Catching Up Post-Lockdown? 6 questions you can ask new parents before you meet their new baby
New parents might have felt sad or isolated through lockdown. They might also be feeling anxious about restrictions easing.
Here are 6 questions you can ask new parents before you meet their new baby to help them feel prepared for and safe during your visit, and to help you feel a lot less awkward about not knowing where their personal boundaries lie.
1. Would you like to meet up soon, or hold off a while?
You may be busting to meet the baby, but ultimately your job is to respect the parents' wishes. If the answer is "not yet", you might like to ask if there's a time you can video call, or if they'd like any meals dropped over.
2. Would you prefer that I isolate for a few days before we meet up?
Vaccination prevents most but not all COVID-19 infections. Keep in mind also that your second vaccination dose won’t be protecting you fully until 8-14 days after your second dose. If you're working in a high exposure job, they may want you to have a bit of time solo before meeting the baby, or even return a negative test.
3. Would you prefer I come to your place, or would you rather we meet outside?
They might be struggling with all the tasks of new baby life and find getting out of the house near impossible. Alternatively they might have cabin fever and want to go somewhere different, or want to be outside for air flow. Have a few suggestions up your sleeve and a wet weather backup plan.
4. Would you prefer I come without the kids?
Kids generally don't get the idea of "personal space" and aren't great at keeping their hands to themselves or wearing masks. If they have been living in a little family bubble, the baby’s parents may not feel confident about their children playing with other kids who have been attending daycare. It may not be the most convenient thing for you, but it is courteous to ask anyway.
5. Would you like me to wear a mask and keep a 1.5m distance?
Try not to take offence to their answer. These may seem like excessive measures to you, but the new parents have likely spent their entire pregnancy and postpartum growing, protecting and cocooning their baby. Remember it's your job to respect the parents' wishes and hold them emotionally, not hold their baby.
6. Are there any other ways I can help you out?
Perhaps you can bring them a meal or collect their grocery order on the way over. They may be after activity packs for older children, supplies from the chemist or help with laundry (you can take it home with you or do it at their place). Remember all of these things can be done with contactless drop offs as well if they're not up for visitors yet.
If you’re a new or expecting parent, what other questions would you appreciate people to ask of you before meeting up?
Who else do you know that could benefit from reading these suggestions?
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