Rules For Visiting a Newborn
Have you set ground rules for visitors in preparation for welcoming your new baby, or have you previously?
If not, it’s something you may want to consider doing to make sure your home is as calm, stress-free and restful as possible. The newborn period is exhausting for new parents, that’s just a given, and anything you can do to minimise disruption to this very vulnerable and intimate bonding time is beneficial for the well being of your new family unit.
Many mummies don’t out of fear of insulting their friends and family, or because they feel that people will just disregard the boundaries set, but you must remember that this is YOUR pregnancy, YOUR birth, YOUR baby, so YOUR rules go, end of. If there is something you feel particularly anxious about, don’t be afraid to make your needs clear. Remember; if someone wants you and your baby in their life and wants to come and meet your beautiful baby enough, it won’t be too much trouble for them.
Setting rules for newborn visiting is a form of self care often overlooked; we’re here to normalise it!
If you’re unsure where to start with newborn visiting rules, here are a few suggestions;
- All guests should wash their hands before holding baby.
- Guests shouldn’t kiss baby – this might get a few eye rolls, but reading this could be helpful. It doesn’t mention that even without having an active coldsore, herpes can be passed on if you don’t know you have it though – so best avoided!
- Any guests who randomly turn up unannounced will be given a job to do in the house – yes, really, and we think it’s well justified!
- Set times for any visits, and make it clear that before and after is YOUR time to rest.
- If baby cries for a feed or a mummy cuddle, the guest must pass baby back – it is impossible to spoil a baby with mama love! We’ve seen MANY stories of stubborn mum-in-laws refusing to hand a screaming, hungry baby back!
What sort of rules do our mummies tend to set?
There were quite a few different suggestions from the mummies in our community, from keeping germs to a minimum like we mentioned above, to not turning up past a certain time. Here are some quotes from our mummies…
Kim: “If ill or been previously ill then don’t come round. Plus sanitised your hands before holding baby.”
Kim has a good point here. Some people feel that we can be too clean around our kids, which is true, exposure to allergens and bugs builds up the immune system, but we also need to remember that newborns have a very weak immune system so it’s important to avoid exposure to nasties until they’re at least a little bit bigger. This is a perfectly reasonable rule!
Tia-Paige: ” We’ve got a 1 hear old too, so we made sure everyone gave our 1 year old attention first and as well as the new baby.”
We love this rule, and think it makes perfect sense for keeping harmony in the household. Sibling jealousy is a very real worry for many parents, and this rule could prevent discord.
Lucy: “1) – only come round if invited – don’t just show up. 2) don’t just take my baby off me, ask if you can hold her. 3) isn’t so much a rule for newborns just for all age. Don’t be in and out of my babies life. If you want to be a part of her life then make sure you are.”
Lucy’s rules were great, we can totally relate! There is nothing worse than being in the cluster feeding stage, running on an hours sleep, unshowered and then someone turns up without checking you’re in a state for visitors! It’s discourteous at the best of times, let alone for a new mama.
Me: “My main rule was ‘do not tell me to put the baby down or that I am cuddling him too much’. Of course, didn’t stop some older relatives harping on but they soon piped down when shown actual science lol.”
This was my number one rule, I absolutely loathed people jibing about my son napping on me or being picked up when he cried. Newborns are too tiny to know how to manipulate their parents, and they’ve just come out of the safety of the womb, they will NEED the reassurance and closeness at this stage. There is so much proven science behind this, and I’m so glad that I stuck to my guns.
Rebekka: “If you turn up after 5pm or without announcement I won’t be opening the door. And don’t tell me how to parent.”
YAAAAS, Rebekka! Straight to the point, no prisoners held. We think a sign like this* could be a handy purchase if you set this rule… I wish I’d had one, I’ll never forgive the salesperson who woke me and my newborn up hammering my front door down trying to sell me something ridiculous!
What newborn visitor rules did you set? Share them with us in the comments!
Love from Katie. Xx