Newborn babies bring so much joy to new parents, friends and family alike. Undoubtedly, everyone gets very excited about seeing and being a part of the newborn experience, but this can also be somewhat of a stressful time for parents, especially if it’s their first child. This May our first Common Courtesy baby was born! Co-founder Christin, welcomed home her baby girl, Raegan, and it prompted us to cover newborn etiquette considerations for friends and family.
Keep visits brief.
When visiting the baby and parents for the first time, make your stay brief. It’s best to wait for a verbal invite, but at minimum make sure you don’t show up unannounced. Also, be considerate of the time of day you plan your visit. Mommas are still likely recovering from childbirth, both parents aren’t sleeping very well and the baby’s immune system is still quite vulnerable. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, particularly if you are family or a close friend who is visiting to help during recovery.
Never visit when you aren’t feeling well and make sure you are up-to-date on all your shots to keep baby safe. Also, wash your hands before touching the baby.
Keep unsolicited opinions to yourself.
Parenting is one of those controversial topics where everyone has an opinion. It may be tempting to add in your two cents or correct a new parent when you see them doing something you wouldn’t do. Unless the new parent specifically seeks out your advice, it’s a good idea to keep thoughts and opinions to yourself. It’s best to let the new parents navigate this new territory on their own. Guidelines and recommendations are constantly evolving so standards might be different even if you had a child only a few years ago.
Don’t pass judgment.
This is similar to offering unsolicited opinions, but it’s worth a separate call out because many times people unintentionally pass judgment to new parents.
“You let the baby out of the house this early?”
“Are you feeding the baby too much?”
“You’re not breastfeeding?”
Questions like these might seem harmless, but they’re ways to adjudicate. Every baby and every circumstance is different so it’s best to let the parents raise their child how they see fit.
Offer a lending hand.
If you are family or a close friend, it’s a nice gesture to help the new parents with some of their day-to-day tasks. Simple acts of kindness like sending over meals, helping with housekeeping, or talking the older child to their activities can help parents adjust to their new normal.
What other newborn etiquette questions can we answer. Ask below!