Guide for guests visiting new parents

Since the parent(s) and newborn are spending their first few precious days at home
together instead of in the hospital, here are some common sense visitor rules:

  • DO call before you come by to arrange a visit at a time convenient for the parents. Evenings are usually the worst time for parents.
  • DO keep your visits short. 15-20 minutes is good.
  • DO bring food offerings. Suppers come in handy. You can bring frozen dishes or plan in advance to serve an entire meal.
  • DO praise new parents about their growing parenting skills.
  • DO offer your opinion – when asked for it
  • DO offer to wash some dishes, take home some laundry, vacuum, etc.
  • DO offer to look after older siblings.
  • DO respect the parents’ need to do their own thing in their own way in their own time.
  • DO listen to the birth story – every time it is told.
  • DO NOT bring the whole family and settle in for a long visit
  • DO NOT accept offers of tea or coffee unless you make it and clean up afterwards
  • DO NOT tell the parent that you hate the baby’s name
  • DO NOT smoke
  • DO NOT give advice – unless asked for it.
  • DO NOT expect the new mother to leave the room to nurse her baby
  • DO NOT ask to hold the baby. Wait for an offer
  • DO NOT visit if you are feeling even a tiny bit ill

Though these rules are presented with good humour – please take them seriously.
Help to make this time of rest and recovery as smooth as possible.