Bringing a newborn baby into the world is one of the most joyous occasions! Amid the crying and pooping, even the mere sight or smell of a tiny tot can be enough to inspire the happiest moments in a parent’s life. With the abundant of gratitude and exciting anticipation that often comes with having a baby, so too follows the great many questions and concerns that are associated with helping them navigate the world they’ve entered.
One question many new parents face is when to introduce their new bundle of joy to people outside of the safety net of the house or hospital. Is there a “correct” time for your newborn to visit with friends and family?
When can my newborn meet friends and family?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer as to when a baby should be introduced to people outside of their immediate caretakers. However, there are some best practices to consider for when planning your kiddo’s big debut.
First and foremost, center your baby’s health and safety within every decision. As noted by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, new parents should limit the number of visitors their babies interact with. Their immune systems are less strong than the adult hands trying to hold them. Johns Hopkins also recommends that family and friends wait two to three months until visitation plans are made. This time gap allows for babies to build up their immune systems. A stronger immune system can fight off infections that new people might introduce. This also helps establish precautions and boundaries to support the overall early development of a child’s life.
Baystate Health further explains that limiting time to outside visitors can also better facilitate parents getting to know their newborn babies. This can help streamline the feeding, sleeping and playing schedules that children, as well as their parents, depend on.
If you plan on welcoming new people early on in your baby’s life, here is what Baystate Health recommends.
- Visit only when invited and call ahead before the meet-and-greet.
- Wash your hands before, during and after the visit.
- Consider wearing a mask when meeting the baby and how being vaccinated against illnesses like the flu or other diseases could support your visit.
- Know when it’s time to leave by being mindful of the parents’ and baby’s behaviors.
- Support the family by bringing meals, helping out with household chores or doing other activities that could make their lives easier.
It’s important to remember that social interactions are also important to your baby’s health and development. The latter should always be the greatest focus of any visitation. New parents should find confidence in knowing that their baby, and their immune system, will grow stronger as they age, which makes meeting family and friends even more joyful and safe.
Ultimately, whether a newborn visits with friends and family is the parents’ decision. Parents should pay attention to their baby’s queues of feeling sick, overstimulated or simply ready for another nap. Be sure to respond accordingly, knowing your loved ones ultimately share in what is best for your little one.