When you are pregnant and expecting a new addition to your family, you have a lot of decisions to make. The decisions and choices don’t stop at birth, however. Most moms have strong opinions and rules for visiting their new little additions. Here are some I’ve enforced and heard used often.
No vaccine--no kisses.
Lately, whooping cough has gained a lot of attention. Whooping cough is a respiratory infection that is very contagious. It sounds like a cough and then there is a “whoop” sound followed by it. For babies, this can be deadly. Nearly 50 percent of whooping cough cases in 2015 were found in ages 11 and under, according to this website about whooping cough. Moms to be along with those caregivers in the home are strongly urged to be vaccinated. Many moms also expect anyone coming to visit or hold their fresh little newborn also be vaccinated.
Give my family time to adjust to our new number.
This was a big one for me. All three of my babies were born hours away from family. I didn’t have a hospital room flooded with visitors. In fact, we didn’t even tell my family I had delivered my first two children until after they had arrived. For me, it is super important to have the first few days to adjust as our own little family. There is something so special and sweet about just my little family together with the new baby. With my third baby, my sister-in-law came to help take care of my other children, so she was around some the day after. However, she didn’t stay because she knew I wanted the time to adjust.
Make Your Thoughtfulness Count
If you are going to take a new mom a gift or meal, make sure you put some thought into it. If she has older children, consider throwing in a small gift for them. Coloring books, crayons, and stickers are usually my go-to for big siblings. Taking a meal? Make sure it is something the family will actually eat. I was thrilled when a friend ordered a pizza for my family and told me what day it was coming. We love pizza and it was nice to not have to do cooking or dishes. Choose your gift wisely and always take a gift, no matter how small. New moms love the reminder that someone loves them. Even some baby lotion or nursing nipple butter helps.
Help me, even if it’s a small gesture.
I would have loved for a friend to come help me with my new babies. Household chores like laundry and dishes tend to pile up when your days are spent nursing and changing diapers. Offer to help or just take the initiative to do it. Take her older kids outside to play so she can catch a nap while baby sleeps. My good friend, Christina, was a lifesaver for me when I had my 2nd baby. She took my daughter, Johanna, outside to play several times so I could have alone time with my new baby and get some rest.
So mommas, what kind of rules did you enforce when you had a new baby? All of this talk of new babies is giving me the urge to go snuggle my friend’s newest addition. She likes clean hands with hand sanitizer before touching him, so I think I’ll follow that rule.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves bringing home a new baby to her chaos and will always cherish those sweet, crazy memories.