9 important steps to follow when introducing your baby to family during COVID-19

If you had your baby during the lockdown period, chances are your friends and family members haven’t had the opportunity to meet the new addition to your family up close.

We know you’re excited to introduce your little one to everyone, but keep these tips in mind before throwing a big ‘Welcome Baby’ bash at home.

Remember, it’s about you

We know everyone is super excited to meet the new baby, but if you don’t feel comfortable welcoming people into your home yet – you don’t have to. Yes, family members might be disappointed, but that’s okay – you have to be comfortable with the situation.

Wait until baby is 6 weeks old before inviting visitors

A new baby is most vulnerable during the first six weeks of life. Dr Sharon Nachman, chief of the Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital says if your baby gets a fever, it might mean a trip to the hospital, which you want to avoid at all costs right now. Keep your circle as tight as possible during the first six weeks. If you want immediate family to meet the baby, find out how safe they’ve been. Are they maintaining social distancing? Have they been working from home? Have they been in contact with anyone who could potentially have COVID-19?

It’s also worth chatting to you baby’s paed to find out if it’s safe to have visitors over and what safety measures you should put in place for when you have visitors.

ALSO SEE: How to tell if my baby or toddler has COVID-19?

Ask friends and family to call first

Every mom is different, some might crave social interaction while others prefer to stay snuggled in their little cocoon. Ask your friends and family to call ahead before a visit rather than just surprising you by showing up at the front door. You might still be in your PJ’s (which is totally fine – we’ve been at home for months and you probably have a completely different routine that doesn’t involved getting dressed before noon, or even at all). If you are up for visitors you want to make sure to throw on a pair of tights at least and make sure the dishwasher is loaded (but even if the dishes are all over the place, that’s fine – you don’t have to clean.)

It’s okay to be a germophobe

We might be in lockdown level 2, but that doesn’t mean that COVID-19 has disappeared – the infection rate is simply lower and the recovery rate higher, but you should still be very vigilant about keeping your little one safe.

ALSO SEE: How to sanitize your home to protect your family against COVID-19

  • If you are inviting friends and family over to meet the baby, ask them to please not come if they are sick, or have been around someone who was or is sick.
  • Ask them not to bring their kids – unless you are comfortable with them bringing the kids and know that they’re not sick. Remember it’s your baby and your house so you get to make the rules – and you don’t have to feel bad about it either.
  • Ask them to wash their hands or sanitize before touching you or the baby. Yes, it will be strange as it’s nature to go in for a hug, but for your and your baby’s safety, sanitizing before any touching is safest.
  • Ask them not to kiss the baby. It’s difficult we know – who doesn’t want to smooch a cute little baby, but once again it’s okay to be a germophobe and ask relatives and friends not to get too close to baby.
  • Ask friends and family to wear a mask while they are holding your baby. It sounds a little extreme, but you have to feel comfortable with the situation.

Have the visits outside

It’s still winter in South Africa, so an outside visit might not be ideal. But, if it is a warm, sunny day, it’s better to have the visits outside, wear face masks and maintain social distancing. According to HuffPost, a lot of researchers now believe the virus that causes COVID-19 isn’t just transmitted through large respiratory droplets; it may be spread through tiny aerosols that can linger in the air for hours.

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