How To Be Considerate New Parents
8. Do not redecorate.
Unless the people you visit have young children, or run a daycare out of their home, chances are that not everything in their home environment is Magda Gerber or Maria Montessori ready for your child. If you are unable to watch your child closely enough to prevent their injury in such a place, it would be most wise to bring a sitter along to help you, or to simply wait until your child is older for this visit. You may find that it makes the most sense to invite others into your home for a period of months or years, and allow your child time to mature.
If you have arrived for your visit without this foresight, resist the temptation to redecorate or rearrange the home of your hostess. Do not pluck pieces from around the home, approach the hostess with an armful of findings, and instruct her to put them away. (It is her home, remember?) While it would not be considerate to do this, it could be perfectly appropriate to mention one or two items in a thoughtful way. If so, say something like, “Our baby just loves your [insert expensive, dangerous, or breakable thing here]! Every time we put him down he returns right to it. I worry that in an instant he might actually grab it. Would it be okay if it was put away during our stay? I could help you to move it now, and to replace it before we leave.”
Do not allow your child to break anything. When you are away from your home, watch your child even more carefully than normal. Should your angel break something for the first time in 99 visits, pay for it, or replace it. If it is priceless, at least be apologetic, and send flowers. If it was obvious that you were doing little, if anything to prevent that breakage, the apology may not be received as sincere. Prevention is always the best medicine.
“The fragrance of what you give away stays with you.” ~ Unknown
What are some sagacious tips you have for being a considerate new parent? Please share!