Your friend/neighbor/cousin/co-worker just had a baby and you are planning to visit them soon. Do read these tips to visit a newborn for a successful visit. While these etiquette rules apply in general but I have written these tips to visit a newborn with a desi focus!
14 Tips to Visit a Newborn: Desi Edition
1. Give the new parents atleast a month or two before you plan a visit. Send them a message to congratulate and ask them to let you know whenever they are ready for visits. Never call. No time is a good time for a phone call in the first month with a newborn. If you attempt to FaceTime/Skype/VideoChat with a new mom, you are evil!
2. Some new parents arrange a “Sip & See”, others smaller gatherings and some prefer individual visits. When they do invite you to visit, don’t negotiate the time. They have probably arranged this time keeping many things in mind. While it’s an inherent desi trait to be late, please be on time. And if there is anything worse than being late, it’s to arrive before time. Please don’t. The last thing new parents need is a surprise of an early visitor as they are scrambling to remove dirty diapers and dishes from last night.
3. When you arrive politely knock, or text/message that you’re outside. Never ring the door bell. Chances are that the baby just went down for a nap and any noise can/will wake them up.
4. If you have a cold/cough or anything infectious please let the new parents know and reschedule the visit. They will appreciate the gesture. This goes for your little ones too. Any sick child must not visit a new born.
5. Keep your visit short. If possible, take a frozen dinner for the new parents.
6. Keep all comments about the baby’s looks, name, skin tone, eye colour etc to yourself. There is a 100% chance of offending one of the parents if you compare the baby to any one side of the family or parent. Never ask if baby has been circumsized yet or when the parents are getting the head shaved again. Not your business.
7. This is a time to pay attention to the new parents especially the mother. Listen to them, encourage them and give them positive feedback. This is not the time to discuss your own labor horror stories or how your newborn didn’t let you sleep a wink for a year. Keep it positive.
8. Do not share the new baby’s picture on social media without the parent’s consent. Apply the same rule to pictures of the new mother. You had time to dress up at leisure and she probably put herself together in two minutes. It’s not a fair deal. Unless she agrees. Always ask.
9. If the new baby has an older brother or sister, pay special attention to them. Taking presents for the baby is your choice, but please do take something for the big brother/sister. It can be a simple book or a small toy. The book stores have special big sister/brother books. Remember to congratulate them first on becoming a big brother/sister. Sit down with them, read a book, do an activity. The new baby won’t notice that you didn’t hold them in the first five minutes, but an older child will definitely appreciate your attention. Never ask the parents “Ye jealous to nahi ho rahe?” (Is she/he feeling jealous). Children are always listening. Again, keep it positive.
10. If you have been enjoying samosas and other spicy desi delights, wash your hands before holding baby. Actually, please always wash your hands before holding a new born. It’s considerate and the new mother will love you forever.
11. When you hold the baby make sure your hair, clothes or jewelry are not irritating them. Babies have very sensitive skin.
12. Avoid asking questions like “Does she sleep through the night”, “Is ka schedule set hoa” (Does she have a sechedule) etc. You are bound to irritate the new parents who are trying hard already. Instead ask questions about how the parents are doing, if they need any help etc.
13. Never comment on the baby’s gender. Every child is special. Comments such as “Family complete ho gaye”, “Chalo Allah next time baita de ga”, “Hai mein to dua kar rahe the ke Allah tumhein pyari se baite de”, “Chalo ab jaldi se is ke behen le ayo” etc etc are so 1955. Let’s leave them in the past.
14. Clean up as much as you can as you wind up the visit. Avoid long desi goodbyes and keep the visit short and positive.
Have you visited a new born recently? Would you add anything to this list of tips to visit a newborn?
18 thoughts on “14 Tips to Visit a Newborn: Desi Edition”
Fantastic post. Wish every desi uncle and aunty read this!
Thanks so much for your feedback! We can only hope 🙂
Oh my! This is all so true. I wish i could go back in time and hand this post’s print out to my guests before they all imposed this torture on me.
Hahahha! Yea tips ghar ke darwazay pe lage hone chahiyen 😉
What a sensible, wonderful read. Pretty sure half of the people I know stop meeting me if I ask them to follow even one quarter of the mentioned tips.
Totally loved this blog Urdumom 🙂
OMG how true this is!! I was even visited for the baby on my third day while i was still in hospital. I had thought people had common sense :-(. I however followed my of these things you mentioned based on my own terrible experiences and tried never to trouble a family so soon and without asking their convenient time.
One more thing is sometimes visitors or their kids try to kiss the baby. Its unsafe to kiss the newborn due to their low immunity. We must also consider that.
Don’t bring food or get deliveries done in the room
Loved it. You have explained everything so well esp point#7 ( i can so well relate to it)
please don’t smell of cigarettes when you come to see the baby, I know some people who did.
If you’re in pakistan, PLEASE don’t stay for food in te hospital.. or drinks or stuff like, please end this annoying culture of hospital picnics!
And please don’t kiss on the baby’s lips, please!!
Hospital picnics! Uff I sooo know what you mean!!!
OMG you spoke the hearts out of 99.9 % desi moms. I think half of the postpartum depression in desi world is given by The Relatives and their neverending nonsense questionsand tantrums-(I think a tantrum is an appropriate word here for the aunties complaining “cahye nahi poochi” , “bachay k saath hi lagi hoi thi”, “jaise phlay to kabhi kissi k bachay hoye nahi “.. blah blah blah:P)
The worst part is even if you try and explain it to people when you are the visitor’s that maybe we should give them time and be considerate, no one gets you…. and it’s so frustrating.
Loved your comment! You hit the nail on the head!!
Please don’t kiss the new born!!!
I especially agree with the part about elder siblings. On every visit for the baby we would have a tantrum by elder daughter that why did she get no gifts.It was embarassing and frustrating.
Love you for writing this! It’s so true and accurate.
This is so authentic! Since I recently had a baby I can relate to all of this. Can add few more though, in laws pretend that the mother doesn’t exist and all the good looks credit goes to paternal genes. All of a sudden they completely own the baby ignoring the fact that the mother bought the baby into this world.
Maybe you could do another blog of taking baby to pakistan for the first time to meet relatives! Not so looking forward to it, lol
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