Visitor Policy After Baby

posted 1 month ago in Babies
Post # 16
723 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

We allowed grandparents to come visit. I don’t remember if they came in the afternoon or the next day (he was born in the morning via emergency c-s). No one stayed long and it was not overwhelming. I think my son was introduced to more extended family maybe in the next month or two? It wasn’t a huge baby grab. I would have allowed people to come see him sooner if they had wanted to, just short stays and wash hands for the first 1-2 months. 

When our second son is born in two months, it’ll pretty much be the same story. Second day is always easier since I’ll be having a repeat c-s and the first day involves lots of being hooked up to things and awkwardly catheterized – all the hallmarks of a good visit.

If you don’t have a pet that has to be watched or any other kids, I wouldn’t even tell anyone until you are ready for a visitor. I’m not even sure I would tell them that ahead of time. Just smile and nod at whatever people claim to want, and then go ahead and do your own thing. Not telling anyone is so much easier because there’s zero negotiating and everyone gets over any upset quickly if they want to come see the baby.

Post # 17
672 posts
Busy bee

It also depends on what the hospital allows. Where I gave birth, only two people were allowed in the birthing room, they got wristbands and that was it – you couldn’t change them or swap them out. I had my mom and husband in the room and I’m so glad my mom was there. My birth went sideways and my husband left me to be with our baby in the NICU. My mom was the one who helped me shower and get cleaned up and was there holding my hand to tell me everything would be ok. For the post-partum unit, you could have a max of 3 or 4 visitors at a time during visitor hours and you could have a designated 2 people get brackets for all hours access. Due to a bad cold and flu season our NICU was on lockdown and only allowed parents of the baby and the baby’s siblings to enter unless it was a palliative situation. My in-laws and sister who flew in and had to leave without seeing the baby and my parents were able to extend their trip long enough to see us bring him home. I wouldn’t plan for friends or extended family to come – I’d have them wait until your settled in your house. If you think you’ll want the support though, I’d make plans based/rules based on how flexible it is for your immediate family to be there. 

Post # 18
607 posts
Busy bee

kmbumbee190618 :  Don’t announce until you’re ready. Then, depending on how you feel, tell the nurses when it will be OK to allow visitors. Recently my neighbor had a baby, and I mentioned I would love to meet the little guy. My neighbor politely told me he would invite me over in a week or two when mom is feeling up to it. I believe most people will respect your wishes if you’re polite, but straight forward. 

Post # 19
9210 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We told people we would call when “things were getting close.” Buuuut then we didn’t call until like 2 hours after her birth. Oh darn, things just went so fast and got so hectic! Sorry….(not sorry).

We had grandparents and SIL visit in the hospital. They were pretty respectful, but if you have people who will camp out all day I’d tell the nurses ahead of time. They’re pretty good about kicking people out if mom needs her rest.

At home we made sure to specify the time limits i.e. “we’d love to have you visit from 1-2 today”. I was breastfeeding too so that made it easy to be like sorry gotta nurse…BYE!

Post # 20
1923 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I’d say wait and play it by ear.  Don’t tell anyone you’re going into labor, unless you want to.  

Just be prepared for your plans to go out the window!  We had all these grand plans about having time to ourselves at home with the baby right after we were released from the hospital.  We got home and were completely overwhelmed and desperately needed help!  Partly because he had some unexpected medical and feeding issues, and partly because newborns are tougghhhhh when you’re first-time parents who haven’t slept much for days already.  Luckily my parents could drop everything and come stay with us and help out <3

Post # 22
319 posts
Helper bee

kmbumbee190618 :  I would say just go with the policy bearinabeecostume‘s neighbor took. Husband’s not the one who’s going to have a human being ripped from their body and have to nurse round the clock so what you say goes lol. If he wants to show off the baby so bad he can take pictures and spam people on Facebook/messages. 

Post # 23
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

My husband and I are not always on the same page- but we were with visitors post baby. With our first born, he arrived right before Christmas and we hosted a slew of holiday events and family functions and it was a killer. We both recognized it was too much. When our daughter arrived, we kind of went into lockdown. It was a lot better. His parents are in town so I made him be the heavy when it came to their popping in and it worked out just fine. Of course everyone is excited, but you figure out what works for you and like others said, MOST people are really respectful. And if they’re not, you kind of get good at the artful dodge 😄

Post # 26
2130 posts
Buzzing bee

kmbumbee190618 :  Pregnant now and thinking through these issues. We’ll probably play it by ear. We have discussed having both sets of grandparents in to visit at the hospital, but no one is staying at our place for the first two weeks. We haven’t really discussed visitors but we probably won’t announce our baby’s birth to anyone that we don’t want to come by and visit, at least at the hospital. We’re not really social media people so it’s not like anyone but our best friends would even get a heads up about the new human in the world.

As to the flu shot, I’ll give a super short version: the flu is particularly dangerous for babies so if you do have a child in flu season, I’d say its a big must for regular visitors. Most flu deaths come from the very young and the very old. You’ll also be asked every prenatal appt if you got one too at most OBs, so it’ll be on your radar then if it isn’t now. Ultimately, it’s your call to how you enforce it. I’m very pro-vaccine and flu shot and plan to ask our families that can to be up to date, but for our friends that will just drop by occassionally, I won’t ask. 

Post # 27
7778 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

kmbumbee190618 :  Neither d.h. nor I, nor either set of our parents had ever had a flu shot before my pregnancy. But, our baby was born in November, so right at the beginning of flu season, and we live in the frigid midwest where the flu is everywhere. For that reason we asked them to get flu shots and it was a non-negotiable for us. We also asked everyone to get the tdap, at the recommendation of my doctor.

My mom was a little iffy about getting the vaccines, so I sent her the CDC webpage about the recommendation, and that convinced her. In laws were another story…mil in particular has a major phobia when it comes to doctors/needles, and so she raised hell when we asked this of her and said some really offensive and ridiculous things. It actually led to a pretty heinous altercation several hours before my water broke! I’m pretty sure my rage over that is what made me go into labor lololol. But that’s another story. So yeah…they didnt’ see the baby until she was four months old because of that, but it’s alll water under the bridge now.

ETA: Only our parents (who would be staying with us/spending extensive time with baby) were asked to get the vaccines. We didn’t care about people just stopping by briefly to visit.

Post # 28
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

“Sorry–it’s not convenient for us to have visitors right now. We’ll call you and set a time.” Or, stronger, “We can’t have visitors right now.”

If they say, “Oh, just for a minute–” (which is rude–and you don’t have to be polite to people who are rude), reply, “That doesn’t work for us.” Keep in mind that coming over when you haven’t been invited is really rude and invasive, so they’ve already violated your privacy and schedule and plans and needs–you don’t need to drop everything and give them what they want. You just had a baby. You have needs, and needs take precedence over wants.

“We’re just dropping something off.” “Leave it on the porch.” (The ruder and more insistent they get, the stronger you get.) 

Or, if they just show up and knock, don’t answer the door. I never answer the door unless I’m expecting someone. And, of course, keep the doors locked.

Post # 29
801 posts
Busy bee

kmbumbee190618 :  Unless your husband is going to push a baby out of his penis or have his abdominals cut in half to pull a baby out…..HE GETS NO SAY. Your wishes trump his for hospital visitors. Period. And he needs to get on the same page when the time comes.


As for relatives that don’t call ahead, my husband has literally walked out to our sidewalk to tell his parents they need to call before visiting and that they cannot just show up….and that “now is not a good time for us.”  Guess what? After that happened twice, they always call and ask now.  You really can train people if you enforce the boundaries you set. 

Post # 30
1831 posts
Buzzing bee

cassandra7 :  great advice. 

I would just add that you outline your rules ahead of time so there is no confusion. That means you tell everyone while your pregnant that no guests will be allowed to your home until a month after the birth. Or that guests visiting the hospital are allowed 20 minutes but then MUST leave. If you are loud and clear before the baby arrives then it should be easier to enforce your rules. 

Sometimes in laws and family like to make comments about how they will be visiting you tons because they are just so excited etc. if/ when those  comments happen you just speak up in the moment. “Actually guests who show up without asking will be turned Away.” Or, as excited as everyone will be, we will be taking time just us three for a few weeks.” Don’t be afraid to shut down comments where other people are dictating terms. 

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