This guide will help new parents like you on how to manage visitors after a new baby.
It’s an exciting moment to have a newborn baby. Every friend and family member wants to get that chance of meeting the new baby but what if you are not ready yet?
What if you just want some alone time but do not know how to say “No” to your friends and family?
No matter how much you try, without a good “NO strategy”, you will not be able to keep everyone away for that long.
It does not have to be all about, “Sorry, we are busy.” But it’s about how long can each of them stay and how you can control the time they are at your house.
How To Deal With Visitors After A New Baby
1. It’s Your Right
This is your first chance to do something you’ll be doing for the rest of your life – stand up for the rights and safety of your baby. You’re allowed to say no.
You’re allowed to say ‘We’ve agreed on no visitors except immediate family for the first two weeks.” You’re allowed to say “I don’t want anyone except parents and grandparents to touch baby for the first month.’ Really.
No one has the right to come bringing their germy germs into your house when you have a brand new baby, and no one ever, EVER has the right to touch your child.
I’m being emphatic here because people will try. People will reach into the stroller and touch your baby’s face, and of course, you can block their arm and tell them not to. Because they’re being rude, not you.
You’re going to be your child’s #1 advocate and protector for a long time, so start now.
Oh – and the people you DO want to see? They’ll say I’m coming over and doing your dishes. I have some heat-and-eat meals to go into your freezer. Do you have any laundry that I can do? WHAT can I do right now to help you?
– Marie, Just Plain Cooking
If you want to say no, you have a right. If you don’t feel up to it or know that you and your baby are not on a good schedule yet, ask them to visit some other time.
In general, if you are family, you are welcome, but you can’t stay forever unless you are helping out!
– Gessica, Catholic Mom Vibes
2. Your Home, Your Boundaries
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries! You have to look after yourself and your new little one. If you aren’t feeling up to it – say NO (thank you).
– Kinzy, Coffee With Kinzy
My biggest piece of advice for dealing with guests that are coming to see your new baby is to set boundaries.
When my first baby was born, my hospital room was so incredibly crowded constantly. And I felt like I never got to rest and recover from giving birth.
This is why we set clear boundaries when our next baby was born.
We allow only a few guests at a time for a short visit. This helped me and our new baby to get plenty of rest and bonding time as well.
– Heather, Very Anxious Mommy
3. Hand Washing Required
Don’t be afraid to make sure they wash their hands! If you want guests, say so. And if you need a break … say that, too.
Lauren, Sips And Sidebars
4. State A Time Limit
If someone wants to come to visit you and your new baby be sure to give them a time limit so they don’t overstay.
Also, don’t be afraid to tell them to provide something to eat. In my experience when someone wanted to visit they were more than willing to bring lunch or dinner or even a baked good along for the new mom and family to enjoy.
– Heather, Embracing Chaos With Love
5. It’s Not Rude, It’s Safety
One thing that’s hard for new moms is the fear that someone will get their baby sick.
It’s hard to speak up for some, when they think it sounds rude or they’re afraid it will upset their friends and family.
If you are having guests come see your baby, just tell them the hospital told you it was important that everyone wash their hands before they touch the baby, and that no one can kiss the baby.
Your guests should be happy to respect these wishes.
– Stromy, Pregnant Mama Baby Life
6. Flu Shots, Please
My Dr. told me to remind all of my loved ones ahead of time to get their flu shots for the year, and no kissing the baby expect for me and baby’s Dad.
It’s a lot less awkward to tell people this if you mention it’s Dr’s orders!
– Chelsea HerPaperRoute
7. Honesty Is The Best Policy
Just be honest and tell them you’re tired and not up for a visit, or maybe to just pop in quickly, whatever your preference.
And don’t forget to ask if they have been around anyone who is sick, especially during the winter season. If they have, postpone the visit.
Always make them wash their hands when they come in.
– Christina, Life With The Days
8. Put Em’ To Work
Most guests will give you more work than you need. Let people know if they are sick, have a cough, or just finishing a cold to wait a while before visiting.
Those who do visit tell them EXACTLY what they can do to help you. (e.g: dishes, sweeping, folding laundry) Most just want to hold the baby but you can do that yourself.
If the baby is taking a nap when they visit – ask them to help you around the house while you nap too.
– Rosaura, Crafty Mother Father
As long as they do some cleaning when they come!! All jokes aside it is wonderful to welcome people to see your baby.
After all, you are besotted with your new baby and want to show everyone how cute it is.
The mistake I made was been dragged out on meals out with the baby straight after birth. Just mind a balance that you find works for you.
– Samantha, Recipe This
9. Thanks But…Not Today
People are excited for you and want to meet your baby. But you are the mom, so ultimately it’s your say if you don’t want people to come around.
People bring germs that they don’t even know they’ve been exposed to. Tell them thank you for the support, and give them a good time that it would be okay for them to come around.
– Dawn, Wild Simple Joy
When it comes to guests visiting, set your limits and be clear about them.
If it is cold and flu season it is okay to tell people you’re in hibernation mode and they can meet the baby soon, but not right now.
It’s okay to not want guests to visit right away and let them know that you need to work around the baby’s schedule, this will keep them from staying too long.
– Nici, Sassy Smart And Simple
10. There’s No Shame In Saying NO
Don’t be afraid to say not no. Everyone is just as excited to share in this new bundle of joy and sometimes that can be overwhelming.
If you don’t feel comfortable saying no or not now, then ask them to help you.
They would likely be more than happy to either help clean up for you or watch the baby so you can get in a shower or even a decent meal alone!
– Candace, The Dixie Lady
Tell them to come at a specific time when you feel it’s best for you and the baby. Also, let them help you with washing the glasses or cups after the drinks.
If you really struggle due to sleepless nights, try to explain to them nicely to rearrange the time. Don’t feel bad and feel pressured to accept the guests any time they want.
– Devy, Thousands Of Miles Away
11. This Is Not A Kissing Booth
No kissing at all! Hand sanitizers all around the house. No shoes on in the area where the baby is located. If you are sick, you are not allowed to visit.
– Ashley, The Mommy Brand
12. Visit During Nap Time
Tell them to come at a time when you and baby are comfortable, preferably after a feed. And, if you’re afraid of your baby catching infections tell prospective guests to come at a time when the baby is asleep.
No well-meaning guest will want to touch a sleeping baby! That way, your little one is spared from any infections that might come from contact with people.
– Najma, Ace fit Mom
13. On Second Thought, Do NOT Visit During Nap Time
Feel free to use the baby’s “nap time” as an excuse not to have guests over. This is YOUR time, not theirs. Let them know that Tuesday is a good day, or whatever you decide. As the Mama, you are in charge!
– Kari, Money For The Mamas
14. Great! Baby’s All Yours!
If it’s someone I trust, I let them enjoy the baby and use that time to shower. They’re coming for the baby, not for me to entertain them.
I’m sure they don’t mind holding the baby for a good 15 minutes.
– Wella, Simply Wella
15. Mama Makes The Rules
Your baby, your rules. Don’t be afraid of telling people what you want to happen in the postpartum period.
It can be uncomfortable to have the conversation, but ultimately, you need to stand up for what’s right for your family. If you don’t want guests, that’s perfectly fine!
– Ashleigh, Growing Graci
Don’t hesitate to be vocal about your wishes. If you want a day or two at home without visitors then say that. You’re the mom and you are recovering.
If you want to just slow down and snuggle your baby and rest for a few days it’s your right you earned it!
– Amy, The Purple Monarch
16. The Best Guest Is Sanitized And Silent
Put a sanitizer on the table. And request them to use it before touching a baby.
The room of a baby should be peaceful.
So when guests come, let them have a look at the baby for a while and then for all your chitchat, take them to other room. If their kids are with them, that’s the most painful experience.
But tell them that the baby is small, can not bear big sounds etc. Kids will understand.
– Kimaya, Kimaya Kolhe
17. Stating The Rules Ahead Of Time
Create ground rules about what you’re comfortable with beforehand so it doesn’t feel personal.
If possible, have your partner communicate them too.
I suggest a cap on time spent visiting, rules on whether you want visitors in the hospital or only at home. Rules for people giving you space/privacy for nursing or skin to skin, and always wash hands before carrying the baby.
– Natalie, Mamapreneur.blog
Don’t feel bad for saying ‘no’ if you’re not up to it. Let people know what to expect before you have the baby to avoid offending people. Some people want to show off the baby as soon as it’s born, others want some time to adjust first.
– Emma, My Rig Adventures
18. Set A Schedule
Only allow it if and when you feel comfortable. I had to put down barriers with family members to say that they could visit during certain times. It made it so that we (baby and I) weren’t exhausted all the time. We had time to be a family and still have others experience our joy.
Mallory, Beautifully Blooming
19. Smile And Nod
It can be tough at times but don’t be afraid to layout boundaries.
When you sense that your newborn is getting tired, don’t be afraid to let them know.
When you’re tired, don’t be afraid to express yourself. During this time you’ll also most likely receive unsolicited advice.
Don’t take it personally! Newborns bring out the nostalgic side (or baby expert) in everyone.
Just accept what makes sense to you and smile and nod for the “off-the-wall” advice.
– Erin, Blunders In Babyland
20. Be Firm
Be firm with your response to people who want to come. Recognize that of course they mean well, but if you aren’t up for entertaining guests don’t be afraid to respond with NO.
– Bridget, The Freelancing Mama
21. Host A Baby Party
One of the best advice we have ever read is hosting a new baby party.
If you are the type of person who needs the special quality time only with your spouse and the baby, hosting a one-time baby party with a strict end-time might be your best choice.
What you can do is invite everyone who wants to see the new baby and serve them some light snacks.
But do not allow anyone who is sick to come to the house. Once the party is over, you can hole up for months as you wish until you are ready to show your baby to the world once again.
My sister did exactly most of the tips here as a first time mom and she used to feel bad about it, because some of our family members would joke about it but in a way, I commend her for doing that and standing up for herself and her little one. At the end of the day, we all know what’s best for tour baby.