New Baby Visitors: Why Do We Shun Them?

New Baby Visitors: Why Do We Shun Them?
22 May 2016

Some of my very best memories in life are of the days immediately following the births of my babies when my house was abuzz with visitors and relatives all desperate to indulge in newborn cuddles and of course be of help to the proud new parents.

But judging by a recent school gate conversation with some mum mates - one of whom is expecting a baby very soon - I'm alone in loving having a full house after the birth of a baby.

"I couldn't have coped with people cooing over my baby in those early days when I just wanted time and space alone to adjust an bond with her," said one mum.

"The thought of a steady stream of visitors fills me with horror - imagine all the cups of tea you'd have to make unless they were the very considerate type - and if they were, they'd surely be leaving you in peace to recover from giving birth," said another.

Now maybe I'm just blessed with exceedingly kind and considerate friends and relatives but like I said, being cocooned in the bosom of people who loved us in those early days of adjusting to life with a new baby was just lovely.

And yes, they made their own cups of tea. In fact I remember both my mum and my mother-in-law repeatedly transforming my kitchen from a site of complete chaos to a scene of domestic calm in the days after my babies were born - they were true domestic goddesses at a time when that's exactly what I needed. They'd bring me a cuppa, rustle up a nutritious lunch, say soothing things when life with a new baby started feeling overwhelming, and took over from the baby wrangling when I really needed five minutes for a shower or a pee in peace.

And after the birth of my third child - a doted-on 'late' baby among my circle of friends who were mostly all very much 'done' with having babies by that point - the constant stream of visits from girlfriends bearing home-cooked meals and gorgeous gifts was utterly lovely. I felt loved, uplifted, and surrounded by people who I knew I could call on if it all got a bit too much. Interestingly, though, it never did - and I am sure that is in part because I let myself be fussed over at a time when we all need a bit more TLC than usual.

I didn't hide away, let my defences up, or stress over the logistics of looking after visitors whilst nursing a new baby. And while I can understand why some mothers do want to hide away in the early days after the birth of a baby, I think they might be missing a trick by not throwing open their homes and letting loved ones in to spoil them a bit.

But what's your view?

72 comments

  • Ashlee W.

    I was Al for visitors ... came back home yesterday after a section and oh mymgod I just want to be left Alne in peace to.cry andfeel.ssorry for myself haha. All.my friends and family have been amazing offering help or space.whatever we.want lol xx hopefully next week I will be more.sociable x

  • Clare P.

    I wouldn't want anyone just turning up straight away after birth or inviting themselves over straight after getting home from hospital especially after a hard birth and little sleep I would hope everyone would wait until we were ready for visitors.

  • Lynette C.

    Space, close family/ friend only for first 2-3 weeks with both ours. Enough visitors with health professionals!

  • Lisa K.

    I think it depends who it is

  • Stephanie C.

    All for space! Unfortunately we never really got that. Even at the hospital people turned up without being invited. It's a shame some people don't respect your wishes and get 'offended' that you want a little space :rolling_eyes:

  • Laura W.

    Absolutely a houseful! We had an open door for first couple of weeks. I'd have felt gutted to not be able to share the excitement. 2nd things were calmer as there isn't such a buzz around the second being born...sad but true. We were still happy to have as many visitors as wanted to come though. I was always happy to hand baby over too, never 'oh s/he's sleeping' etc.

  • Kat B.

    I loved having visitors and still do 3 weeks on. My partner was back to work after a week because baby was 8 days late so I got a bit lonely x

  • Clair F.

    Within half an hour of getting home from hospital I had my best friend, mum, sister, auntie and nephew in my flat. Thought I'd be fine when I invited them but I kinda hid in the corner a bit shell shocked. As soon as they left I locked and bolted the door so their couldn't get back in lol

  • Lisa L.

    Space felt so overwhelmed and trying to get my head round being a mum it was not fun

  • Lindsey J.

    We will be having no one at the hospital unless I'm kept in for a few days. And then we shall be having close family and friends visit us once we're home and settled with our other children xxx

  • Vicky W.

    Space is needed as much as it's nice to see people you need to get yourself settled back at home and visits should be short ish especially if you have had a ha d birth it c section

  • Elizabeth B.

    My family waited in the car park while I was in labour, had to stay in hospital for a week but my mum took time off to stay with me and we had family constantly for first few weeks. Loved having everyone there but also enjoyed the quiet times too.

  • Catherine J.

    I had 4 people round my hospital bed within a few hours of giving birth, quite overwhelming. I would def stagger them if u can

  • Sarah H.

    Im asking the midwives to say, no visitors on doctors orders. Learned my lesson with baby no1 never again.

    • Hazel T.

      You probably won't have time for visitors with number 2. I got sent home 5-6 hours after giving birth with number 2 and number 3 :confused: tbh though I preferred being at home, was more relaxed x

    • Sarah H.

      Sadly we were in with complications after number 1 for 7 days and we are probably going to stay at least 2 days this time. Im hoping i will have time to bond a little before the madness starts at home x

  • Maxine S.

    Space

  • Saraha

    I have 3 children and I'm with you, I love all the visitors they are there because they care and they want a cuddle. I don't understand why people put visitors off, personally I would rather everyone came in the first few days as everything is up the wall anyway.  Don't think I made 1 cup of tea, all my visitors know where the kettle is and how I like mine  x

  • Emma R.

    I wanted space. Space to get to know my baby, Then when 2nd came along, space so that we all could bond as a family and spend quality time together before my partner went back to work. With my first i was in hospital 5 days with her, the only visitor i had was my partner, because norovirus was about, so no visitors were allowed. With my 2nd we were in for a few days, pretty much everyone came in those few days, but after that we didnt see anyone for a week :blush: was nice. I had c-sections with both my girls, so just wanted rest. X

  • Maria M.

    Space definately. I didn't mind a few visitors a day with my second but learnt my lesson after my first when my house was just bombarded with people from 9 in the morning. Need to put the foot down :joy:

  • Sarah J.

    Considering I needed a 10 minute lie down after each time I pee'd (thank you stitches!) then def space. Unfortunately we had visitors within 20 mins of getting home and again the next morning while the midwife examined my 'bits' in the bedroom.

    Will def be putting a visiting ban if there's a baby number 2!

  • Laura D.

    Not sure what kind of random people would be turning up :thinking: I wanted my mum/mum in law, sister and close friends to visit, so excited to show off my precious baby! And frankly being stuck in hospital for days after c sections I was in need of company! :joy:

  • Hayley J.

    I think it's great to have everyone you love coming in and sharing the love and excitement of your newborn. I found have a day of visitors and then a days of rest, locked doors and snuggles! :)

  • Cheryl S.

    Needed and asked for 'space' with the first one, the result was WW3 (not from my family) so with the second I just let people come early and then they left me to it :)

  • Lyndsey P.

    I loved people visiting with my first born and with my twins, l would never stop anyone visiting. l loved it and would do it all again if I could!

  • Emma M.

    SPACE!!! All I did with both babies was feed, sleep and recover til husband was back to work, then the visitors can come.

  • Nicky K.

    I wanted help. I suffer Chrohns and had a C section. Another child of 4 and I begged people to help.

  • Lynsey S.

    I loved having visitors both times but it was very tiring. Was nice when the initial rush died down and we had time alone together. I wouldn't dream of stopping people from visiting though. I think it would be kind of selfish not to share the joy! X

  • Tracy S.

    Space!! It was nice to see people but they would stay for ages. I just wanted to sleep. Now he's 3 nobody comes to see us :joy:

  • Leanne W.

    Thinking back 3 months when I had my daughter I wish I had allowed myself to relax and recover, I didn't though I was straight on with housework ready for all the visitors it just went straight back to normal too with my sons friends coming over, think I should of had a week timeout to bond and recover x

  • Louise I.

    With my first, everyone came. I loved it, it was exciting we could show him off. With my second most of my family were overseas and the in laws didn't rush (apart from my sister in law, which was lovely) a week after being born my son stopped breathing and was taken to hospital. It was a lonely and scary time and I wish people were around to visit. He's 18 months now and no one has wanted to hear about it due to feeling guilty. That day eats me up, I wish I had people around for my second just like my first... We know we are all loved though and that's all that matters!

  • Gill C.

    Only had my mum to visit in hospital with my 1st and once home I refused visitors apart from my best friend and close family, my hubby even turned people away at the door who turned up unannounced. no visitors with 2nd as left 5hrs after I gave birth but was more relaxed about visitors to the house x

  • Lacey P.

    With my first I always had a housefull and people around me which was lovely but if I have another, I will definitely appreciate the space!

  • Sarah E.

    Im putting a ban on next one literally had people in the house just a few hours after i got home with number 3 i was shattered ! defo a 2 day ban next time

  • Alzbeta A.

    I think people should take it easy and bond with a newborn individually and as a family.personally I don't go visit anyone till the baby reach 6 weeks :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • Jaime Y.

    More people to visit, the better. Lovely for the family to welcome its newest members. There would be plenty of just me and baby time to come so made the most of the hustle and bustle when both my girls were born

  • Emily F.

    I'm defo going for 'space' with baby number two! We didn't have any time to ourselves for a while as everyone wants to see the baby when it's tiny, which meant I couldn't get breastfeeding established as felt self conscious! Such a stressful time, always worrying about the state of the house too!

  • Kerry C.

    I didn't have any visitors for first week or so apart from close family etc

  • Gemma L.

    I enjoyed having people come over but you do feel a bit weird as it's not normal. Better to adjust properly and set times that are normal for everyone

  • Louise H.

    Happy to have a house full of family and friends and any extra help offered lol

  • Tara G.

    Different people have different needs. I'd had 2 c sec with both mine. The first i was really poorly so didn't feel up to visitors but the 2nd I was fine and didn't mind. Just put a note on the door if your not up to visitors asking them to phone before coming round x

  • Ellie F.

    Space nothing worse than people thinking they can come to your house seconds after you leave hospital only certain people i allow to come to the house in the first few days

  • Babs V.

    Space. Exhausted, trying to master feeding, in agony, house a tip, sleeping every hour or 2 when the baby slept was drastically needed. We had family only for short periods with both our children x

  • Fiona E.

    I love people who are in my life visiting those that come week 1 and never again frustrate me beyond belief

  • Sarah L.

    We had loads of people round with our first- it was lovely but when I look back I realise how exhausting it was. This time round family only visiting in the first 2 weeks whilst the hubby is off... Our son will need time to adjust to having a new baby and having a crazy amount of visitors won't help the situation for him (as it will be so different and our of routine) or any of us.

  • GinaSunday

    How lovely to have a supportive family. 1day home from hospital it was my middle child's 2nd birthday. (I'd decorated the lounge, wrapped presents, balloons etc before he woke up plus was shattered from giving birth the day before) 

    We had family visit but I didn't receive any help at all and it was expected for me to be making them drinks and food. After all 3 children I've never had any family make me a drink or bring a meal of offer any help. 

  • Davena L.

    SPACE!

  • Sarah B.

    Short visits, 30 mins tops, between nap times from people who will make their own cups of tea etc. is absolutely fine. People who come for 3 hours when I could have been sleeping myself and expect teas and coffees made are definitely a no! I had a home birth with my second. My dad and step mum and my boyfriends parents were going away the next day so obviously had to come before they left and my baby wasn't born till late afternoon... Basically all family within sensible visiting distance were over within an hour or two of my son being born, and while it was lovely they could all meet him so soon, it was a bit too much!!

  • Liz P.

    No no no. No visitors for andew days and then a few at a time. Having to deal with a queue of people when I had my eldest while ill and exhausted contributed to the pnd I had. Luckily with my youngest we weren't allowed any visitors in hospital and then when home we had a few people a day not everyone at once . It's a time for parents and baby to rest, not have hoards of people surrounding you.

  • Carlyj85

    I definitely love all the visitors, I was lucky enough to feel great after both of my little ones and couldnt wait to have lots of visitors. Never to early I say

  • Gina F.

    The more visitors the better! I love the excitement a new family member brings, I wouldn't want it any other way :blush:

  • Helen S.

    Space definitely, however it hacked a few people off!

  • Leigh M.

    Space. Don't mind visitors but at a steady pace not bombarded all at one and baby getting passed round, and me worried about the state of the house and making everyone cups of tea. Lol. Like my own little bubble with baby for a few days xx

  • Katie T.

    I'm a firm believer that any visitors should arrive with the intention of giving you a hand. Weather it's a bit of ironing, getting a food shop in, doing the dishes or looking after the baby so you can sleep or get a shower in peace, it doesn't matter. People shouldn't turn up tutting at the mess, expecting tea and cakes or you have managed to brush your hair.

    • Justyna L.

      Absolutely agree!

  • Sammy O.

    I enjoyed having visitors for the first couple of weeks. Once the visits calmed down we were able to have space and enjoy our baby alone :grin: xx

  • Yvette B.

    I couldn't wait for everyone to see my babies, I also couldn't wait to get them into the pram and take them out to show everyone, pregnancy was very stressful for me when it was over I was just so happy to show everyone we made it and look at my beautiful baby!

  • Briony R.

    Space, with our first we put a miniature ban on visitors just family came to the house and even at that it wasn't constant. We wanted the two weeks at home just the three of us and then when my hubby went back to work it meant we had lots of friends to come visit and keep me company. Some visitors brought soup, cake etc which was kind and very welcome but I would never expect people to do that. They are here to see the baby not wait on us. Second time round it was more of an open door but phone in advance please sort of thing.

  • Abbie L.

    Visitor ban with both of mine, wanted to get to know my baby before any hassle. I don't like the way it's pass the parcel with newborns either. X

  • Charlotte W.

    Space Space Space!! Even now I hate everyone coming round and most of the time it's without checking we aren't doing anything.... 10 minutes before bedtime seems to be the firm Favourite for some visitors!

  • Nicolle E.

    I think it depends on the visitors

  • Louise Y.

    Houseful! Loved it with our first and we live closer to friends and family now so hoping it will be the same with this baby :blush:

  • Karli L.

    Space. I hated being bombarded with people that never bother otherwise just to come and hold your baby. Learnt my lesson the first time, so we were stricter on visitors second time. I'm due two weeks today with baby number three, and I'm lockng the door for a week :joy:

  • Justyna L.

    I think it's best to ask the parents what they want, respect their wishes, never overstay your welcome and if you're invited don't expect to be served. In fact ideally turn up with dinner and make the new mum a cup a tea.

  • Holly B.

    Im Deffo gonna go with space.. I wish people came to the hospital to see Sophia rather than home.. In hospital I couldn't sleep cos of the pain and noise.. At home all I wanted to do was recover but I was up and down all the time.. I'm Deffo locking the door if I have another baby.. At least for a week! :joy::joy:

  • Michelle S.

    Houseful! Love people who have love for my babies! Simple!

  • Lucy D.

    Love having visitors :-)

  • Natasha M.

    Space definitely !! I find it rude that people want to come into your home when your just getting to know your little one.. A few weeks in is fine but for the first two weeks, I think give the parents space! Also the fact the mother is exhausted and sore ...

  • Lisa M.

    Had family waiting on me coming home from the hospital and a house full for a few days after. Still some visitors coming in but calmed down after a few days. Wouldn't have it any other way! Loved the fact everyone wanted to come and see my baby.

  • Charlotte

    space! Want to bond with the baby and settle myself down without people in my face and space faffing about. People should wait to be invited! 

  • sueJ

    My first was very traumatic and we both ended up back in hospital over that Christmas.  The second was a C-section and out of the blue my mum and mum-in-law took it in turns to come over and clean, cook, make tea, feed the dog and generally keep my home serene for two whole weeks!  I will never forget the gift they gave me. I had lost my son and strangely bonding was difficult with this new  baby.  They gave me space and I can honestly say they allowed me to bond with her, feeding, changing, cuddling, sleeping when she slept.  Never been so spoiled before or since - it's what family is for.  Oh and she is a mum now, it was a while ago. 

  • Becci

    I really think it depends on the type of family you have. I have 3 children, all born by c-section and never had so much as a cup of tea made for me when they visited. If it wasn't for my lovely, supportive partner i wouldn't of had any help. If you have a loving and caring family, then of course you would want them around, unfortunately not everyone is blessed with one.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment