Today I’m going to share a few of my personal stories and tips for newborn etiquette for guys. Some of them are obvious. Others you may have never considered.
Being a new dad has shed light on some newborn party fouls I made in the past. As a guy, I just didn’t know. Just recently, I sent some apology texts to some of my friends for past offenses.
Don’t kiss a newborn
This newborn etiquette tip probably isn’t an offense made by many guys, but since we often write about how to win a girl’s heart, you might be surprised how quickly an infant can win a guy’s heart.
As I’ve written about before, babies in general terrified me before our baby. I’d usually wait for the infant to cry and avidly give the special care package back.
In one rare instance, however, this baby loved me. Suddenly I’m a baby whisperer, acted the fool, and kissed the baby.
I discovered this was an offense from my wife being part of a baby forum. One lady shared how a newborn died from a kiss. While extremely rare, some parents simply don’t want anyone kissing their baby but themselves.
Case in point captured on my Instagram: here I thought I was a hero, but you can see my buddy behind me trying to be positive even as he’s feeling really creeped out that I kissed his baby.
Don’t ask to hold a baby
Most guys don’t scramble to hold a baby anyhow, but if the parents want you to hold their baby, they’ll ask you first.
Secondly, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends anyone over the age of 18 get a Whooping Cough, or Tdap vaccination, if they’re going to be around a newborn. Kristen and I received the vaccination and our doctor recommended any family or friends in contact with our newborn get the vaccine as well.
Don’t get near a baby if you’re sick
While this might seem like common sense, some people assume it’s ok to be near a newborn as long as they don’t sneeze or cough. But any precautions you might take are not worth it since newborns have a weakened immune system. Most diseases are spread through touch so…
Wash your hands
Washing your hands helps prevent the spread of disease and infection. If you want to touch a baby, go wash your hands first. Hand sanitizers are appropriate, but “they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.”
Beware of young children
Toddlers love babies. They just don’t know how to be gentle around them. They don’t understand newborn etiquette, or etiquette in general. But if you don’t have a choice, just keep a watchful eye.
I think back to when my sister was around two or three and notoriously picked up puppies and kittens by their necks. Best of intentions, just a misunderstanding.
But aside from potential accidents, the main reason is because small children can spread disease if they are sick.
Don’t stick your finger into a newborn’s mouth
I’m even skeptical about sticking my own clean and sanitized finger into my baby’s mouth. Even if you’ve sanitized yours, trying to soothe a baby that’s not your own with your finger is not good newborn etiquette.
Don’t just drop in
Something we’re finding as new parents is everything is a process. Just last night, getting Aurora to sleep took almost three hours. Even when we plan to go somewhere, it takes a bit of preparation. If you happen to be in the area, just text and find out if it’s a good time to show up.
Be prepared to head out
Most guys aren’t keen to be around a screaming baby. Just read the body language of the parents. If they seem agitated at all or if they are starting to prep the baby for bed, heading out at the right time is good newborn etiquette.
My wife and I joke around that we’ve become servants to the shortest tyrant we’ve known. A newborn absorbs most of your time. Simple things like eating and showering become luxuries. If you’re going to visit, bring a snack. New parents will appreciate the gesture.
Many of these I didn’t know about until we had a baby. Now my eyes are opened and I hope these tips can be beneficial to you.