Newborn Tips: What to Tell your Friends before Visiting your Newborn

newborn baby__1450659127_108.89.138.209After your baby arrives, your friends and family will probably go gaga for your newborn.  Many people may want to come visit, meet the baby, and bring you gifts and food.  While everyone surely has the best of intentions, it may be overwhelming for your home to be a revolving door of visitors when you are trying to acclimate to life with a baby.  Today we’re offering newborn tips on what to tell your friends before visiting your newborn.

Tip #1:  “Do not come if you or any of your family members are sick.”

As perfect as she may be, your precious newborn has a rather weak immune system.  Although she’s gotten vaccinated from your Tdap shot, natural antibodies that mothers pass through the umbilical cord towards the end of pregnancy and she’s getting extra antibodies through your breast milk, she’s still not able to handle major germs.  Don’t risk your baby’s health by allowing a friend to come over who may be sick, even if they aren’t showing symptoms.

Tip #2:  “Wash your hands before touching the baby.”

Even if your friends have claimed to have just washed, insist they wash again before handling your baby.  Our hands touch thousands of microbes a day and you never know what is lingering that could make your baby sick.  Also, have hand sanitizer around and encourage a squirt or two periodically throughout a visit.

Tip #3:  “Do something useful while you’re visiting.”

Don’t let your friends eat up all your “free time.”  If your newborn is sleeping, talk to your friend while you are making dinner, folding laundry or eating your lunch.  Good friends will surely offer to help out if there is something they see they can do.

Tip #4:  “Actually spend time with my baby.”

If a friend has come to see the baby, make sure they see, hold and help with the baby.  Ask them to burp or change the baby after you breastfeed, which may give you a moment to go to the bathroom or take a shower.  You’ll feel like a new woman if you get just a few minutes away from the baby for some self-grooming.

Tip #5:  “Visitors are limited to a few per day or come as a group.”

If many people want to visit, schedule them over several days so you and your baby are not overwhelmed by too much stimulation.  Or, ask friends to come in groups so you can satisfy everyone’s desire to visit in one swoop.

Tip #6:  “Don’t judge me or offer unsolicited advice.”

Most moms of newborns still have a rush of hormones flooding their bodies.  And you probably have some major adrenaline and sleep deprivation at play as well.  Friends with the best intentions can set you off if you feel they are judging or criticizing your parenting.  It’s natural for friends to make comparisons to their own experiences in parenthood, but remember that every baby and familial relationship is different.  You’re doing the best you can in your unique situation.

Tip #7:  “Listen to me if I want to tell you my entire birth story and all my baby drama.”

If you’ve been cooped up with your newborn for days without contact with the outside world, you may just want to gab and vent.  Friends should let you do that even if it includes some complaining.  If ever a woman has a right to tell her story, it’s when she has just given birth!

Tip #8:  “Don’t stop by unannounced and expect to stay.”

It’s one thing if you are dropping of dinner or a gift, but it is not OK for friends to just pop in for a 2-hour visit if you are not expecting them. Set expectations with your friends and reschedule their visit for another time if they’ve stopped by at an inconvenient time.  You have the right to be particular about your schedule and precious time with your newborn.