10 House Rules for Visiting a Newborn

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So, I typically write blogs geared more toward expecting moms or women who are moms already — but this one is more for those mommas to SEND to the people who plan on coming to visit in the hospital once their babies are born.

I was actually astonished at how clueless some of my visitors were about baby etiquette and the correct things to say and do when you come to see a newborn. I figured I would put a list together that might help people to know the dos and don’ts of baby visits. I even recommend printing out the list and taping it to the door of your hospital room with a header that reads, “We are so excited that you took the time to come visit our newest blessing! It would mean so much to us if you would read this list before entering the room. Thanks so much!” Obviously you would want to take out my commentary and explanations and just have the main point next to the number. :)

1. Be sure to wash your hands and use sanitizer before holding or even touching the baby.

I even had people I barely knew, who accompanied friends that came to visit, ask to hold my baby. I didn’t want to sound rude, so I hesitantly obliged, but I remember feeling so uncomfortable that my newborn, with such a sensitive immune system, was being held by someone I didn’t know, whose hands could have been dirty.

2. Please do not wear heavy perfumes or colognes around the baby, as we are unsure if he/she has any allergies yet and Mommy may still be somewhat nauseous.

For whatever reason, I was super sensitive to smell throughout both of my pregnancies. My poor husband couldn’t cook bacon in our house for the last two trimesters of my first pregnancy or I would feel sick all day. I figured that would stop once I had KJ, but my sensitivity continued for a few weeks after he was born.

3. Please do not use flash if you are taking a photo, and ask for permission, since sometimes us mommies aren’t looking our best just after labor.

Blah. That’s how I feel about how I looked in all of the pictures that were taken the day I had my babies. I am glad I have those pictures of course, but I wouldn’t want someone else to have photos like that to post online. I prefer to choose which awful photos there are of me on the internet. Also, the flash is not good for babies’ eyes, so be sure to remind them of this point.

4. Please Please PLEASE enter quietly in case we are sleeping. If by chance we are asleep, it would really mean a lot to us if you could come back at a later time.

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The worst is when you’ve just fallen asleep after an exhausting past few days of labor and delivery and you are awakened by the sound of people thinking they are whispering quietly enough that you won’t wake up. And your baby really needs a lot of rest after delivery, so don’t be afraid to ask them to come back later. They will understand.

5. If you have had a stomach bug, cough, fever, or any similar symptoms in the past couple of weeks, please do not come in. Our baby’s immune system is brand new, and we just don’t want to take any chances. We would love to have you over to the house at a later time.

Sick people near a newborn = no thanks!

6. Baby and Mommy (and Daddy) are very tired, so please don’t stay past 30 minutes. We would love to spend more time with our visitors, but we know how important it is for all of us to get some rest while we are here.

Don’t wear yourself out entertaining guests. You truly do need rest, and this list posted on the door saves you from those awkward moments of asking your visitors to leave. Hopefully. Haha.

7. If Mommy says it is time to feed the baby, please leave the room.

I will never forget trying to wear a breastfeeding cover while attempting to feed a newborn with multiple people in my hospital room. I was so uncomfortable and already stressed out because I had no idea how to breastfeed and wasn’t even sure if I was doing it correctly. I was too caring to ask everyone to leave so I made my husband do it.

8. We request that no one brings their small children with them to visit. We love kids, obviously, but we want to keep our anxiety low and that would be a big help.

Kids running around a hospital room, touching the baby, and bringing those kiddo germs into your space = no good. Trust me on this one.

9. As much as we love advice and are so happy to have people in our lives who want to help us, please don’t start telling us all the different ways we should parent. Unwarranted advice may not go over so well with sleep-deprived new parents.

That one seems bold and possibly a little rude, but hey, at least you spare yourself the finger wagging and know-it-alls, right?

10. Please don’t tell your scary stories about the first few days and weeks after your baby was born. We know about the possibility of jaundice and all sorts of other things our baby may come down with. Let’s keep it positive. Mommy is emotionally sensitive so she doesn’t want to burst into fear tears (because tears are possible at any moment with her hormones being all over the place!). Haha. Thanks so much for understanding!

If you really don’t want to put number 10 on there you don’t have to. I’m a very bold person and my friends know that, so they wouldn’t be surprised to see that one on my list! Hahaha.

Seriously though, print these off. You’ll thank me later.

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