Parenting Etiquette Visiting Relatives when you have a Baby

Everyone wants to share in the joys of a new baby in the family. A new baby entering the world is an exciting time, and when you bring your little one home, don’t be surprised if you receive lots of phone calls from people who are anxiously waiting to greet your new baby.

Once you are up and about, you will probably receive a lot of invitations to come visit with your precious new bundle. Traveling with baby can feel like a major production, as even the short, local trips involve a lot of planning, packing and coordination.

Family is elated when they learn you are going to be visiting with your baby. In organizing a visit, one objective you’ll need to figure out is how to bring everything you need to care for your little one in a new environment.

A priority will be how to be able to meet your baby’s needs, and most importantly, their safety and comfort while at the same time respecting your host’s home. When making a visit, it will be important to observe good etiquette. After all, you don’t want to wear out your welcome on the first visit!

If you are bottle feeding your baby, privacy isn’t much of an issue; but if you are breastfeeding, this may be a concern. While nursing your baby is a common sight in your own home, it may be uncomfortable for your relatives to view or you may not feel comfortable nursing with an audience.

Before feeding your little one, you may want to feel out how your relatives feel about being present during breastfeeding. If you sense awkwardness, you likely want to ask your host if there is a quiet place you can feed the baby. Usually, they are more than happy to accommodate your needs.

It is a bit more of a challenge if your baby has begun eating table food. For instance, older infants and toddlers tend to smear and toss their food on the floor to see where it will land. After all, this is an exciting and fun game! What you can try and do is minimize the mess and make sure you clean the floor, chairs and table afterwards. Keep lots of napkins handy, or better yet, bring a small dish towel along.

Chances are you’ll need to change baby’s diaper a few times during your visit. This is another time you can ask if you can take your baby to a private area to be changed. Stinky diapers and a squirmy naked baby is the norm at home, but others do not necessarily appreciate the odors and mess that sometimes accompany a diaper change. Don’t forget to bring a changing pad for your baby’s comfort and to protect the area you are using to change. Also, remember to bring along a plastic bag to put the old diaper in so that you can discard of it later.

Babies sometimes get tired, over stimulated, shy or cry – loudly! This can be disappointing for relatives who have been anxiously waiting to hold your little one, but sometimes baby does not feel like being social. If this occurs, you can try to console your baby in company first (sometimes just cuddles and reassurance from mom or dad does wonders). If this does not help, you can try going to another room so as not to disrupt conversation and give baby some quiet time.

Another consideration is the fact babies love to touch everything in exploration, with an occasional taste of what it is that intrigues them. While you are visiting relatives, it is important to maintain a close watch and stay by baby’s side if you don’t have a portable playpen with you. This is important for two reasons: baby’s safety and to ensure none of your relatives possessions get broken. Don’t forget to bring some of baby’s favorite toys to help keep them entertained.

Visiting relatives can be welcome fun, although occasionally the trek can be a bit stressful. You can effectively reduce any potential stress by taking proactive steps to observe good etiquette. This will make sure the visit is enjoyable for all.