Visitor etiquette when welcoming new baby

Two weeks ago, my sister gave birth to her first baby, a boy. He is beautiful and healthy, and my sister seems to be doing well. Of course, family and friends all want to visit the new little person.

But there’s visitor etiquette when it comes to visiting new parents and their baby — etiquette that seems to escape too many well-meaning relatives or pals.

– Before you visit, call new Mom or Dad to find out the best time. Don’t just drop by, assuming they’re home anyway and that they’re ready to receive whenever. My sister and I have each had visitors drop by unannounced, right when we were just getting our little guy to fall into some much-needed sleep.

– Stay for a short time. The new Mom or Dad may be too polite to usher you out the door and end up letting you stay longer than they’d like. Instead, limit your visit to an hour or less. One of my sister’s visitors stayed for 3 hours! Yeesh.

– Don’t arrive sick. If you’ve got a cold or anything else contagious, stay home. New baby’s immune system is delicate!

– Bring something useful when you visit, like some groceries for food for the new parents. Healthy food is always welcome.

– When you arrive, don’t act like a guest. Instead, be a help. New parents have a lot going on, so don’t expect to be offered drink or food or to be entertained. When you visit, offer to hold baby while Mom does something she needs to do. Or help in some other way that the new parent needs.

If you’ve got more visitor etiquette tips for those intending to visit new parents and their new baby, post ‘em!

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