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As a friend or relative, it is only natural to be excited to visit a newborn baby. While you might be looking forward to rush over to the hospital or the new parents house and coo over their newborn s cuteness, it is important to remember that your friend or relative has recently completed a major and overwhelming milestone in her or even his life. (Now that there is a new member in your house, here is a step-by-step guide to bond with your newborn). Dr Uma Vaidyanathan, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Max Hospital,New Delhi, tells us about a few etiquette rules to keep in mind so that your visit doesn t cause any stress or inconvenience to the newborn s family.
Wash your hands thoroughly
In the first six to eight weeks following delivery, the baby s immunity is very low and hence she can t be exposed to any form of germs. Before approaching the child and mother, thoroughly wash your hands and feet. Though this is a simple gesture, people tend to forget to do so.
Avoid smoking at least one hour prior to visiting
While it is a no-brainer why one can t smoke around a newborn baby, if you are a smoker, make sure you smoke your last cigarette at least an hour before meeting the baby. After that, don t forget to gargle your mouth and get rid of the smoke smell as it can irritate the infant and in some cases, even cause allergies.
Avoid holding the infant unless you re a close relative
Looking at the small bundle of joy might evoke feelings of affection in some people, however, it is best not to try and hold the baby unless you re a close relative. (Also read:19 baby care tips for every new mum) This is because most parents aren t comfortable with their fragile infant being carried by every visitor and also, the infant can get anxious at being held by an unknown person. Other than that, don t kiss her as it can spread germs.
Don t wear too much perfume or deodorant
Though a newborn doesn t have a very strong sense of smell, wearing too much perfume or deodorant can aggravate an allergic reaction which the infant might have had previously. Hence, doctors recommend that you go easy on how much body spray you use before visiting the family.
If you have a cold or flu, reschedule your visit
A newborn s immune system is still weak, so make sure to check your health before visiting the newborn s family. If you have a persistent cough or sneezing or any such symptoms, avoid exposing the infant to any germs and simply reschedule your visit.
While gifting, avoid stuffed toys
Avoid gifting any type of stuffed toys to a baby until she is at least two years old as there is a risk of the infant choking on some part of the toy. Instead, don t hesitate to just ask the parents what they would like as a gift for their newborn. If you want to buy clothes, most materials are considered safe for a newborn's skin. For more ideas on what would make the ideal gift, read things to buy for a newborn
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