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Premature twins/handwashing/visitors

42 replies

Monicavinader · 19/06/2017 21:29

Hi all,

I'm about to bring my prem twins home and am expecting the inevitable influx of visitors. ILs are not people who wash their hands when they arrive (we all live in London so use Tube) - is it rude to ask them to do this? Can I ask my husband to ask them do this? They don't like to take off their shoes either. I don't make a big deal of it at the moment but really don't want them walking on the same carpets as the babies will be lying on/crawling in? It's been a tough time and I'm trying to balance my maternal instincts with being welcoming. Do people expect to hold babies/take it in turns as babies are passed around? I'm not sure how I feel about this. We're not close - they'll probably visit more now twins are here, but don't play a big part in our lives!

OP posts:

Allthewaves · 19/06/2017 21:31

Friend had alcohol pump of hand wash from hospital and just asked guest to use that before handling babies. Would be be stressing about shoes just yet


daisygirlmac · 19/06/2017 21:31

Absolutely no problem at all to ask people to take shoes off - it's your home! When they arrive at the door it's hello lovely to see you, we're a shoes off house now the twins are here so could you just leave them by the door? I would also INSIST on hand washing, not unreasonable at all. I found that in my huge family there was a bit of an expectation that DS would just be passed around but I just took him back when he'd had enough and said oh back to mummy for a bit now it's hard work meeting lots of new people. Enjoy bringing your babies home, congratulations Smile


QueenArseClangers · 19/06/2017 21:37

Congratulations on your beautiful babies.
Just get DH Donne all bright and breezy "Hello parents, can I just give you this hand gel to get rid of those pesky germs our tiny DC aren't ready for yet. And would you like to leave your shoes over there? Yep, we're really having to change our habits with the new babies what with them being so vunerable."

Get yourself au fait with using a wrap sling and get the twins doing skin to skin especially if you don't want them being passed around at this stage.


Sandsnake · 19/06/2017 21:38

Absolutely that's ok! You've been through a tough time and have managed to get your babies home - do whatever makes you feel comfortable, seriously. If I went to see prem twin babies who had just come home I would be happy to tap dance whilst singing the national anthem backwards if that's what the parents wanted.


Kanga59 · 19/06/2017 21:40

My preemie was just under 4lbs when I brought him him, and tube feeding. My friend who popped by and had a cold didn't even get into the sitting room. Toughen up, they are your babies and need protecting. I don't how old or big they are, but YNBU to ask people to be polite and remove their shoes in your home! We weren't even allowed in scbu until we had removed all outerwear and layers, rolled sleeves up, and washed our hands and forearms! Everyone who wanted a cuddle with my boy had to remove outerwear, layers and wash hands first, standard. They probably thought I was crazy. You know what's right so don't be afraid to enforce it.


Monicavinader · 19/06/2017 21:41

Thanks for the replies. ILS are quite old, which makes me worry about asking about the shoes. But then I managed to take my shoes off whilst fairly heavily pregnant.

OP posts:

Monicavinader · 19/06/2017 21:44

They have been inconsiderate on a couple occasions about visiting with sickness and colds. Should I ask DH to have word: check they're in good health? Thanks for the help. Feel a bit battered by the experience and not sure what's OK and what's not.

OP posts:

Waffles80 · 19/06/2017 21:44

I faced this when I brought my prem twins home.

My parents were around constantly, and told anyone who came in the same thing: "the babies are very, very fragile, and they can't risk anything with them at the moment. The sink is this way."

Same with relatives who smoked. Not allowed within 15 foot of us.

I've one slightly annoying aunt who rolled her eyes, but my dad just used broken record with her. A million times.


SolomanDaisy · 19/06/2017 21:45

I wouldn't worry about the shoes, but we had alcohol gel all around the house when we brought our preemie home. My DS was in charge of making sure everyone had used it and took it very seriously. At first I only let v close relatives hold her.


SolomanDaisy · 19/06/2017 21:46

Yes, get DH to make sure they're well. Make it clear sick people don't get in.


PacificDogwod · 19/06/2017 21:48

Congratulations! Thanks

There's nothing wrong with asking visitors to wash their hands and to take their shoes off.
House rules are absolutely fine.

Having said that, DS2(now 13 and 6ft) was a 31 weeker and once ate cat poo to no ill effect.
By all means expect normal hygiene measures from your visitors, but a bit of exposure to everyday germs is what trains up babies/toddlers immune systems so don't worry too much.

Enjoy your babies Smile


MrsD79 · 19/06/2017 21:48

Of course they have to wash hands!!! No shoes on any carpet area. If i had it my way i wud steam everyone who walked thru my door! Loool. I cringe wen i know ppl have been on public transport and are now sitting on my sofas..... u betcha I'm serializing them before they are even iff my driveway! I'm nuts but i don't care.


daisygirlmac · 19/06/2017 21:48

Bless you of course you feel a bit battered, it is one of the most heart wrenching things ever to have babies in the neonatal unit. You just do whatever you need to do for you and your babies. At this precise moment in time you are entitled to whatever you need to make you feel better and you are not asking for anything unreasonable at all


coconutpie · 19/06/2017 21:49



WhooooAmI24601 · 19/06/2017 21:51

You aren't BU at all to ask everyone to take precautions when visiting for the time being; your babies are incredibly vulnerable and need you and DH to protect them in any way you can. IL's feelings can mend, tiny bodies are harder to mend if they're catching coughs, colds and bugs at such a young age. Be firm and stand tall; you have every right in the world to impose as many rules as you like.


Wallywobbles · 19/06/2017 21:53

Just be absolutely clear right from the off that no one even a bit ill can come. Just explain they could kill the babies. No one wants that. Don't sugar coat it.


Lalala82 · 19/06/2017 21:54

Congratulations on getting home! Such a lovely (and anxiety inducing!) moment. we did the above- hand gel everywhere and I had to toughen up to asking people- it's your baby (ies) and the germs can't be risked at the moment. We cancelled lots in the first weeks home. Just tell them and if they don't, then I'd say 'the hospital have told us not to let people who haven't X/y/z hold them etc' Flowers


StarHeartDiamond · 19/06/2017 21:54

Definitely they should wash hands. Properly, not just antibacterial gel. And I agree with you on removing shoes. Just tell people you can't risk them catching anything so they'll need to wash hands first and could they take shoes off too please.

There's plenty of time for your babies to develop immunity from germs. No need to introduce them to anything unnecessarily.

And, Congratulations! Flowers


Monicavinader · 19/06/2017 21:56

Thank you very much.

OP posts:

youhavetobekidding · 19/06/2017 21:56

Perhaps discuss with your midwife / health visitor, so that you can say "The medics say we should ask you to ..........."

You shouldn't need to do that, but if it helps you to get the message across, it might help


millifiori · 19/06/2017 21:58

Congratulations on your babies!
It's absolutely fine to ask them to take off shoes and wash or sanitize hands. You can explain that due to them being premature, they need extra care that no germs lower their resistance.
If people are happy to follow your rules, make the most of them being passed round. You might be very glad of some help with twins as it can be tiring and being very welcoming to family might make it easier to ask for help or for them to want to offer it.


Mumzypopz · 19/06/2017 21:59

Can totally understand asking people to wash their hands whilst they are premature, but surely by the time they are crawling on the floor, they will fit enough to get used to any germs that are there and build up an immunity.


PineappleScrunchie · 19/06/2017 22:01

My 34 weeker was readmitted to NICU at 2 months with pneumonia - a secondary bacterial infection following a virus. The same virus gave his older siblings the sniffles. He had to be ventilated and was in for 10 days.


Peachypie83 · 19/06/2017 22:02

I bought my preemie boy home last week, he weighed 3lbs9oz on discharge and came home with his feeding tube in. I've got a bottle of antibacterial gel on the coffee table and I tend to apply it to my own hands and then just hand it to the person about to hold him without making it into anything. Most people have been fantastic and very considerate.
Congratulations and enjoy the cuddles once you are all home together x


PacificDogwod · 19/06/2017 22:03

Gosh, yes, blame the medical staff for your rules if you need nobody of 'authority' to back you up Grin
Use any strategy you need if people are arses about complying with perfectly sensible rules.

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