The birth of a new child is an exciting time for any family, and it is likely that your relatives will be clamoring to see your little one. Unfortunately, many new parents don’t think to set ground rules for these visits and end up being miserable the whole time or having family members do things that are contrary to the new parent’s way of thinking. What guidelines should you follow when structuring a visit from relatives? We will be answering that question as we discuss newborn family visit guidelines.
Some basic precautions should be taken whenever you have visitors or new people around who will be handling your baby. Make sure that anyone who will be in close contact with your child is current on their vaccination record. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends “all close contacts be up-to-date with their whooping cough vaccine and seasonal flu shot.” Additionally, everyone should wash their hands before handling the baby to minimize the risk of child’s exposure to germs during your newborn family visit. Remember, a lot of things may have changed since your relatives had their children so don’t assume they are up to date on the latest safety information or research. One way to help ensure that you are clear about how situations should be handled is to tell them how you and your partner are doing certain things like feeding, calming the baby, sleep schedule, and swaddling to name a few. Don’t just suggest to them to do it the way you would like it done because suggestions leave room for them to do things their way.
Visiting your home
When having a newborn family visit at your home, pick a time that will be convenient for you, your partner, and baby. If possible, try to avoid having family over during feeding or pumping times so as to provide an opportunity for your relatives to spend time with your child. This also allows you and your partner some flexibility to take a nap or eat a meal while your little one is meeting their extended family. While it may be tempting, resist the urge to entertain or play host to your guests. Since many of us desire to put our best foot forward in front of company, it is often difficult for us to have our guests get things for themselves but in this case, it is in your best interest. You should take advantage of their help while they are in your home for their newborn family visit, not tending to their every need. Ask them to prepare a meal for you and your family, pick up some groceries, help with a load of laundry or do the dishes.
Away from home
If there is a newborn family visit that must happen away from home, there are several things to keep in mind as you prepare to make the outing. Make sure that you bring all the supplies you will need while you will be out of the house. Grab extra bottles, diapers, a change of clothes for baby, and anything else that you might need in case you decide you want to stay out a little bit longer. Timing is everything in this case because you want to avoid having a fussy baby on your hands or having to awkwardly deal with feeding or pumping issues that may arise. For this reason, we recommend that these visits be brief and not too far from home if at all possible. Since you will likely still be recovering from birth, it is vital that you not try to do too much with this trip and rely on your partner to help you know when it’s time to leave.