You’ve just had a baby and there’s a (hopefully orderly) queue forming of people who want to visit your newborn.
Handling visitors when you’ve just had a baby can be tricky. The people who want to come and see you will all be loved ones, but at the same time many new mamas feel like they want quiet and space at this special time.
It’s all about bonding with your baby and healing, because giving birth is no easy feat!
When you’re feeling tired, sore and a more than a little hormonal, having a house full of people is probably the last thing on your mind.
But you know that you and your other half need to let your wider family meet the new arrival. It’s important for you to have the support, and for your family and friends to see the new little one.
So how do you handle visitors in the early weeks after giving birth? Here are my top tips.
Before I carry on, don’t forget to check out my post on 18 ways to survive the first eight weeks with a newborn.
Don’t have them all over at once
Rushing through every visitor right away will just leave you frazzled and exhausted.
Have your closest family over first in the early days, then move on to other relatives and friends.
People will be understanding that you can’t cope with having everyone over in the first week.
Set a time limit
Maybe you’re happy with your own mum sticking around all day every day. Or maybe you want a bit more time to yourselves.
Most people won’t stay for hours on end after you’ve had a baby, because they will understand that you need space.
If other people are not quite so understanding, get your other half to enforce a time limit of how long people stay.
Most of our new baby visitors stayed for between 45 minutes and two hours.
Have an emergency signal
This is useful for communicating with your partner when you need them to step in and help you out with the visitors.
After giving birth you may find that you feel a bit weird about other people holding your baby for long periods of time. This can be totally natural.
Use the signal with your partner to politely get the baby back to you, so that you don’t get too overwhelmed by the experience.
Stock up on simple snacks and drinks
You should not be expected to be serving up a three-course dinner with matching wines during this huge upheaval for you.
Most people who visit will be considerate and bring something along with them. Some may even bring along a few freezer meals for you.
However some may arrive empty handed, so it’s a good idea to be stocked up on tea, coffee and biscuits so you all have something to snack on.
Hopefully all of your relatives will be completely respectful of this tiring time for you and understand you need boundaries. However some people do struggle with this and may be knocking on your door unannounced when you’ve just managed to get the baby to sleep.
If people are dropping by unannounced and it’s causing you problems, do say something in a polite but firm way.
You could try nipping it in the bud by pre-empting the visitors. For example, say to them: “If you’re thinking of coming back again, could you give me a call so I know when I can hop in the shower before you come over.”
If saying something to their face is a little daunting, you could also try putting a sign on the door saying: “New baby and new mama are sleeping, please do not disturb.”
There is nothing unreasonable about wanting your space at this time. If someone is dropping by unannounced frequently and it’s causing you stress, do take action to do something about it. Someone who cares about you should be quick to help you, rather than make things more difficult.
Your other half really needs to be led by you on what the boundaries are. Ask them to help you gently tell people when is and isn’t a good time to pop round.
Limit the numbers
If you have a big family you may want to split them up into manageable groups of two or three maximum. Having everyone over all at once can feel like a bit much when you’re tired and frazzled.
However you also want to make sure your schedule of visitors doesn’t see you welcoming one group of people immediately after the other. You need to be getting some rest!
Have one visit a day. If you can cope with more, then great, but you’ll find in the early weeks with a baby there is so much to get used to and having your own space as a new mama is really valuable.
Have a list of things you need
Most people will buy cute little baby clothes because they are impossible to resist.
However some people will ask you what you need for the baby before the pop over to visit.
It can be useful to have a list on the go of things you actually need, because when you’re put on the spot you may struggle to remember.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out my post on unique gift ideas for new mamas.
I hope these tips were useful for you! Did you have a particular strategy for visitors after having a baby?