5 Tips For Having Visitors When You Have a Newborn

Having a newborn is a crazy time. Your life has just massively changed, your body (if you’re the woman) has just gone through hell, everyone wants to come and see you and cuddle the baby, and you’re trying to work out how to swaddle a tiny wriggling thing, and attempt to master breastfeeding.

Having a newborn

Two of my best friends have just had their first baby (I’m so happy!) and it reminded me of when we had just had Ava, how we handled it all, and what I will try to do differently next time. So here are five little suggestions for if you are going to have a newborn soon, especially if it is your first time venturing in to parenthood.

Tell people when they can come round

People will ask you when they can come and see you, some will expect to be able to come whenever they want to, and some incredibly clueless and thoughtless people will not think it is a GIANT deal to just turn up unexpectedly!

Make sure you let people know when they can come round but don’t feel like you have to give them a specific time, you can always say something like “We’re going to be having people round in the next couple of weeks.” and then if you feel like seeing someone that day, then text and invite them. That way if you’ve had a particularly rough night then you don’t have to put on a happy face and let people into your home.

I know everyone wants to see your new cutie asap but those first few days are yours as a new family, and especially for new mums who might be struggling with breastfeeding or getting little sleep, you should be able to stay in your little bubble for as long as you like. Some people who haven’t been there might not understand it, but that’s their problem, not yours.

Obviously it’s a little bit different with very close family who are desperate to meet their new relative and see how you are (hopefully!!), but you still have every right to ask them to wait a couple of days if that’s what you want. There’s no rush.

This leads me on to….

Get them to make the tea

When people come to see you – get them to make their own bloody cups of tea! I know everyone wants to cuddle the gorgeous baby, but you shouldn’t have to wait on them despite the fact they are at your house. Everyone who came to our house (almost everyone – if you are reading this then I’m obviously not talking about you! ;) expected my husband to get them drinks while they snuggled our baby. He had just been through a lot too! He’d been awake for over 40 hours a day or so before too and then been looking after a newborn with me – he shouldn’t have had to get up and look after our guests.

Don’t feel guilty

I remember people coming to our house just as I had started to breastfeed, and I also knew that she would often be feeding for half an hour, sometimes an hour, and I would feel so guilty for stopping them seeing the baby and making them wait whilst I sat upstairs (or downstairs depending on who was there), GIVING MY BABY FOOD that she needed. I’m annoyed with myself about it now, but I think I usually felt like they probably wouldn’t be able to stay that long and I was taking away precious time from them seeing my new daughter. Which is ridiculous of course. If a baby needs food, it needs food. I’m very embarrassed to admit that I did stop my daughter from feeding for as long as she wanted a couple of times. She’d had plenty of milk, it wasn’t like I stopped her after just a few minutes and I would have carried on if she’d cried, but man I’m annoyed at myself (still) for doing that. I clearly worry about what people think too much.

Next time, people can come round but if it is time to breastfeed then that’s that and it will take as long as it takes.

Accept any help offered

If anyone offers to help you in any way; by bringing you a home-cooked meal round when they come to see you, or washing up for you – let them. You have a lot to deal with right now and you’re probably not getting loads of sleep. These people care about you and want to be there for you, so let them and try not to feel guilty about it. The odd person may have expected you to say no to the help but tough sh*t – you need the help.

Hold your baby 

For the first couple of weeks after we had our daughter, evenings and weekends were mostly taken up by having visitors. Newborns sleep a lot, and so when my gorgeous little baby whom I had longed for, for years was awake, I actually wanted to sit and snuggle her and stare at her. But because we had people coming to see her who also wanted to squeeze her (not too) tightly I felt like I had to always pass her over to let them have their turn. Some of the time I should have just sat and cuddled her myself like I wanted to and tried not to feel guilty about that.

Having visitors with a newborn

Also, I hope next time I’m better at taking my baby back from someone if I need to, and especially if they are upset. They are brand new to the world and if they are upset then they need their mummy (or daddy) to hold them close. Not someone who to them is a random stranger and is wearing a strong horrible perfume that is overwhelming them.

I probably sound a bit grumpy in this post – obviously it’s lovely having people to see your new little one and it’s great having friends and family that can’t wait to meet them – but I think it’s important to do it all on your terms. I obviously still remember how I felt the last time, and I’m determined that it won’t be like that if I am lucky enough to have another baby. You don’t get those precious first few days and weeks back, so do it your way.

I am not having a go at anyone who came to see our baby in those first few weeks. I love my family and friends so much and I’m very lucky to have them. I’m also not blaming them for all of these things – most of them were my fault and completely down to my new mum guilt. If I had explained any of it to them I am sure they would have understood, and would never have wanted to make me feel like that. It’s just the way it was. I just think if you can decide before you give birth that you are going to do things on your terms, then you can hopefully feel more relaxed about it all and feel less guilty.

Did you do it the way you wanted to when you had a newborn, or did you do what you thought you should to please others? Do you think I’m right or a selfish b*tch who should share my baby?!

Mums' Days


  1. Kelly
    20th October 2015 / 3:00 pm

    This isn’t selfish at all! I think people are so focused on seeing the baby they don’t think about how knackered the parents are etc. We have already talked about rules for visitors and plan on sticking to them. Bless you for feeling guilty about feeding etc, it must have been a hard balancing act xx

    • 26th October 2015 / 5:53 pm

      Thanks lovely! It was hard, but never mind. I don’t know what you’re talking about though… I’m coming to snuggle that little boy of yours as soon as he shoots out ;) Love you! xxx

  2. 21st October 2015 / 1:53 am

    Hi Louise! I loved this post! Luckily when we had our baby boy about a year ago our friends and family were really understanding and helpful, but not everyone is so lucky! We did have the occasional guest stay at our house who expected dinner and to be entertained but overall our friends and family were great. Pinning this to hopefully encourage other new moms!
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  3. 22nd October 2015 / 12:11 am

    These are fantastic tips! I wish I’d have read them eight years ago, when my son was born. First time round, we were bombarded from visitors at the hospital (after quite a traumatic birth) to two weeks of people at all hours every day. There was a lot of guilt involved, when we asked them to leave because we were all tired and they wanted more baby cuddles. I also had the breastfeeding guilt, as you describe. Second time round, I did tell people to stay away and didn’t feel guilty at all! I also fed in front of people for as long as my daughter needed. I think the Mum guilt, first time round, is there because you don’t really know what to expect or what you ‘should’ be doing. It’s not selfish at all, it’s your choice.
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  4. 22nd October 2015 / 8:52 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Particularly about staying in the ‘baby bubble’ of your new family for as long as possible. It’s such a precious time and coupled with teething issues of early parenthood, the last thing most people want is an invasion of guests. Of course they mean well but they should be happy to wait to let the new parents get settled. Secondly, when you are ready for visitors then YES, accept any help offered! Don’t be too quick to say no because looking after a newborn on little or no sleep can get very tough very quickly. Awesome post and new mums will really find this helpful! Thank you for linking up :) Mim x #ParentingPicks
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  5. 22nd October 2015 / 8:12 pm

    I think you were absolutely right to do it your way! It is a special time and people should respect that. As well as it being one of the most special and life-changing times, the poor mum has all the hormones to deal with too, which can make her feel extra sensitive or protective. When my twins came home, they had been in the neonatal unit for 12 days and so thankfully people understood that they were still tiny and we didn’t want to be flooded with visitors. They let us have time and contact them when we were ready!

  6. 23rd October 2015 / 9:59 am

    Really great post which I can definitely relate too! I was exactly the same as you and always felt guilty for taking the baby away to feed, which is ridiculous – I think we definitely think about what others think far too much. We had ours over Christmas so it was doubly hectic with everyone wanting us to attend various family gatherings so that everyone could have a cuddle. We were exhausted by the end of it all. definitely think stipulating when people can come is something I’ll definitely be doing if I have a second and I think I’ll reserve those first few weeks just for us to adjust and spend valuable time together. Thanks for sharing #TheList
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  7. 23rd October 2015 / 9:59 am

    These are all so true! All I wanted to do when our daughter arrived was hug her or watch her sleep, having to share her with (well meaning but ultimately annoying!) visitors brought me down a bit.
    The number of friends or family that came round and still expected ME to make the drinks annoyed the heck out of me, I’m sure they thought I was really moody and blamed pregnancy hormones ;-)
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  8. 23rd October 2015 / 2:12 pm

    I love reading this post, I hated having to “share” my daughter when she was born, I hated it when grandparents who were “trying” to help would run to pick her up when she was crying. I wanted to be the one to do it each and every time no matter how tired I am, Im expecting my second now, this time around I plan on baby wearing, a friend of mine told me it was great when you wanted to have your baby close to you when visitors were round they didn’t seem to ask to much to hold the baby when she was being “worn” haha! #parentingpicks
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  9. 27th October 2015 / 9:21 am

    Good tips for new parents! Our baby was premature so I was especially reluctant to let other people hold him, I was a bit of a germaphobe after three weeks in the super-hygenic neo-natal ward! I generally didn’t offer people cuddles , I didn’t even realise I was doing it until a neighbour asked if she could hold him and I realised she probably thought I was a bit rude for keeping him to myself. My family all live in another city so fortunately we didn’t have too many drop-in visitors. #TheList
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  10. 16th June 2016 / 7:13 am

    You are so right and good to see that you feel the same as I thought I was being selfish! I think it can really spoil those first couple of weeks and it can overwhelm your baby. I tried with my second baby to be braver and say no to visitors in the first couple of weeks but I had so many texts in the end I thought it would be easier to let them round and get it out the way. I was cleaning and tidying a couple of days after my c section for visitors when all I wanted to do sit in my pjs and relax with my baby. Next time I will be stronger and think back to this post and do what I feel is best for me and my family. The overwhelming perfume thing would annoy me too! Haha! Or worse people that smoke! My first born was 7 weeks early and when we got him home I made everyone wash their hands before I would let them near him! Lol.

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