When my son was born we had the dread and fear as new parents, of visitors and hygiene and our care for our precious new arrival.
We knew that we’d have family/friends wanting to come over before we even step out of the hospital, and Indians are typically fast when it comes to seeing a newborn.
It’s as if we’re gonna get real offended if you wait to see us.
Honestly we’re not!
Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I was the more neurotic parent and I was really sensitive when people came round. I wanted them to enjoy their time with my son, as well as try to give as much protection to him as I could.
You’re probably thinking “but kids need to have some exposure to germs in order to build up their immune system”- WRONG.
A newborn doesn’t need that shit from the day they’re born.
They need a clean safe environment to stop them from developing complications such as meningitis, viral infections that cause problems later in life, or in my sons case- sepsis which he developed at 2 weeks old. I’m not saying that visitor cleanliness was the cause, I’m convinced it was during delivery but let’s highlight the point shall we.
And you’ll always get the older parents (and their kids who don’t have children of their own) saying stuff like- “well you forget that our parents had kids too” – AGAIN WRONG!
Our parents had us 30+years ago. We’ve had numerous advances in research that give us the newest advice to help bring kids up in the environment we live in today. An environment away from thalidomide for example.
So now to the things that all parents of newborns dread. I have my personal list, and it’s made worse by the fact that desi’s are exceptionally difficult to “control” let’s say. (you know who you are)
Just as guidance – if in doubt – ask the parent!
- Stay for an hour – TOPS! Unless you’re cooking dinner or doing the dishes/laundry, or my project plan for work.
- Wash your hands- and don’t pretend like we didn’t see you pick your nose, we know your gonna want to try and touch my sons face with those fingers.
- Don’t – EVER kiss my child on his lips. Period. That is reserved for parental love ONLY. cheeks, head hand yes.
- Ease off the aftershave/perfume. I don’t want my son smelling like he was out clubbing all night.
- Shoes off at the door please. My son will crawl on the floor and pick up anything you bring in.
- If you’re even marginally ill, come another time. We’ll love you a lot more if you do.
- If you post a pic on Facebook of my child before I do, I will break your camera.
- Use a muslin when requested. Or even if not requested.
- Remember – the parent is ALWAYS right. Don’t second guess, over-rule or say things like “you’ll get it soon”.
- Finally – I will and did look fubar’d. I don’t need reminding that “you look tired”. Great observation- now get me a coffee.
Thanks for your understanding.
All parents of newborns.