When a baby is born it seems visitors wanting to meet your newborn appear.
Understandably people get excited over babies but having visitors or even curious random strangers fawning over your child can be overwhelming.
Despite feeling happy that my family and my significant other’s family were supportive of our very unorthodox pregnancy/birth I was not really up for visitors right away.
In hindsight, I wish I had established guidelines for visitors before I even left the hospital. It would have made life easier, clear-cut, and way less stressful.
How To Handle Visitors After Giving Birth
- Don’t receive visitors right after giving birth– Giving birth can be exhausting, overwhelming, and leave you feeling down for the count for a while. It’s not recommended you resume light exercise or household chores for at least three weeks. You’re not typically back to somewhat normalcy for at least six weeks. Take some time to get to know your baby, develop a routine, establish some new sense of normalcy, and REST! Not saying it needs to be six weeks but it definitely should be in the weeks not days category.
- Establish who is visiting your newborn and when– You may not want your friends to meet your newborn before certain members of your family. You may not want anyone to see you or your newborn on certain days, holidays, milestones, or when you have appointments. Make it known as far out in advance as you can.
- Set visiting/calling hours for you and your baby– Unless it’s family members or close friends who offer to watch my daughter, I do not want people over for extended periods of time or just whenever. If you don’t want guest before 10am, say so. If your child is sleep 11am-1pm and you are open to visitors who want to spend time with you do so. Let people know when they can see your baby or you and for how long. Same goes for taking phone calls. If you don’t want phone calls or video calls during a certain time frame say so. Don’t forget to establish cut-off hours for the day. No visitors or phone/video calls after whenever for the night!
- Be clear in what advance notice means – What is the minimum amount of time you need for visitors to stop by? I personally am not a fan of same day visits unless it’s within my visiting hours and at least two hours notice with confirmation from me that it’s ok. A good rule of thumb is 24 hour notice.
- Visitors wanting extended visitation require planning ahead– That includes family. No visitors should be monopolizing your time! The longer the visit the more advanced notice and planning is needed.
- Don’t feel obligated accommodate visitors– If you’re not up for having overnight visitors, don’t! You don’t have to present them a snack tray or get up to grab them a water. You don’t need to be dressed up or even leave your bed if you’re not up for it. If your visitors are on vacation doesn’t mean you have to participate in their activities. You just had a baby and you don’t need to be stressing out or keeping up appearances for anyone. So do what you want and not what you think you have to do.
- Stand your ground when it comes to guidelines regarding you and your baby– Whether it’s washing hands before holding your baby, no cursing around your baby, or no holding your baby at all stand your ground. If you aren’t open to receiving advice or leaving the house no matter how well-intentioned stand your ground. It’s not about your visitors, it’s about you and your baby. Your baby, your rules. If they can’t follow them, they can’t visit.
- If they can’t respect you, they can’t visit– No mom deserves disrespect, ridicule, or belittlement. No respect for you, no visitation for them.
- You have the right to say no or ask visitors to leave at any time– You shouldn’t have to suffer through anyone visiting you. If you’re not up for someone visiting you can decline their request. If they are visiting and you aren’t feeling up for it, you should ask them to go. You don’t need to stress on anyone’s behalf.
- Be upfront and honest from the beginning– Enforcing all of these things can be uncomfortable. Not everyone is going to like your visitation rules. Let everything previously mentioned be known before anyone even comes to visit. There will be no excuse when they do come to visit and it allows them to fully back out if they’re not up for following your rules.