Knowing when to visit a newborn baby

When a baby is born, friends, family and loved ones are all eager to meet the new arrival. It is an exciting time and an occasion to celebrate. When there’s news of the newborn arriving, instantly loved ones are considering when to visit. Gifts and congratulations are waiting to be given as well as a cuddle with the new baby. It is good to know when to visit and what the etiquette for visiting a newborn baby is to keep this a happy time.

Etiquette tips for visiting a newborn baby:

Time it right

The right time to visit a newborn baby can depend greatly on circumstances. If all is well and both mom and baby are well, hospital visits are generally welcomed and these tend to be reasonably short. The hospital allocates visiting times and the duration is kept relatively short to allow new mothers and new baby’s to rest and recover from labor. Popping in to greet the baby and offer congratulations is often welcomed by families in hospital. However, call first to see if it is okay to visit, as the new parents may wish to just rest and bond with baby.


Depending on the family and the situation can depend on whether it is wise to make an early visit. Some families may prefer time alone with their new baby, whereas others may be eager to show off their newborn. Phoning prior to visiting can ensure that the parents are ready for visitors. Ensure it is on their terms, allowing the family to not feel put upon. It can be unnerving for new parents to postpone eager visitors, which can turn this special time into a daunting time. Call ahead to be sure the family is ready for visitors.

Hygiene around newborns

Remember to scrub up and give your hands a good thorough wash before coming into contact with the new baby. Good hygiene is paramount when around a newborn. If you are unwell in any way at all, it is best all-round to hold off visiting until you are fully recovered. Be in good health when visiting, otherwise it is going to cause anguish. Newborns are susceptible to germs in the early months whilst their immune system is developing. Be hygienic and polite to follow proper etiquette when visiting a newborn.

Don’t outstay your welcome

Even if the family has welcomed visitors and are happy for you to meet the new baby, ensure not to outstay your welcome. Whilst it is exciting to meet the new arrival, the family is going to be tired and weary and appreciate some rest and time alone. Keep the visit short and sweet, and give the family some space and time together. It can be overwhelming when inundated with visitors, when in reality the parents want nothing more than to get to know their new baby. Keep it short, around 15-30 minutes and certainly no more than an hour.

Help out if required

Offer help if it will be welcomed. Some new parents may feel insulted by others offering to help, especially whilst feeling weary and tired. Tread carefully here, and don’t just wade in and take over. This can cause annoyance and frustration. Offer help if help is needed and wanted. Sometimes help can be more of a hindrance. The new family may be happy to just enjoy this time and not be overly fussed about the chores, similarly they may be desperate for someone to do a bit of cooking or cleaning or even hold the baby so they can take a shower.

Leave the advice

Many people are quick to offer advice, and whilst it may seem helpful, it really isn’t. Most new parents are likely to be tired of hearing everyone’s advice and opinions, plus they have enough to take in. Leave the advice, as it can cause upset and frustration. New parents are going to learn how to parent in the way that suits them best. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and all are privy to making mistakes. Leave the new parents to learn at their own pace and avoid giving advice as to not insult or upset tired and overwhelmed new parents.

Visiting a new baby should be on the parents’ terms. Some are happy to have elaborate celebrations and welcome the family with open arms and expect all to be supportive. Others may wish to have time alone to adjust to parenthood and to get to know their new baby. Always call to schedule your visit and it’s only polite to take a useful gift. Don’t feel put out or offended if they are not ready for visitors immediately, respect their wishes and be happy for them to have time to get to know their baby.