How to Deal with Family Visiting Post-Birth — The Bump
October 2017 Moms

How to Deal with Family Visiting Post-Birth

Hi friends! Happy third trimester to us all! 

I was wondering if anyone else is stressing about family visiting from out of town immediately after the birth. My husband and I live hours away from both sets of our parents, and we know they will want to visit (and spend multiple nights), but we also want to make sure that we have time to ourselves to adjust and bond as a new family... especially because he doesn't get much time off work. We also really would like our families visiting separately instead of overlapping; it's just too much stress to host EVERYONE in our home when we're first time parents. 

So my question is this... how do you (kindly) set limits on visiting? We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings!

Re: How to Deal with Family Visiting Post-Birth

  • I'm respectfully setting boundaries as far as who comes and visits when. Same with the hospital. I've already told family that that will be no one in the room other than my husband and I and if they had an issue with that they were kindly asked to not even show. This is about you and baby, set boundaries before anyone crosses any of them. 
  • I initially had lied to my parents about my delivery date because i didnt want them to "invade" us when i give birth. They live in Morocco. When i understood how bad they wanted to be there i kind of gave up. I know they had waited for this a long time (im 30, this will be our first baby).  Im due sept 21st and they re coming on sept 18th... 
    Im kind of hoping baby comes a few days before their arrival because id love to get to spend time bonding, enjoying and adjusting in my home with H (who maybe will get a few weeks off, but thats not even sure as of now, depends on how much money we re able to put aside before baby comes) before they come and stay for three weeks. Plus, we live in a small 2 bedrooms apartment....
     So i completely understand where you re coming from. 
    My dad is a cool lay back guy u dont even feel he s there. And before accepting they d come, i made sure my mom agreed with my condition : i dont wanna see any of the friends she has here (she has tons, who saw me grow up and wish theyd see me) not at the hospital and def not at my place. It was either she respected my wishes or she could stay in Morocco and receive baby pics from time to time, i was clear. I know she is going to help out 
    As for my in laws, they live 3 streets away but they have never been ones to invade. They always wait for us to invite them. Im hoping they keep it that way even when baby arrives. 
    So id def advise you to kindly set your boundaries. You can always use the excuse that you are tired and not feeling well to set YOUR time when theyd come visit. And yes, i wouldnt invite them all at once! 

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  • I would say that now is the time to communicate your expectations to both sides of the family. Tell them you want a few days home with baby before having visitors so you can adjust. And make it clear you don't want both sets of grandparents there at the same time. Let them work out who will come first. Telling them early let's them figure it all out, as well as dealing with any disappointment they might feel since they can't come right away. Stick to your guns and don't let anyone guilt you. This is your first baby, and you don't know what to expect. I wouldn't want a house full of overnight guests right away either. 
  • No advice here. When I was in labor with my first, my husband called my mom to let her know I was in labor. He specifically asked her not to come to the hospital until we called, because it was looking like it would be a long labor. She called about three hours later and said she was shopping near the hospital, ready to come visit as soon as I had the baby. My husband ended up calling her at 930 pm to ask her to go home (2 hrs away) because I was only dilated to a 6 and wouldn't be up for visitors at 2 am. I spent most of my labor feeling guilty my mom had driven 4 hours and not been able to see the baby. Which clearly is ridiculous because she ignored what we asked her to do, but that's how I was feeling at the time. 

    This time around I am seriously considering waiting a few days to tell parents we have had the baby! Haha
  • Thanks for bringing up this topic! My parents and my husband's parents both live a long haul flight away from us. I sometimes find it stressful to have either of our parents visiting as we live in a small two bedroom condo. My parents tend to be higher maintenance as they never travel and are very nervous to leave the apartment without us with them. My mother in law is very independent in the city but also tends to take over the whole household as if it's her own (does all the cooking, changes where things are in the kitchen, etc). 

    We are moving to a new apartment in September and really want to get settled and find our groove before having visitors. Right now, our plan is no visitors before baby is born, and up to a week or so afterwards. I really don't want anyone sitting around waiting for me to go into labor. We will wait until the baby comes, have a week getting the hang of things on our own, and book flights for my parents soon after. My parents will stay around a week or two then we will have my husband's mom come for a week or two (lower maintenance means you get the second visit I guess). We will likely see family again at Christmas so I feel like these shorter visits will be fine. Either way we made it clear what our plans are to our parents so there will be no surprises. They are doing their best to respect our wishes and don't want to stress us out unnecessarily. 
  • Just tell them your expectations. We had to be very direct with my MIL last time and ask for 2 weeks before a visit - she was fine with it and got lots of pics in the meantime. My family is local so we had to deal with them coming in/out and friends, but at least those were short stays (other than my mom which I was fine with staying as long as she wanted - but she'd go home at night or whenever I wanted). I would also ask them to stay in a hotel if you wanted, so they can visit for hours at a time but you don't have to worry about feeding or them being around at every moment.

  • I'm also feeling worried about this as his parents live in the same city maybe ten min drive away but my parents live a couple cities away nearly two hours by car. When my cousin gave birth 4 months ago my parents and their friend went to visit her the day after she came home from the hospital and that was two states away. I kept telling my mom it's way too soon and that they're not even the grandparents! But my cousin hadn't set up boundaries.

    I plan to respectfully ask for a few days home alone with just the baby the husband. My mom wants to stay with us for two whole weeks to help out but my husband thinks five days is more than enough time so we gotta compromise. I am absolutely not allowing visitors until baby is a few weeks old.
    Me: 28 | Him: 31
    Married: 11/12/16
    BFP: 02/09/17
    FTM | EDD: 10/13/17

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  • Definitely would suggest telling your families that as new parents, you need some time to adjust. They will be able to visit after the delivery in the hospital, depending on how long they want to keep you, but once baby is home they need to give you guys the space you ask for. It makes for a less stressed new mom and less stressed new baby. And I would make sure they understand that you don't want to be put in a position where all of them are clamoring for the baby, so they need to take turns. Perhaps tell them to call ahead so you can give them each the green light on showing up. But remember to put your foot down. Your needs override their wants and desires. 
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  • You could use your DH's limited time off to help you. Tell the parents that it will be most helpful if they come after DH has to go back to work and you will be alone with the baby (which is true) and you want them to get in as much baby cuddling as possible so you want to stagger their visits. If you can swing it you can also suggest they stay at a hotel so the crying baby won't keep them up and you will be able to nap during the day while they cuddle the baby.   In my experience the parents really just want to be helpful (and snuggle a new baby) so these suggestions might go over well. 

    Rachel and Jeff Married 5.29.05

    Jason is 8

    Elizabeth is 6

    Katherine is 18 months 

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