Visiting a newborn – 10 Minutes & 10 Rules

Jenny and I are sharing some big topics today. Seeing this is the season of life we are in right now, these two topics seem to come up A LOT…. What to pack for the hospital and 10 Minutes & 10 Rules when visiting a newborn. 

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Now, I can’t take credit for my topic whatsoever as my uncle has been saying it for years. My aunt and uncle spent a good portion of their lives in and out of hospitals with my cousin. He would often say, “One day, I’m going to write a book called The 10 Minute Visit.” I never fully grasped what he meant until I had PB.

This is by no means intended to be rude or hurt feelings. The fact is, when you’ve just had the most life changing moment of your life, 10 minutes feels like an eternity when you have visitors, and you just need to “pass gas, so you can go home.” C-Section joke for all of you wondering.

All visitors should apply the 10 minute rule when not only heading to the hospital, but when going to see the new baby at home, as well. I know, I know, you are sooo close to the new mommy, you are like her BFF, you are the brother-in-law they always dreamed of having. But I promise you  – that new mommy is tired, hungry, and just wants to snuggle with her new munchkin….alone. 

Before PB, I was the oh-so-great-friend that used to show up at the hospital minutes after a baby was born, or in some cases was known to be waiting with the grandparents in the waiting room. Friends and family – I am SO sorry. 

When thinking about doing this blog post, I began surveying and asking different circles of friends their thoughts. It seems like every new mom has the same consensus. While they appreciate every meal, gift, and visitor stopping by, you must know when to pack up and say goodbye. 

So, while 10 minutes is key – these 10 rules go right along. Remember, the magic number is 10 and NO MORE!

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  1. Never ever ever show up unannounced. TEXT in advance asking when a good time is to stop by for a QUICK visit. No one has time to answer an actual phone call anymore, much less with a new baby. If you show up at someone’s door unannounced, you will be put on the bad list, and don’t be surprised if they never answer another call from you…. ever! Also be respectful and show up on time. The timing of your visit could be in between feedings or a nap, and that new mama is counting down until she can crawl back into bed. 
  2. Don’t show up empty handed. Food, caffeine, diapers are all very appreciated. So is a little something for the older siblings. Nothing like rocking an older child’s world by bringing a new baby home. Bring a little something for them to open as well to help them adjust during this transition time. 
  3. Offer to help– don’t jut plop yourself down on the couch and expect to chit chat away.  Instead of saying, “What can I help with?” say, “I would love to fold your laundry or wash some dishes. Please, let me.”  Fold some laundry, oooh and ahhh over that adorable new baby, and then politely remember the 10 minute rule. 
  4. Visit before 7:00p.m. Sleep is the number one most important thing when having a new baby. If there are older siblings in the house, bedtimes are crucial. Please, don’t wreck havoc on a toddler’s bedtime! 
  5. Don’t give your advice. No matter if this is the first baby or baby number four, it’s a  learning experience each time, and new moms don’t need to hear how well someone else has done it. Want to send mommy right to the fetal position as soon as you walk out the door? Tell her how your milk came in as soon as you popped that baby out with one push. On the same note, a new mom doesn’t want to hear how intense your birth story was after 48 grueling hours of labor with no drugs. We are all heroes no matter our story!
  6. If you are dropping off food, do just that. Text to say it’s on the porch. Then, and only if the new mom says “we would love to see you” should you go in. It really is a day by day basis on whether or not the new mama is up for visitors. I remember getting stressed out every day at 5:00 pm thinking I needed to put on makeup because sweet friends were delivering food. Then some days, I would welcome the visit, as I hadn’t had an adult conversation all day.  
  7. Wash your hands. This should go without saying, but believe me, you’d be surprised! 
  8. Do not visit if you are sick, have been sick, or think you are getting sick. Come on people!
  9. Visitors are welcome. A new family’s feelings would be hurt if no one came to visit.  They are excited about their new baby and want to share the excitement!  However, you want your friends/family to enjoy your visit and want you to come back. Therefore, leave before you wear out your welcome. Your visit is much appreciated, but no one can be completely comfortable or relax when they have visitors in their home or at the hospital.
  10. Remember the 10 Minute Rule!!!

Soon to be mamas, feel free to email this to family and friends before the big day or even plaster it to your front door. Use me as the bad guy – You’ll thank me later! 

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.27.03 PMOne day if my uncle does decide to write that book – I’ll be gifting you all a copy!

And if you need a little help on what to pack for your hospital stay – Jenny has you covered.


4 Comments on “Visiting a newborn – 10 Minutes & 10 Rules

  1. Lots of great information to remember not only when visiting a newborn baby, but when making a hospital visit of any kind. Good job!!!


  2. Pingback: Five on Friday – Friday Favorites | dayme walther

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