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Hospital Visitor Etiquite: Newborn

Rachel O'Reilly

By: Aaryn Leineke

I recently wrote a post about hospital etiquette for labor and delivery (for those that are not on the delivering mother’s immediate support team). It could pretty much be summed up in two words: “don’t go.”

Once baby has arrived, after mom and others on the birth team have caught up on rest, is when it’s generally okay to make a visit. But, the only way to know of when the right time has come is when you’ve received the invite. I know, it’s hard to keep your excitement under control, but if you don’t receive the invite to come by the hospital, don’t be offended or take it personally. It just means mom, dad, and baby are soaking in this very precious bonding time, and trying to still get the rest they need after delivery.

If you do receive the invite to come by the hospital, be mindful of a few things:

  • Keep your visit short, no more than 1 hour.

  • Come with your loved one’s favorite snack or meal.

    1. Hot burrito from your local taqueria

    2. Fresh pressed juice or smoothie

    3. Handcrafted sandwich from the favorite corner deli.

  • Bring their favorite six pack of beer or bottle of bubbly and make a toast to the newest member of the family! Don’t forget the glassware (or paper cups), as well as a bottle opener.

  • Flowers to brighten their stay while in the hospital.

  • Don’t forget you’re bringing them to a hospital, not a home. Make sure flowers are already in a vase with little wrapping and trash to dispose of in their room.

  • Most important: Unless they specifically request it, DON’T bring your child. Keep your own infant, toddler or young child at home with your significant other, or babysitter. This is most important for a couple reasons:

    1. Keeping a quiet calm space.

    2. Keeping germs from the newborn baby.

    3. Keeping your attention on the new mother, father and baby.

If you do not receive the invite to come by the hospital after birth, there are still a few thoughtful ways to show your love and support:

  • Order a meal to be delivered to the hospital if you know they are craving something outside of hospital food.

  • Have flowers delivered to their room (make sure they come with a vase).

  • Offer your time to get the house ready for their arrival.

  • Group up with other friends and family members, and send a house cleaner to make sure the house is in order for your loved ones’ first days back from the hospital.

  • Bring a group of family and friends together to create a meal train for the new parents first few weeks of parenthood at home.

  • Maybe stock up their fridge with fresh goodies so they don’t have to worry about anything when they first step in their front door.

Remember that every new family needs lots of support in their first weeks with a new baby. Even if you don’t see them at the hospital, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make their lives a little easier in the days that follow. Check out these Newborn Visitor Guidelines for you when do receive that invite.