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT. Ask the parents for a convenient day and time for them and once you agree on a time, stick to it. If you have your own children, then plan a time when you can go without them. Unless you are a very close family member, the midwife, or the doula, plan your visit after the first week, preferably after the second week - the baby will still be adorable, I promise.

2. BE HEALTHY. Do not go visit a new baby when you are sick. PERIOD. Snot running down your face, diarrhea last night... cancel your visit and reschedule when you are healthy.  

3. BRING SOMETHING. Ask the parents if they need you to pick up anything, or, if they have a craving for any favorite meals. If they politely decline any thing you offer, then think of something to bring anyway. You can never go wrong with some essential groceries such as eggs, bread, and ice cream (that's essential, right!?), toilet paper, a gift card for the parents, or something that you know they like (sushi, burgers).

4. BE QUIET. Knock quietly (for sanity's sake, DO NOT ring the doorbell!). Keep your voice low for both the parents and baby's nerves (and headaches!).

 5. WASH YOUR HANDS. As soon as you arrive. Walk into the house and before touching anyone or anything, go wash your hands. 

6. BE PATIENT. Wait to hold the baby until you are offered and then give them back in a timely manner.

7. RESPECT THE BABY. Babies have bigger thoughts and abilities than we have previously been aware and it is past time for us to begin respecting them. Be considerate of your actions and the volume of your voice. It can do no harm to ask the baby if you can hold them, and to speak kindly and respectfully to them.

8.  DO SOMETHING HELPFUL. Clean a few dishes, change the toilet paper roll, take the dog for a walk... DO SOMETHING. If you ask what you can do, they'll probably pretend to be polite again and say "nothing", so then just go wash a few dishes. 

9. LISTEN. AND SAY NICE THINGS. If the mother wants to talk about the birth, then listen. Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE ADVICE unless you are asked for it. Essentially, only speak when spoken to unless you are saying things like "what a beautiful baby", "you are doing so well", or "I'd love to do something for you, what can I help with". Any opinions or unsolicited advice can be directed to the radio on the way home.

10. MAKE IT BRIEF. Do not over-stay your welcome. A visit should last 30-45 minutes... if you've reached an hour then you better be vacuuming, doing laundry and cleaning the litter box - then leaving! 

~Wisdom and Birth

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