New baby rules
After 9 long months, your baby is finally here! And everyone couldn’t be happier or more eager to see it for themselves. Whether you’re craving adult interaction or would rather be alone to bond with your baby, remember you are the one who sets the rules of how your visits will go—or not happen at all. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you navigate those first few months with well-wishers.
DON’T accept walk-ins.
Of course, everyone’s attention is coming from a place of love and excitement, but remember, you just went through something intensely grueling and are adjusting to a whole new life with the most demanding role you’ve ever undertaken. You don’t want people to just show up at your door. Scheduling your visitors will also allow you to have a handle on how many people and when they will be in your house. That means you’ll only have to actually wear normal clothes and seem somewhat put together on the days you know you’ll be having people over.
DO ask for help.
If people are coming over, let them be useful. You’ll be hearing this line a lot: “Is there anything you need?” The answer is always: Yes! I need food, I need extra diapers and I need a nap. Do you mind holding my baby while I go lie down? Also, don’t feel like you need to be the hostess with the mostest at this point. All people want is to meet the new member of your family and maybe get a whiff of that delicious new baby smell. You don’t have to feed them or entertain them.
DO be cautious of germs
Your baby’s immune system is still extremely weak, so take every precaution necessary to keep them healthy. Ask your guests up front if they or their kids are or have been sick. Make everyone wash their hands before coming in, or just keep a hand sanitizer by the door. Children are germ carriers and most viruses don’t show their ugly face until a few days in, so try to limit your baby’s exposure to young kids. You’ll have plenty of time to schedule play dates in the future!
DON’T feel guilty about setting boundaries
Once your visitors have had a chance to see the baby, all bets are off. There are subtle ways to drop a hint that you need your space. Leave the room when it’s time to feed or announce that you always nap when your baby naps, and it’s now nap time! Usually, a new baby visit should be around 30 minutes. Unless you really want or need the company, those first couple of months don’t allow for much more. So, don’t feel guilty about sending people away. Right now, the most important thing is to establish your own relationship with your child and a routine that works for both you.
DON’T pay too much attention to unsolicited parenting advice
Most people think sharing their parenting hacks is doing you a favor. The truth is you’re just trying to find your flow as a parent right now, so the last thing you need is everyone’s advice clouding your own maternal instincts. If you truly need help, you’ll know who to ask.
DO have back-up
It’s not a bad idea to have daddy on duty during visits, or if he’s at work, ask your mom, your sister or your bestie to fill-in. It might be helpful to have an extra pair of hands to pour a cup of tea, or even usher guests out when it’s time to go. It takes the onus off you, while you truly focus on your baby’s needs.