Handling Visitors After Having a Baby

Having a baby is an exciting time for you and your partner. Life as you knew it is changing and your world now revolves around your beautiful new baby. This is completely normal and new parents count down the days where they welcome this change. If you have close friends or family, they’re probably counting down the days too. It’s a huge anticipation and people that care about you will inevitably care about meeting the newest addition to your family!

The stream of people that will be asking to come by will seem endless, but there are a few things to do to make it less overwhelming. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how to handle visitors after having a baby.

Before jumping in, just remember that you make the rules. Prioritize the needs your new family before anything else and don’t be afraid to set tight boundaries. Your relatives and friends might be a little disappointed, but they should understand that this is a special time for you and your partner and there will be plenty of time to meet your baby when you’re ready.

1. Consider Limiting Hospital Visitors

You will have some friends and relatives that will try to visit you as soon as you’ve given birth in the hospital. Depending on how your labor went, you’ll probably be tired, feel a bit out of it, and most importantly, will want to spend alone time with your newborn and your partner.

It’s okay to tell people that you aren’t taking visitors at the hospital.

The best part about this is that hospital staff will respect your wishes and help ward off anyone who tries to come in uninvited. Consider taking some time to feel like yourself again, breastfeed your newborn, and just relax. If you want visitors, that’s okay too! Just understand your options and let everyone know your decision before going into labor.

2. Set Clear Expectations

With that being said, make sure all of your expectations and rules are clearly communicated to friends and family. If you don’t want people to hold your baby yet, let them know. If you only want visitors during certain times or on certain days, let them know. Creating a clear expectation before the visit will help your visitors understand what you need and respect your space.

3. Be Firm, You’re in Charge

When you’ve decided what you want to do for visitations, tell your friends and relatives. Be firm in your decision, don’t let anyone try to guilt trip your or make you feel like you’re being unreasonable. This is your baby. You are in charge of what happens from this point forward so make sure that people understand that you’re standing firm on your decisions. Don’t do something you don’t want to solely because you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings—you’ll just end up regretting it later on.

4. Enforce Good Hygiene

Newborns have a delicate immune system. They’re still gaining antibodies through breast milk and exposure to the world. If someone wants to hold your baby, make sure that they have washed their hands first.

If one of your friends or relatives are sick, don’t let them hold your newborn. This is pretty common knowledge and it shouldn’t offend anyone. Once your baby reaches two months, it’s okay to become more lenient about this.

If you have friends or relatives who smoke, let them know that they will have to wait around 30-45 minutes after smoking before holding your baby. This is because toxins from cigarettes stay on your hands, breath, hair, and clothes long after stubbing out the butt. Wake sure they wash their hands thoroughly after smoking and before holding your baby.

As long as you enforce good hygiene and see your pediatrician regularly, or if you notice any signs of illness, feel free to have friends and relatives hold your baby.

5. Don’t be Afraid to Say No

Remember, if you don’t want visitors, you have the authority to say so. Don’t be afraid to say no to friends or even relatives. Your life just went through a huge transition and if you’re not ready to start sharing it with others yet then don’t. You are not obligated to meet the wants and needs of others. Right now, be selfish and don’t do things that you don’t want to do.

6. Spread Out the Crowd

When you decide to start letting visitors come over, avoid having them all come at once. Too many visitors in a short period time will be stressful and tiring. Instead, aim to spread out the crowd. Tell people when to come and try to be strict about it. To avoid burnout, don’t overdo it with too many people too fast.

7. Choose Your Visitors Wisely

When start letting people come over, be particular in who you invite. Don’t let anyone come over that makes you feel uncomfortable or who will be offended if you tell them to just be quiet for a minute. You want your close people right now, not work colleagues or acquaintances from high school. Choosing your visitors wisely means you won’t feel the need to dress up or clean the whole house before they come over. It allows you to avoid using a filter at all hours of the day and gives you a comfortable space if you just need to cry for a minute.

8. Consider Visiting Them Instead

If you’re worried about people overstaying their welcome, and trust us, they will, consider visiting them instead. This may seem a bit more daunting, as it requires you to actually leave the house, but it gives you an out when you’re ready for the visit to end. If someone doesn’t fall into the group above or if you feel like you just need a change of scenery, head to your favorite coffee shop or ask if it’s okay for you to stop by their house. Then, when you want to leave, just politely tell them you have to go and leave! It’s as easy as that.

9. Change Your Voicemail

If you’re struggling to tell people they can’t come by, or want to make sure no one makes a surprise visit when you don’t answer a call, consider changing your voicemail. Think of it as an out of office message to inform people that you’re doing well, but are focusing on your new family. This makes it known to people that constantly feel like they have to check in that you’re doing great, but are focusing on your baby now.

Your message doesn’t need to be harsh or awkward, just a simple note saying thanks for calling and that you’re working on adjusting to this “parenthood” thing so you might take a bit longer to respond.

10. Avoid Entertaining

You just had a baby. The entire 9-month journey and labor is hard and puts a lot of physical strain on your body. Add a newborn with a sporadic feeding and sleeping schedule and you will start to feel the sleep deprivation taking over. With that being said, if you have visitors over, avoid entertaining. Take it easy. Relax and visit in a casual setting and let people know to help themselves with food or drinks. If you get too tired, ask them to leave.

Don’t focus on how you’re making them feel, this is about you and your baby now! It’s okay to tell them it’s time to leave, they will understand.

Conclusion

Having a baby is a new, very exciting adventure for you and your partner. Your life changes in magically ways, but it does take some time to adjust. You’ll want to spend every second possible with your newborn right after delivery to bond and get used to caring for him or her. It’s normal to not want visitors right away. Hopefully this article has helped you with some tips on how to handle visitors after having a baby, but the main take away is to never do something you don’t want to do. This is your time to be selfish, so take advantage of it! If you have any questions or concerns after delivery, now is also the time to talk to your pediatrician. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re calling them every second, they’re used to it. To help make your postpartum life easier, don’t forget to browse all of our available manual and electric breast pumps. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, expectant mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider!

If you have any other suggestions on how to handle visitors after having a baby, or want to share your stories, head to our Facebook page and leave a comment today!

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