How soon is too soon to visit a newborn in hospital?

You get the baby announcement text and rush over to the hospital…right?

You’ve been anxiously waiting an entire 9 months for your friend to have her baby, so you can sniff that new baby hair.

So, it is completely acceptable to rush to the hospital IMMEDIATELY after you receive the text message announcing the birth.

Right? NO. A very big NO.

If you’re cringing right now, don’t worry. I have rushed to the hospital to meet my friend’s new bub. But I now know how wrong and inconsiderate this was.

You see, giving birth is quite the challenge (or so I am repeatedly told). And afterwards, you feel pretty exhausted. And then you have a new baby. And it is pretty daunting. Actually, it is massively daunting.

Families get first dibs on meeting the newborn in the maternity ward.

And while your friend is happy to celebrate and show off their new bub, at the same time the last thing they want to worry about is how they look, or whether their baby doesn't stop screaming while you are visiting, or that you think your toddler is cute when they pat the baby - HARD.

I am sure there are lots of mums who would right now be shouting at the screen saying that they were happy people visited. In fact, not enough people visited. And I get that. We are all different.

But that's the point. Not everyone wants their nearest and dearest 150 Facebook friends rushing to the maternity ward 5 hours after a 16 hour labour.  Some don't even want their family there (but unfortunately, that's harder to communicate).

No problem, you think, I will just visit her AS SOON AS she gets home. Again, I am sure there are lots of new mothers out there desperately wanting someone who has the ability to have a conversation to visit them. Again, there are lots who don't. Besides worrying about keeping the new baby alive, the last thing they need to worry about is cleaning up their place for your visit, or stressing that they only milk they have in the house is breastmilk for the tea they have to offer you, or that they are going to have to somehow shower before you arrive.


I know what you are thinking. But when am I going to be able to smell the newborn's hair?

Probably when they turn 10-years-old.

In order to make sure I don't make the same mistake again , I respond to their "We have a baby!" text with:

"Congrats (insert happiness over birth). Let me know when you are up for a visitor, either in hospital or at home."

The last friend who gave birth, said I could visit the hospital that weekend. I let her decide the day and the time, and worked my schedule around hers. And when I got there the baby was hungry and cranky. But once she'd been fed and calmed down, I could see my friend enjoyed showing off her little girl.

And that should be the new baby visiting etiquette. No matter how close you are. Don't think you can just turn up to sniff new baby hair. Ask before, and understand if it is a while before you can.

Did you have visitors at the hospital? What do you think the best etiquette is for planning a newborn visit?

CLICK THROUGH to see some of the first baby photos these mum took:

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