How to deal with in-laws visiting after baby

posted 2 weeks ago in Babies
Post # 46
Member
7676 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

anonbee3584 :  I haven’t read all the posts, but honestly – just tell them after the baby is born. That will automatically force them to wait a bit to visit while they make travel arrangements. Which include staying in a hotel because hosting with a newborn is unrealistic. Now is the time to set boundaries and you will be recovering from BIRTH. Their feelings are frankly irrelevant while you are healing and figuring out your new normal.

Also YOU decide who holds your baby and for how long. Who cares if they are visiting? I hardly ever handed my baby over. People could still see her while sitting in the same room as us. If you want to hold a newborn you go through IVF, shove one out of your vagina without any pain medication, and then keep it alive with your boobs. This one’s mine. 

Post # 47
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State

NikkiBee18 :  Should help, as in it’s the right thing to do?  Yes, as the guest of someone who has just given birth and become a first time parent, you should absolutely offer to help.  Should, as in must or should be expected to?  No, the parents cannot invite guests over (however grudgingly!) and assign them chores.  If someone asks how they can help, walking the dog can certainly be suggested as something that would be helpful.

 

 

I think the latest post has better wording, in talking about having the in-laws come in week two instead of focusing on telling them all the restrictions.  “We would love to have you come for a visit as soon as we’ve had a few days to settle in as a new family of three!  A week after the baby is born would be perfect. Please understand that we will need [reasonable boundary] in place as we adjust to having a baby around the house.  Let us know what you’re thinking for travel plans so we can make sure it works!”

Post # 48
Member
1159 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Girl, you’ve had posters here AND on DWIL tell you what the most realistic plan for these visitors would be and you just refuse to have it. I wish you luck in your recovery because it sounds like it’s gonna be hell. You insist on hosting less than helpful, mobility-challenged in laws who are just gonna sit and pass around your baby while you wait on them (not to mention while simultaneously bleeding, hormones raging and boobs engorged). Seriously… LISTEN TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN THERE. THEY CAN WAIT. 

Post # 49
Member
704 posts
Busy bee

You have EVERY right to NOT make things fair during this period of your life. Period. My mom was with me during L&D and met our daughter first, my husband’s mom wasn’t happy about it of course but that time was about me, not about her. I also couldn’t stand to see her more than once every 2 weeks during the first 3 months of my daughter’s life even though my family was allowed around more often. I was struggling with PPA, on a breastfeeding schedule, and honestly she just annoyed me SO much. Again, she didn’t like it but she complied and now guess what, we have a great relationship, I (not my husband) make sure my Mother-In-Law sees our kiddo at least once a week and they have an amazing bond. They’re definitely closer than she is with my mom and I’m so happy about it. But if she had pushed or made my life difficult during her newborn period when I was already struggling things would be different. 

The newborn period is hard as hell. The first couple weeks I wandered around in a daze in an open robe with my post-partum paper panties and a huge pad on, and my boobs out half the time. It is NOT the time to be hosting guests. I also wanted to hold my baby constantly. I felt comfortable letting my hubs and my sister hold her but got a lot of anxiety when anyone else was around (especially my MIL). You have no clue how you’re going to feel during the post-partum period. The first week is also intense with the baby blues.

Is it possible for your in-laws to come for a few days (and stay in a hotel) to meet the baby after it’s born and then come for a longer visit while your husband is on paternity leave? Trust me, if you allow them and your husband to push you into a long draining visit during this time you’re going to regret it and have a lot of resentment around it. 

My Mother-In-Law and mom called me out recently for being ‘crazy’ after I had my daughter as far as not allowing people to kiss her, not attending family events, insisting on vaccines/handwashing, and just generally being a hermit and I told them that I have ZERO regrets. I would do it all over again and give zero f**** about how I made anyone else feel. 

Post # 50
Member
9606 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I don’t have time to read the 4 pages, sorry.. just wanted to make a quick comment before logging out.

My in laws are a handful, as are my parents.

Things that helped, which from a quick skim have mostly been covered but can’t hurt to reiterate.

1. You don’t have to tell anyone you’re in labor. “I was a little busy/preoccupied at the time…” generally goes over pretty well.  

2. You are the mom.  SIL, Mother-In-Law, whoever–if they’re holding your kid when you don’t want them to you learn pretty quickly (or you should.. some people are more meek.. shake that!) that all you need to do is go and take your baby.  Just “I’ll take him back now thanks” while you are actively scooping him out of their arms.  No one can fight you because, again, its your baby.  (It may take a few times of you being really pissed off you weren’t more aggressive taking baby back before you decide you’re done with asking.)

3. If you need space, take space.  Going and nursing in the nursery is fine.  They complain?  Let them, who cares? You have more important things to worry about (the baby!).  Also, its not like Mother-In-Law can be holding the baby while he’s latched to your breast anyway.  In general if someone’s complaining to me I don’t let them hold my baby while they do it… you’d be surprised how little time people waste complaining when it cuts in to baby time.

4. Have a list of things you’d like help with.  If they’re really useless they won’t do it (sorry) but MOST decent people who are there to help with the newborn are willing to help, if you tell them what needs doing.  Laundry, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping.  Obviously also let them just hold the baby sometimes.. but just saying, you’ve got free help.  Use it.

Post # 51
Member
6999 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

livster :  *HIGH FIVE* Yes to all of this!!! 

 

anonbee3584 :  You need to set the boundaries that you feel comfortable with and your husband and family members need to get on board with it. You have no idea how you’re going to feel after you get home and that will all depend on what kind of delivery you had. I was barely functioning after the birth of my son, being in labor all day only to end in a c-section in the middle of the night. Hormones, recovery, breastfeeding, etc. It is 100% understandable that you wouldn’t want anyone in your space.

We had a rule that NO ONE was staying with us in the weeks after the birth. My dad/stepmom live local to me (so they were no issue) and came over frequently to visit but always went home after an hour or so. We made MIL/SIL wait a week, and we rented them an AirBnB down the street. They came over every day but at least having the mornings/evenings without them was crucial.

While I certainly think everyone should do what is right for their family, I do think some people are a little extreme with the rules and wait times. I think 1 (or maybe even 2) is perfectly acceptable to make people wait to visit. As tempting as it was for me to want to tell my ILs to just “Chill the F out” with coming so soon I had to remind myself that our family members were just SO excited for this baby to arrive. Our son is the only grandchild on both sides, and likely the only one my ILs will get. They truly just could hardly contain themsevles with excitement. 

I think in your case you need to have your Darling Husband tell his parents/family that you guys want at least the first week to yourselves before any visitors come into town AND that they will need to find a hotel or AirBnB. I also would be very clear that you have no intentions of entertaining anyone, and that anyone who opts to visit needs to be self sufficient and *helpful*. My Mother-In-Law is a classic helpless person who always needs to be entertained. That is the reason we rented them an AirBnB because I was not about to deal with her purse always on the kitchen table, or her loud TV all night, or any of the annoying quirks that would have been 200% more annoying while hormonal and recovering from surgery. 

 

Post # 52
Member
9391 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If you breastfeed your tits WILL be out. All. The. Time. Your vag or gut (or both!) will be insanely sore. You’re not going to want to haul your ass, stitches and all, to the bedroom every time you nurse. My kid was on the boob constantly—it wasn’t like oh I’ll go feed for 15 minutes and come back and visit for 2 hours. Nooo sirree. More like the opposite of that.

I’d allow both sets of grandparents to come after the birth for 2-3 days IF they stay in a hotel. And they can come over for 2 hours max per day. Any longer visits from your inlaws must be reserved for when your husband takes his paternity leave. 

Post # 53
Member
82 posts
Worker bee

I think if your in-laws could wait even a couple weeks to come visit, that would make a huge difference. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’re really not going to want your Father-In-Law sitting around in your living room 24/7 while you have your boobs out all the time trying to figure out how to feed your newborn. Slash even for the first month or so there will be episodes of insane cluster feeding, think like 5 hours in a row where you’re on the couch, tits out, constantly feeding your baby. I don’t know about you, but i’d lose my shit if I had to be quarantied in the nursery through that. Once they do come, I’d just be firm about boundaries as much as possible. You are the parents, not them, so you get to decide who holds the baby and when. 

As for the dog, I totally get where you’re coming from as we almost tossed our cat on the street when we first brought our new baby home. KIDDING!!! (kinda). The cat, whom I love dearly and will be with me for the rest of her life, was a huge pain in the ass …constantly trying to jump on the newborn, meowing maniacally at all hours of the day and night and just generally acting half rabid. With a new baby in the house I had zero patience for it. Dogs obv need a lot more attention than cats so I don’t blame you for wanting help with the pup!

Post # 54
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee

You’re risking problems by excluding your husband’s family from the first few weeks of the baby.  You want your parents but not his.  Both your parents and HIS parents form this child’s family.

Post # 55
Member
1957 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I haven’t read all the responses, but when my nieces/nephews were born, we all stayed in a hotel when we visited. We were there for the birth and just stayed in a hotel for the next couple of days. We kept the older kids busy when the newer ones were being born, and only stopped by for a little bit the first couple of days. Just have your IL’s stay in a hotel and only come over for a little bit. 

Post # 56
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Yeah, my family is far away and will stay in a hotel when they visit. If anyone expects a new mom to host, they’re out of their mind lol

Labor can take days and days. If they are going to expect you to host, I wouldn’t tell them I’m in labor. If they plan to stay in a hotel, then you can tell them whenever. They want to visit you and the grandbaby and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as they are realistic about their expectations.

Post # 57
Member
1159 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

What a load of crap. First of all, babies don’t spoil so nobody NEEDS to see baby ASAP after birth. That’s just ridiculous. Second, OP has mentioned her husband’s family won’t be satisfied/“can’t” just come visit for short visits of 30 minutes which (to me) sounds like they plan to park their asses on the couch all day. WHO DOES THAT. That’s so inconsiderate to anyone but especially a newly post partum mother. 

Fair is not equal. If in laws were helpful, kept visits short and stayed out of OP’s house then maybe they’d be invited for a visit. That doesn’t seem to be the case here; hence her concern, attempts at setting limits and posting this question on two forums for feedback. Somehow her spidey senses are tingling that this isn’t going to go well which is why she’s trying to sort it out ahead of time. 

bywater :  

Post # 58
Member
2109 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

panda_bear3 :  agreed. Not to mention, childbirth is traumatic for the mother and requires some pretty intensive recovery. When dads push babies out of their bodies, then in-laws can come as much as they want in the first few days or weeks. 

I’m pretty sure anyone saying this “everything must immediately be equal” stuff hasn’t actually had a kid 😉

Post # 59
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee

KittyYogi :  you’re right – I’ve had multiple miscarriages and will never get to have children.  I just know how important it was to my family to be there for my cousin’s child’s birth. 

But, enjoy your jab at the childless NOT BY CHOICE. 

Post # 60
Member
2109 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

bywater :  I’m sorry about your MC. I’m sorrry I offended you, obviously it was not intended. It was not a jab at the childless in any way and I certainly would never enjoy that ? 

My point is that 95% of the comments here are reassuring OP that if she doesn’t want non-family around while she is bleeding out her vag, leaking out her boobs, feeling like she got hit by a truck, and dealing with the most intense emotional rollercoaster of her life, that is reasonable. The baby is not going to expire and the first few days of its life will not determine familial bonds. The other 5% don’t seem to see that perspective and I suspect it’s because until you’ve been that person who feels like they got hit by a physical and emotional truck, it’s hard to relate to it. Understandably. 

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