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Family visits after the birth

(41 Posts)
Ziggimajiggi Wed 28-Sep-11 14:04:04

I was just wondering what the usual protocol is? I know our family (and friends) will want to visit as soon as possible.

I'm staring to feel well stressed about when they should come, how long it's normal to stay and how to get rid of them ahem, how to gently hint that it may be best to go.

So...what worked for you?

JambalayaCodfishPie Wed 28-Sep-11 14:13:22

I told close 'helpful' family members to call before visiting - and not be offended if I said "not now".

If there was an unexpected knock at the door, id either ignore it, (if asked later we were all sleeping) or answered but casually mentioned midwife was due at x o'clock, so it'd have to be a quick brew, or that we had an appointment at x oclock, and need to shower etc first.

Or just feign falling asleep as they speak. smile

ConstanceNoring Wed 28-Sep-11 14:13:24

With first DS I had him about lunchtime, and mum, sisters, sis in laws all came around 5pm to the hospital - I was still buzzing from it so I truly didn't mind.

I was lucky enough to be home by 11am the next day and had a bit of peace and quiet for a couple of hours then visitors started trickling in from about 2pm through to bedtime - I seem to remember loads stayed at ours for a takeaway that evening grin

But you can (and I did with DS2) say at any point "right you lot you it's lovely to see you but you all need to sling your hooks now, I'm shattered and I want to get into the baby routine now" non-ones going to mind you saying it wink

feekerry Wed 28-Sep-11 14:24:49

Oh my god I totally feel your stress. Its the one thing i'm really worried about. This will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family and first baby ever really for both families. Obviously I understand everyone's excitement but i'm dreading it. I'm having nightmares that everyone and the world will turn up at hospital. Can I ask, whats the norm for family wanting to pick the baby up when its sleeping? Is it the norm for me to say no sorry you cant hold the baby as she's just got to sleep or is that rude?

ALotToTakeIn Wed 28-Sep-11 15:35:12

I have given them strict instructions that if they want to come round they need to bring a freezable meal or cake! my familly already think I'm an overly protective control-freak as I won't let them feed the dogs from the table or touch my bump without asking/invitation, so I don't suspect they will see it any differently if I tell them to bog off or leave the baby where he/she is grin

stuffthenonsense Wed 28-Sep-11 15:42:45

its easy for me to say but.....your baby, your rules!
having already been through it 4 times i am still dreading the visitors with this one and to be honest whatever you decide, someone is going to complain, so with that in mind, do what makes YOU happy.

Ziggimajiggi Wed 28-Sep-11 15:54:38

Thanks so much for the advice...I am especially loving the cake related demands smile Also with you on the not feeding animals from the table tbh!

Think I'm veering towards setting visiting hours - and letting people know I might be too tired and ask them to sling their hooks!

I'm loving the just not answering the door too smile

annekins Wed 28-Sep-11 16:16:14

We're having an 'open afternoon' (for want of a better word), a couple of weeks after baby arrives so that friends etc can pop round and have a cuddle. That way DH and I can settle in to our new jobs in life! A very select few will be asked to come round earlier, but they are very trusted and close friends who I know will be minimum hassle and that I will throw out when I've had enough!

Family though is going to be more of a problem as MIL thinks that she'll be coming to stay for weeks help with the baby the minute it's born!! Still haven't quite worked out how we're going to deal with that. Otherwise, everyone has been told that they have to bring some sort of food or cake etc if they come round, and to not be offended when instead of passing them a baby, they get the washing up or the hoovering to do!

Come up with a plan with your OH and stick to it. It's your house, so your rules apply. I know some peeps think that's it's over-reacting a bit to be quite so militant, but I know hat our first baby is going to be a big challenge with many unexpected things, so if I can keep a handle on the things I can, then I hope it'll be more manageable!

pootlebug Wed 28-Sep-11 16:26:09

Are they local enough to make or change plans at short notice? If so, I'd be okay with grandparents coming very soon after getting home from hospital (i.e. within 48 hours) BUT I wouldn't expect them to stay longer than an hour or two. And all visitors should:
- Ring first to check it's still convenient, even if you arranged the time a week ago
- Be on tea-making duty
- Bring biscuits/cake/flapjack

I'd ring friends gradually over the days after that depending on how you feel. If you're breastfeeding, the big milk coming in bit 2-7 days in....that's the bit when I wouldn't want any visitors except my extremely helpful non-interfering Mum!

Fresh01 Wed 28-Sep-11 19:43:54

If breastfeeding an easy way to "escape" visitors is to say sorry baby needs fed and head upstairs/to your bedroom. In the first few weeks you are unlikely to be wanting to feed with an audience anyway. Even if baby doesn't need fed they aren't going to know and leave your DH to gently tell them "you will be a while as you know its early days and how about you catch up again soon"

I wouldn't set visiting hours as such but if people live nearby ask them to call just before heading over. In the first few weeks the times a baby feeds one day and the next are completely different.

Also if people work they will want to come in the evenings when you will just want to put on your pj's and head to bed early to get what sleep you can when you can.

Ziggimajiggi Thu 29-Sep-11 07:55:49

Thanks Fresh.
I think I'm trying to control an uncontrolable situation if YSWIM. smile

Ziggimajiggi Thu 29-Sep-11 07:57:29

Ooh! Meant to say I ahd a good old chat with DH last night and he is on board with the old shoving people out of the house when we've had enough gently ushering out our lovely friends and family when required.

thanks Thanks so much to everyone I feel soooo much better smile

HillyMcGrew Thu 29-Sep-11 11:12:05

Treat any DH/DP like a gate keeper. They will be there with you, they know how tired you are, and when the doorbell rings, it's easier to get the 'not now, go away please' message to an over excited new-granny if it comes from an unshaven poo-coated sleepy man than from a new mum with baby in arms.

Assume the baby is like catnip and all visitors are cats: if they can't detect it, they won't be interested for long. If they can they won't leave you in peace until they've had it.

How are the rest of you planning on dealing with visitors whilst you are still in hospital/MW unit? Ours has an indefinite stay policy so I might be several days in there if I feel I need it and I don't want a daily dose of MIL.

Falsley Thu 29-Sep-11 11:42:15

When I had my DD I didn't mind most people coming round. In fact my in-laws came to the hospital within 3 hours of her being born and my parents came and stayed the night (they live 3.5hrs away!)
The only people I had a problem with was my sister and her two very excitable children who came five days after I gave birth - I ended up crying my eyes out in my bedroom within 30 minutes of them arriving!
So this time round the rule is going to be that its adults only until two weeks after the birth in order that I can feel a bit more human and have my hormones under control!

Tangle Thu 29-Sep-11 12:00:05

I did see a suggestion to have a notice board up somewhere with jobs that needed doing on it - that way neither you nor your DP have to wrack your sleep deprived brains when someone breezes in with an airy "anything I can do to help" as you can just point them at The List ;) Have a notepad to scribble a shopping list on so if anyone offers they know what you need.

I've also seen the recommendation for you to have a nice pair of PJ's or two that you can lounge around in. Mum in jeans and a t-shirt = someone who looks after people. Mum lying on sofa in PJs holding new baby = someone to look after grin

notyummy Thu 29-Sep-11 12:09:43

It depends on how far away they are - all our family was at least 4 hours drive away and therefore it couldn't be short notice, and they needed to stay. We basically said that we needed some time to bond/me to get used to feeding. My mum and dad came after a week and stayed 3 nights (and did their best to help.) DHs Mum and her DP came after the following weekend and stayed 2 nights (and didn't do as much to help, but that is because I don't feel as comfy with MIL waiting on me. They did take the baby for several walks to get her to sleep!)

Worked for us and no one seemed grumpy about it.

DuelingFanjo Thu 29-Sep-11 12:14:27

I say... no overnight visitors, no huge groups of people, set times for visits policed by your husband/partner, no lunches provided unless they are bringing it themselves and enough for you to share.

I also think a couple of days on your own immediately after the birth is not a bad thing to ask for. A newborn is still a newborn when they are 48 hours old.

redexpat Thu 29-Sep-11 20:09:18

1. Don't tell anyone that you are going to the hospital.
2. Don't let DP/DH/you make the first phonecall until you are absolutely ready.
3. Get the midwives on your side and tell them to block aunty x and uncle y.
4. When you get home, the man's job is gatekeeper.

I'm going to have to lock the door from the inside because otherwise DHs family will just walk in.

lucamom Thu 29-Sep-11 21:26:59

I think you're a bunch of meanies!

I can understand you're not sure about how the early days are going to pan out for you, but equally, your baby is presumably going to be part of a family and wider circle of friends, who I guess you'll be expecting to give pressies/pitch in with babysitting and generally love and protect them as they grow, so please don't view well-meaning visitors as parasites, and certainly don't give yourself something unnecessary to stress about pre-birth.

It may be a bit inconvenient when you just want to babymoon with your new arrival, but imagine how you'd feel if your wishes came true - no one was bothered about meeting the baby or joining the celebration. Anyone who is excited about your baby is surely someone to be welcomed?

Just stock up on biscuits and tea bags (no one will expect you to feed them) and enjoy the attention.

I'm 36 weeks with baby number 3, so have had the visitor thing twice over, and believe me, the euphoria will make you want to share your baby with the world!

exoticfruits Thu 29-Sep-11 21:56:52

I agree with lucamom-I can never understand all this policing-I thought that a baby was something to celebrate. Don't be surprised that when you finally get around to letting people visit they say that it isn't convenient and they are really not bothered!!
(As soon as people have babies they appear to want to control their whole environment.)

exoticfruits Thu 29-Sep-11 21:59:49

your baby, your rules!

I wondered when that dire saying would come into it. (it ought to be banished)
I find it all highly amusing with 'open afternoons' -it makes it sound like a stately home!

Meglet Thu 29-Sep-11 22:02:08

I hated visitors after I had my dc's. I was whopped out on painkillers, had my boobs out and didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't have a scrap of euphoria, more of a fuck off and leave us in peace vibe grin.

With DC1 loads of people came round and I still shudder at the memory 5 years on. It ruined bf for me and made the first few weeks miserable.

With DC2 we said we wanted to be left alone and even my own family kept their distance, XP's family didn't even come for 2 weeks <<result>>.

Tangle Thu 29-Sep-11 22:03:49

I think the problem is that new motherhood takes everyone differently.

Lots of women do want to show their babies off, and that's great for them. Lots of women have families that remember what having a new baby is like, bring a cake to share, make their own tea and don't overstay their welcome.

When I had DD1 I had no desire to show her off at all. The birth had, in lots of ways, been easy but I lost quite a lot of blood and felt wobbly for a good week. I was also taken completely be surprise at how strong the "mummy bear" instinct was when it came - she was MY baby, and relatives wanting to come and cuddle her (however well meaning) in the early days caused me a lot of stress and distress. Don't even talk to me about big groups and "pass the baby" sessions. I wish I'd been more open about things, as I think my MIL for one just didn't get it and our relationship suffered for a good few years. It took best part of a month before I got any desire to parade DD in public.

Equally, some relatives do expect the new mother to feed them - I'm sure they're in the minority, but some of the stories I've read on here have been pretty horrendous. Hopefully concern on this front is an unnecessary stress for all the women on this thread, but without knowing the personalities of all the parties involved I don't think its fair to say that anyone is getting themselves stressed for no reason - they may have very good reason to think that things are going to get very stressful! Either way, if having a strategy in place makes an expectant mother feel more able to cope (even if that strategy never needs to be used) surely that's a good thing?

exoticfruits Thu 29-Sep-11 22:33:27

I think that if you have familes and friends with no sensitivity who descend and expect to be fed etc then you need to have sorted out the boundries a long time ago.

cherrysodalover Fri 30-Sep-11 04:59:00

We had moved overseas and had no visitors- I was delighted two people i hardly knew who happened to be on holiday and passing through came 5 days later and we cooked them a meal.We were so grateful for the little gift they bought.
I think everyone has got a bit self entitled today- you want the gifts but don't wnt to give anything back like warmth or hospitality.How hard is it for your dp to make guests a cuppa whilst you chat.

To be honest I think people are a bit precious about newborns-many people feel obligated to come round and make a fuss. I know I am not fussed about seeing a newborn till a good while after when the parents are not stressed out and unwelcoming.

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