A Guide to Infant Etiquette

We get it, all babies are cute. You can’t help but want to hold them, cuddle them, and make funny noises at them. We can’t help ourselves either but it’s important to partake in newborn etiquette, which is to abide by a set of rules that are meant to keep a baby safe. As adults, the things that seem harmless to us can actually be pretty fatal to babies, especially germs. It’s important to respect our rules that we have set in place for our children, but most importantly our newborns. Here’s a guide to infant etiquette so you can proceed accordingly next time you see a newborn and instinctively want to say “gimmee!”

Give Us Space During The First Week

We’ve had several grueling months and a possible stressful labor. While we understand your excitement to see the new baby, it’s important that you give both the mom and the baby some space. For the baby, it’s a new world and they need some time to adjust. For the mother, the delivery was most likely not a cake walk. So give parties some space. It’s not rude for a mother to want that for herself or the baby.

Wash Your Hands A LOT

Yes we know, this is common knowledge when it comes to infant etiquette but you’d be surprised by the number of people who believe they’re naturally clean no matter how much they get into during the day. As mentioned before, the sicknesses and germs that we as adults don’t think twice about can be dangerous for newborns to come into contact with. So your hands? Wash them. Sanitize them. Dry them off. Then you can hold the baby.

Don’t Show Up Unannounced

To be fair, even if babies weren’t involved, it’s seen as pretty rude to visit unannounced to someone’s house. In the case of newborns, parents have no choice but to operate on their time. Added with the fact that taking care of infants is a full-time job, you showing up whenever you’re free is definitely rude. Always make sure to let someone know you’re coming over so that we can make time for guests or let you know when we can’t.

Please Respect Our Right To Say “No”.

We’re protective of our children, you understand that, right? While hearing no is not something you may want to hear, you’re not entitled to our child. While infant etiquette is generally the same for most people, some would prefer just no one other than themselves touch their infant. It’s reasonable and should be respected.

Do NOT Kiss The Baby

This goes in hand with the whole “wash your hands” rule of infant etiquette but it should be made clear that you shouldn’t kiss someone else’s baby. The baby might like it but we don’t know where your lips have been, not to be rude.

Keep Your “Expert” Advice To Yourself

Sorry, Linda, no matter how many kids you have, if you’re not our baby’s doctor then you have to keep your advice to yourself.

Infant etiquette is not meant to discourage anyone from sharing in the excitement over a new baby. More than anything, it’s to keep the baby safe and a new mama sane, which is the best for everyone anyway!

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