Setting Boundaries with Visitors During the Newborn Phase

08/2021

Those first few weeks when you bring home your baby can be wonderful and a  little stressful. Finding a routine, taking care of and bonding with this new little person can make the days long and the weeks fly by. With this new experience comes new challenges. If you have friends, family, or neighbors wanting to visit and meet this babe and/or offer help, it can be hard to navigate how to do this, and if you’re really ready to host others. We have some ideas on what to tell those well meaning friends and family, ways to include them in this special time of life and encourage you that sometimes no thank you, or not right now is enough.

Here are a few ideas of things you can say!

“We are so happy you’re excited to meet our newest addition, we can’t wait to introduce you. As soon as we feel comfortable with visitors, we will make sure to call!”

“We are still getting settled with our newest addition, but we so appreciate you think of us! We would love it if you reached back out in a few weeks and we can how things are then.”

“We’re so excited for you to meet our little one! Let’s schedule a time to video call.”

“We are hosting a drive by meet-and-greet instead of having visitors right now. We are excited to say hi from a distance. Hope you can make it!”

“Ordering food for us is a great way to help right now! We would appreciate it!”

“We so appreciate your thoughts, but we would like to spend quality time together as a family right now. If you’re planning to stop by, please text or call to ensure we’re awake and excepting visitors!”

We asked our hope&plum community members for recommendations on what they plan to do or did in the past when it came to setting boundaries with their newborns. Here are a few of their responses. 

“I always told family we loved company but a text or phone call ahead was needed, and if they wanted to help out – bring food! Not having to cook when I had my newborn was the biggest gift someone could give me.” -Alexandria Dawn White mom holding newborn in striped ring sling.

“Coming up with a project list in advance. We had my parents here for the first two weeks and now my in-laws for a week. They want to help and a project list gives them guidance without creating an extra burden on you! Also encouraging them to focus their energy on older siblings to help make older siblings feel special while husband and I are busy with newborn.” -SallyAnn Moyer de Rivera White women wearing newborn baby in a sling with a hat on.

“Set expectations as far in advance as possible. Whether that’s preference for visiting or not, vaccination requirements, or what kind of help you prefer, having it already out there and established before baby has arrived makes it that much easier to ‘enforce’ once baby arrives.

With covid the twins newborn phase is very different than our firstborn newborn time. I’m also much more comfortable this round being blunt and straightforward about my wants and needs.” -Paige Abid

White mom with dark brown hair wearing newborn in striped colorful sling.White mom wearing newborn in ring sling.

“The no visitors policy in the hospital because of COVID was actually something I was planning on doing anyway(and got lucky because it saved me from having to offend people) I don’t think I realized how overwhelmed I was with the constant whirlwind of people the first time until I got home from the hospital and couldn’t stand to be around anyone but my baby. My dad had flown up to help and that was nice because he cooked every night but it was also nic really only having one person. My FIL and SIL came by at some point too but we knew when they were coming which was key because once my dad left I was almost never dressed.” -Hope Sauberer

Whether you’re a first time parent or caregiver, or this is your 4th babe you’re bringing home. Remember that this time is for your family, and your comfort. What makes you feel comfortable may not be what someone else agrees with and that’s OK. Don’t be afraid to say not, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Most importantly enjoy this time if you can and give yourself grace. This is time of your life that you don’t get back and it goes so quickly. Enjoy those baby snuggles.