You might notice a long gap between my last post and this one. Well, I had a baby and am in the throes of a monolithic home renovation. I don't recommend undertaking both simultaneously if you value your mental health. I digress.
Becoming a new mother is the most joyous and terrifying of adventures. My free time has withered away to nil, but I love my son so much that it almost hurts. And I love sharing and showing him off with others, but as a woman who's recently traveled the new mom road, I have a few recommendations on newborn etiquette.
The first two weeks are a harrowing and overwhelming mush of hours. Baby must be fed on demand 24 hours a day, which means mothers and fathers get no sleep. Now I know why sleep deprivation is used as a torture tactic. It's beyond awful. The best rule of thumb is to wait a few weeks to visit. You won't be missing much; I promise! If you absolutely must visit a family with a newborn, keep your visit short. Fifteen minutes will give enough time to say hello and see the little one without messing up the schedule of baby's feeding times. Also, mother and father are probably emotional and not at their best. Entertaining isn't a parent's preference during the first few weeks of their child's life.
Don't assume you'll be able to hold the baby. You may ask, but don't be offended if parents don't offer. And if you do hold the baby make a point to wash your hands all the way up to your elbows.
If you visit, offer a little help. Fold some laundry or bring a casserole. Parents will appreciate it, I assure you!
Most of all, remember that this isn't about you. It's about the well-being of the baby and the preference of the parents. Be kind and respectful and you'll be a welcome guest among days of cabin fever!