Tips for visiting a newborn baby
My little (not so little anymore) cousin is having a baby soon and it reminded me of when Miss T was a wee little newborn baby. Seeing we were far from home, we did not receive as many visitors as we would have, but we have lots of friends and they came to visit both at hospital and at home.
Traditionally, Setswana Culture of way way back, not everyone is allowed to see and hold the newborn baby until the baby was at least a month or two old. The mother would not be allowed out of the hut until she was fully healed and a pole would be placed outside the hut so people would know that a new mother and newborn are in there.
Well, move over tradition, this is 2015! Well, when we were expecting we started noticing that people loved to touch babies cheeks and fingers. Some even go to extremes like wanting to feed babies their fingers. So I thought I would share some pointers for anyone who will be visiting a newborn baby soon.
- Bring a gift. Even if you bought a gift for the baby shower, if you are going to see a new mother and baby for the first time, either at home or hospital please bring a small thoughtful gift. Juice, fruit, chocolate, small teddy. Something.
- Clean hands. Please wash your hands before you ask to hold the baby. This is every new mother’s nightmare. So please wash your hands.
- Please do not feed the baby your finger, even if it is clean.
- Do not overstay. 30 – 60 minutes is a good time to visit. Remember, babies get cranky and mothers need to rest.
- If you have a cold or are feeling unwell, please stay away but let the parents know and visit as soon as you are well.
- Bring snacks or offer to help to prepare snacks. Do not expect the new mummy in her aches to get up and serve you, that would be unfair.
- Hold the baby nicely or ask how to hold the baby if you do not know how. Do not jiggle or throw the baby up.
- Tone down on the advise, babies are different, situations are different. It does not mean anything is wrong.
- Enjoy the visit and be happy to see the baby even if the baby pukes on you or starts crying when you hold them.