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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Visiting the Newborn(s)



Taking the story forward, it is grand to have visitors coming to bless the newborns. But when it happens at a time when the new parents are inconvenienced, then it is not so welcome.
So there are several types of visitors –
1. The Racers- They try all possible measures to be among the first few to visit your baby- so that they can boast about beating everyone to the race. They will land up at the hospital moments after your baby is born and try to gain an entry by all possible means. If nothing else, they will visit the baby in the nursery and leave. Many times this is done out of genuine liking and closeness especially by close friends and relatives but many times to prove a point. While as people they are generally welcome by the couple, but as new parents, they may find it intrusive.
2. The Runner ups- These are the type who try to finish the ritual by visiting necessarily while the baby is in the hospital- so that the parents do not feel bad that the close neighbors/ friends never bothered with a visit. They stick to the visiting hours and many times they plan, team up and visit. So it is like one grand outing for the entire crowd but too large a crowd in the tiny hospital room. And since the twins needed an extra crib, there was even less of a space in my room. They had a great time arguing and discussing the various differences between the facial features of each kid while I had a tough time worrying about the gown being in place and the buttons not popping out and the nurse had her own tensed moments when the blood being transfused to me began spilling out like the last few drops of ink from a fountain pen. These will be usually closest neighbours or office colleagues or if you or the husband happens to be a boss – then the team members who don’t wish to be singled out as the one who never visited. They will come armed with camera and take shots. Many times, people don’t like their kids being photographed by all and sundry before they are old enough. Again done with genuine but slightly forced affection.
3. The Planners- usually works it out together with the mom on which is the most convenient time to visit. Frankly there is none, and since the trouble of planning is taken, usually a mutually suitable time is chosen. Supposedly gives the parents ample time and opportunity to be appropriately dressed and be ready with appropriate refreshments / sweets for the occasion. They come on time, armed with suitable gifts for the baby, talk softly, will not pick the baby unless offered, and if offered, they will wash their hands and do so, not sit on the baby’s bed for fear of transmitting germs and leave as soon as they feel that the baby has declared that it is feeding time. All in all, the model visitor and most sensitive to the mom’s feelings.
4. The चिपकू/ Leech- Will have the grace to come after giving a few hours advance notice but will decide that a good 2 hours time is appropriate to justify all the effort they spent in getting dressed and coming to see the baby. Doesn’t spot the signs of fatigue or restlessness in the parents or the babies.
5. Mother Hen Variety- These behave that they know what is best for your baby and give you all advices on how they have been there, done that and that is the best researched way to handle / feed/ pee/ poop/ bath the baby. Many of their tips will be useful but they tend to get too preachy. Well we all are, when it comes to discuss motherhood / pregnancy but a participative approach would be more welcome. A give and take of views with the new mother- after all she would also be starved for adult/ peer company at this point.
6. Eager Beaver- they will take charge of everything- nappy changing, holding the baby, (top) feed, entertaining the baby etc. Many times it is a relief to hand over the baby to such types as they are usually good at it and comfortable with babies. Sometimes a new mother may not feel like it. Important to read the (non) verbal signals the mother may throw.

7. Just like the old times- Drop anytime- They drop in without or with a very short notice (barely enough to get your place in order and your baby dressed for the occasion) at anytime usually evening or mid-morning- just for a few minutes to take a look. Even if your house is in a mess at that time, you always can give the excuse that things are hectic round here with the kids now.
8. The Laggards- They will turn up one fine day when you feel that you have finished with the entire stream of visitors. They will be some long lost friend who suddenly came to know about the now not so newborns. They come at a time when the parents have begun to feel comfortable handling the baby in various situations and the baby has also set a pattern of sleep/ wakefulness. One may end up welcoming the change of having a visitor to chat up with and this may turn out to one of the better visits.
That was on the visitors. Some cues for the new parents
1. If the visitor has informed beforehand, get the babies neatly dressed and freshly powdered just before they are coming in. Also get ready yourself and if time permits, set the house in order. You don’t want to portray the image of being a sloppy, bedraggled, clumsy parent.
2. Put a diaper/ rubber sheet- it is really not ok if your baby pees/ poops on the visitor. Incase of pee/poop happening, it could be a good idea to get into another room for the diaper change- have some dignity on the baby’s behalf!
3. It’ a happy occasion- keep a stock of sweets/ chocolates handy to celebrate the occasion- make the effort for the person who is coming to visit your baby for the first time. Welcome the visitors with appropriate courtsey and do not make them feel like an intruder.
4. If possible, have a camera handy to record the visit.
5. Many people are not comfortable holding newborns or babies in general- don’t push them to carry your baby.
6. Be positive towards the visits especially if it is planned beforehand- it will give you the much needed break. If you have help at home, do not hesitate to relax at that time and if you don’t- allow the visitor to help if you are certain that the visitor does not mind helping with the baby.
7. Especially with twins, the chances of getting visitors is higher because it is not so normal. Poeple are excited about comparing how similar or different they are. It surprised me when people were apparently surprised seeing that Ojas & Tejas are non-identical. I had visitors who mentioned that they have come because their kids wanted to see twins (for the first time)! So parents, be prepared for the enthusiasm and be happy about the high numbers your famous kid(s) are clocking. They have come because they like you and care for you and wantto be there for you in your joy. Have a visitor book handy if you feel like recording the thoughts and impressions of your important visitors for posterity.

10 comments:

~nm said...

Quitea hilarious-but-so-true compilation! Loved reading it!

Its something we all know and face and sometimes even act like one and you have written it so good!

Honey Bee said...

A good one; Need to take lessons.When I become a mom!

Honey Bee said...

Itchy: Have changed the header; Temme if its ok !

Asha said...

Oh, I just hate visitors at the hospital. And I can't stand it when the whole world wants to hold a newborn.

Hip Grandma said...

That was a well thought out list.But you've left out the group that barges in and starts comparing your little angel with other kids and are out to prove that you're really not fit to be called a mother and every other child is fairer,cuter and a perfect angel.You can rub your eyes and yawn away but they'll never take the hint and shut up.They are best ignored.

Orchid said...

Good list and great template...love the header and the pictures of the boys!..good job itchy!

Honey Bee said...

Thanks dear

Gauri said...

One more Itchy - The Sugar Feeders

People have this habit, u know, of feeding the newborn a "pinch" of sugar. I did never allow this particular breed of people to give either of my children that infamous "pinch" of sugar cos always made me wonder where that finger had been before it took up that "pinch" of sugar headed towards the baby's mouth :-))

Appu said...

congratsss. was off the 'sphere for sometime

Priya said...

this one goes on the bookmark list :-) for 'future reference' ;-)