How to Deal with Visitors During Your First Month with Your Baby
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! As you adjust to your new role as a parent, it's natural to want to share the experience with loved ones. However, managing visitors during your baby's first month can be overwhelming.
All circumstances are different. If you are close with your family/your partner's family, and pregnancy and birth were a breeze, your wants and needs will be a lot different from someone who has an already taut relationship with family/friends. Plus, what kind of visitor are we talking about? A 5-minute coo-fest from the next-door neighbor or a 2-week, live-in with the mother-in-law from hell?
Here are some tips to help you navigate this exciting but challenging time:
- Where’s your buffer at? Before your baby arrives, you and your partner should talk about what you both want and expect from visitors and then, ask your partner to be the buffer. The latter end of pregnancy and birth is a lot for a new mom. One of the best ways for a partner to support the birthing parent is to be the buffer between your brand-new family and the outside world. This is all new to you, and you should all get to enjoy some hours or days together – the amount of time is up to you both.
- Set boundaries: Be clear but be gentle about when and how long visitors can stay ahead of time. ‘Use words like ‘Please pop by for an hour’ to set expectations. Let them know if you prefer them to call or message before visiting, and whether they can hold or feed the baby. Everyone is excited for you and wants to enjoy this moment with you.
- Prioritize rest: Remember that your body is still recovering, and you need plenty of rest. If you get tired, everyone will understand if you need to make a change of plans. The first couple of weeks are especially hard, so if you need visitors to leave so you can care for yourself or your baby try saying ‘You know, I am zapped of energy right now. Can we visit again next week/month/soon?’ Take care of your own needs and your newborn’s first.
- Simplify meals: We've seen other posts about how to keep cooking for your guest simple. Err...no! Never, ever cook meals for visitors after giving birth. There is at least a 1-month moratorium on that. THEY bring YOU food, not the other way around.
- Delegate tasks: To keep things real, bring out fresh, clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away. Ask visitors to pick up a couple of items from the grocery store on their way over. This can free up time for you to focus on bonding with your baby. If nothing else, they will think twice before visiting!
- Be selective: It's okay to prioritize certain visitors over others during this sensitive time. Choose people who are supportive, helpful, and respectful of your boundaries.
Remember, your priority during your first month with your baby is to care for yourself and your little one. Don't be afraid to say no to visitors or ask for help when you need it. With these tips, you can make it through with ease. Oh, and congrats on the new little one! When can we come over? ;)