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To limit visitors after birth? What did you do?

(47 Posts)
Napqueen1234 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:46:06

Hello,

So due in 3 months DC2. Have a 2 year old already. For her birth my mum was with us, MIL came straight there (from 4 hours away) and was there at 10am (I have birth just after midnight) and GPIL came 2 days later. The issue I had was that they stayed for ages (I understand they came from 4 hours away) and I was exhausted, stressed as baby was unwell and uncomfortable attempting BF with people there.

Fastforward to this time we now live close to in laws and 4 hours from my parents. We discussed last night and planned:
Only me and DH in hospital. DH will go and collect DC1 to come 'meet' baby if we are in over 24 hours as I will want to see her too.
Visitors from both sides limited to an hour or two in the first 2 weeks (pat leave).
Invite my parents to stay Tues-Fri of week 3 when partner back to work.

Just to add my parents are much less intrusive and much more helpful (ie. will help cook, look after DC1, let me go for a nap if struggling) etc compared to in laws which DH completely agrees with.

Do you think this sounds fair? We want to set things out clearly before the birth and while I know everyone will be excited it was too much last time and we really want those first two weeks to get settled as a 4.

Any advice or experiences welcome. Obviously we have never had a newborn with a toddler before (although she does go to nursery 3 days a week which will continue).

Thanks!

Napqueen1234 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:47:30

Also completely appreciate it can all go tits up with C-sections, unwell either (me or baby) etc etc. so we will have to flexible in that regard but fingers crossed after a smooth first birth it will be ok!

LolaSmiles Wed 11-Sep-19 10:52:39

I think going in so rigid may be a little OTT but I like your principle.

I'd just say youve both decided it'll be just you two and DC in the hospital. Then when things get closer and people make plans etc say we want some time to get used to a family of 4 so are asking visitors to only stop an hour or so.

I don't think you need to get into communicating plans beyond that. With your parents agree for a longer stay after DP goes back to work but that's between you and them. The rest of the family don't need to know.

Slightlysurviving Wed 11-Sep-19 10:54:03

DD1 didn't tell anyone, we were sent straight home and announced that evening. Took family a day or so to mobilize so we had a couple of days to ourselves. DD2 only told babysitter ( local friend) was in and out in just over 4 hours. She left the next morning. We announced to family that evening. Made no concrete plans as it's all so unpredictable just didn't tell anyone until we were ready which is easier than fending people off. I did have straight forward labours and was out and about within 24 hours so happy for guests from then. Good luck with the new baby.

stucknoue Wed 11-Sep-19 10:54:14

I think you limit visitors at your peril. You never know when you will need their help and people don't forget. Once you are home having your parents stay could be very helpful because your toddler will only have a very short attention span, they will want to go to the park and be played with. Your in laws I'm guessing are watching your older one for potentially days so then saying one hour only seems mean. I've been on the boards long enough to know that the same people who want to restrict visitors are then the ones complaining that relatives aren't helping out. Beware of the message you send out is all I'm saying - every situation is different but my mum was super helpful and dad concentrated on my toddler in similar circumstances

BlackInk Wed 11-Sep-19 10:59:48

I think I'm in the minority because when my DC were born I couldn't wait for my friends and family to meet them...

I wasn't in hospital for long with either, so only DC's Dad and my mum and sister came to see us there.

We called in at my mum's on the way home with DS, and my family were at my house waiting when we got home with DD.

Especially with DS (born after a very long and painful journey to becoming parents) we had visitors every day for weeks, but it was lovely to see them and share him.

Noone stayed overnight though -- I'm not keen on having overnight visitors at the best of times smile

Clangus00 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:00:44

No, I don't think you're being fair. Yes, your in laws might be different to your parents, but they're no less the grandparents.
Your baby is a member of a larger family than just you, your husband and DD1. I would hate to be limited like this.

tillytrotter1 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:04:27

I think I'm in the minority because when my DC were born I couldn't wait for my friends and family to meet them...

I once had 14 people in my 'cabin', Naval Hospital hence cabins, they'd been doing their 'duty visits' to wives in their husbands' units then gravitated to me, there were quite a few bottles of fizzy stuff too. After they'd help dispose of the fizzy stuff the staff then politely told them to push off! Great afternoon all round.

LolaSmiles Wed 11-Sep-19 11:06:15

stucknoue
I think you're right on how to get the message out.

There have been threads where people have limited visitors for weeks and then later started new threads about how family weren't as involved, weren't coming over.

If the OP shares her hospital plans and then drips other info as and when based on how she's feeling then that's probably safest.

We're due this winter and I've already had to say we aren't hosting a house full from day 1 (lots of talk about travelling for the birth, being on standby around the due date, wanting etc so they can travel and meet baby asap), but then we'll have visitors once we are home and we know how I feel. Some families are well intentioned but you've got to manage expectations in a kind way.

DungeonDweller Wed 11-Sep-19 11:06:57

our birth / recovery didn't go to plan / hollywood style.

my 1 major regret about the things i could control was not resisting visitors better. DH is still upset that he should have protected us - it really intefered with bonding, establishing BF, my healing (literally couldn't get into the bathroom to check stiches and clean up wound dressings when visitors were around, wanting to hold and see baby all the time, etc)

it was relentless. and on top of a situation in which i'd never been so exhausted and in recovery pain in my life.

i still have a stress response just thinking back to it, even writing this my heart is pounding!!

from123toabc Wed 11-Sep-19 11:07:02

Depends on the visitors. My parents and MIL would both be really ghelpful. Cuddles with baby, attention to our older child, bring food, help with housework etc etc. My parents live in the next town (12 miles away) so wouldn't have to host. My MIL lives 3 hours away and we would have the space to host her and she never gets in the way anyway, she does a food shop, helps with the school run etc.

However DC1 is from a previous relationship, her paternal grandparents were hell. I used to use the excuse that I needed to go upstairs to feed just to get away from them. They would turn up, plonk selves on sofa and demand tea and food and waiting on. I don't miss them at all

BertrandRussell Wed 11-Sep-19 11:07:15

“I think I'm in the minority because when my DC were born I couldn't wait for my friends and family to meet them...“

This.

Napqueen1234 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:15:23

Thanks for all your responses so interesting to hear different points of view.

Absolutely @stucknoue I don't want people to feel unwelcome and completely appreciate how helpful they can be especially for DC1. Its just hard as once they are here they don't respond well to 'nudges' towards leaving if we need a break after a couple of hours. @LolaSmiles the way you phrased it would be what we would say- prefer just us at hospital, you're more than welcome to visit when we are home but if possible we will keep visits fairly short to allow us to recover.

I completely appreciate what you are saying in terms of I don't want the to feel alienated but for example my MIL came for 5 hours, wouldn't hand me back the baby and insisted on bottle feeding her when I was trying to establish breastfeeding as 'my milk hadn't come in anyway'. I don't have animosity towards her and we do get on but I feel gently exerting our opinion a bit more strongly this time might help us to feel a bit more in control.

Napqueen1234 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:16:49

@DungeonDweller sorry you feel that way, not as bad but I remember desperately wanting to lie down and sleep and not being able to with visitors there and also passing baby back and forth to each other when I just wanted to hold my newborn I remember those feelings so well.

Batcrazymum3 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:17:15

I think at this time in your life its fair that you take control and if these are the stipulations you want to put in place then I think go for it. People might be a little taken aback since the last time it was very much a free for all but people need to accept your wishes. This is your family!

The only think I would say is week 3/4. You are having your family for 4 days. PIL do deserve time as well. could you maybe suggest you go round for dinner 2 nights with them or something, just so everyone is factored in to your agenda

Napqueen1234 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:20:37

@Batcrazymum3 yeah that's true- perhaps that next weekend we could go to my MIL for the day and as all DPs family live close by they could drop in throughout the day to see the baby.

HappyDinosaur Wed 11-Sep-19 11:25:29

It's obviously completely the choice of you and your husband, but this seems to be a recent trend that I just don't understand myself. Everyone is different of course, but it just seems strange not to want family around you at such a joyous time. Like I said though, that's just me and everyone has their own feelings about it and you can do whatever works best for you and your family.

KUGA Wed 11-Sep-19 11:34:41

Just tell them to visit when back home please.
Were wanting to get a little routine started for the 4 of us.

0lga Wed 11-Sep-19 11:36:39

I felt really awful after all my births and wish I’d had the courage and support of my DP to do what you are planning.

MsSquiz Wed 11-Sep-19 11:42:05

I am due in December with our first and I've had this conversation with DH. I don't have any immediate family, whereas he has both parents, sister & husband, brother, wife & 3 kids. And they all live no more than 15 mins away! grin

I know they will all want to visit immediately. If they could, they'd be waiting in the hospital car park!

I've asked DH if we can have no visitors at hospital (ideally we won't be in long anyway) and have the first 24 hours at home just as the 3 of us. Then visitors will be asked not to just "pop in" and to at least give us 30 mins notice that they'd like to visit so we can let them know if it's convenient.

My view is that I'd rather have that in place, and then maybe feel up for visitors the first evening we are home, and then call to see if they'd like to come round, than have to fend them off from visiting too soon.

I think some people tend to forget in their excitement to meet the new baby, that mum might be not be feeling up having lots going on around her

littlebrownmice Wed 11-Sep-19 11:42:12

I think a lot of this depends on visitors and status quo with your family at the moment. Our family visit us rarely (no animosity, we all live reasonably far apart so had met up round christmases etc) so it was a bit of a surprise to suddenly have visitors every day at a time when you are getting no sleep whatsoever and want to have your boobs out all day if trying to breastfeed. Everyone was lovely and we didn't mind but did think maybe we'd plan it differently next time (not more restrictive just maybe more proscriptive timings)

For example one day after 48 hours of being continually awake with no sleep whatsoever I was hoping for a nap while DH watched baby but couldn't for another 12 hours because after midwife and then needing to visit emergency pharmacy we had a load of guests and dog barking, baby awake etc etc, it is tough

coconutpie Wed 11-Sep-19 11:44:14

Just saw your latest post, so your MIL prevented your baby from being breastfed just so she could give a bottle? She's awful. Your baby, you decide how you feed. Not her. No wonder you want to limit visits.

CluelessNewMama Wed 11-Sep-19 11:46:56

YANBU. Do what you need to. You can always change your mind if you decide you feel up for visitors sooner than you expect. We didn’t limit visitors in advance and I regret it in hindsight, it added to the overall exhaustion and we should have just been bonding as a family rather than thinking about everyone else.

ThePolishWombat Wed 11-Sep-19 11:48:45

I have home births, so pretty much lock my doors and keep my curtains closed for a good week afterwards grin
No one except my parents and DH’s mum are welcome across the threshold for the first couple of weeks.
We were piled on by visitors (some of them uninvited) after the birth of DC1, and it was horrible. I felt so overwhelmed by it all and none of them took the hint that it was time to leave, some expected the baby to be passed around like a toy, and to be waited on hand and foot hmm
No. Just no.
I quickly decided that visitors would be by invitation only when I was ready for that - except for the aforementioned grandparents who are the helpful variety of visitor, who keep other DCs entertained, make their own refreshments, actually help with things we need help with!

lunaland Wed 11-Sep-19 11:50:34

@Clangus00 Your baby is a member of a larger family than just you, your husband and DD1.

I have to disagree with you here. For the first few months of the baby's life the most important people are mum and dad. During this time the baby's wellbeing depends on mum and dad being well. If limiting visitors initially helps the mum and dad , particularly the mum, then that's what should happen.

The baby doesn't care about or need grandparents at this stage and so it's purely for the grandparents benefit to meet baby at this stage.
I'm not saying they shouldn't see baby at all but it should be on the mother's terms.

Op isn't stating that no one will ever visit, she is just going on previous experience as to what will be easiest for her - this has complete priority over what anyone else wants.

Everyone is different as to what is best for them after birth and that has to be taken in to account by everyone involved.

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