You've waited nine long months and now have a beautiful, new baby to reward your patience. But, it seems as soon as your precious bundle is placed in your arms, good-intentioned family members and friends are texting and calling to know when they can get a glimpse of your new addition.
When is the right time to show off your little one? It's a tough call. Especially if you and your spouse are more private and just want some uninterrupted mommy, daddy and baby time. Others are giving everyone a green light for visits right after the delivery. Either way, keep a few things in mind before you open the doors to your child's biggest fans (well, next to you and your spouse, of course).
Have a visitor plan
Just like some women have a birth planof how they want their labor and delivery to go, the same thing can apply to visitors. Sometimes it's easier to let everyone know your expectations before baby comes along. You can easily send out an email or letter a couple of weeks before your new family member arrives communicating your feelings on visits and when and how often you would like to have visitors. It could be as simple as stating you and your spouse are going to play it by ear. Or maybe you would like to customize your visitor plan so close friends and family visit in the beginning and everyone else visits in the days after. Giving people a plan of action will not only help you avoid visitor bombardment but will also allow you to truly enjoy the time with your little one since everyone knows the plan.
Tell them how you really feel
Whether you had a difficult delivery or have waited to adopt and are just now cradling your new baby, communicate how you are actually feeling. You may feel too exhausted, overwhelmed or just need some hours (or days) to get some quality bonding time with your baby. Be assertive, yet gentle, in communicating your feelings and most people will respect your wishes.
View visitors as extra help
Whether this is your 1st or 6th addition to the family, help with a newborn is always welcome. I'm sure Fido could use a walk, dishes could be loaded or maybe you just need a home cooked meal. Put visitors to work. Let them know how they can help while they dote on your little one. They will get to spend some time with your baby and help you out in the process. It's a win-win.
The newborn moments are fast and fleeting
You've heard it a million times already and will probably hear it a billion more: "They grow up so fast." Those hours right afer you've welcomed your new baby, you will never get back. These are precious moments - soak it in. Friends and family will have plenty of time (and I'm talking years here) to coo, coddle and snuggle your little one. Try not to worry about what other's expect or feel pressured to accommodate the agenda of insistent Aunt Sue. She will get her chance to cradle junior - again and again and again.
When your little one makes their début, it's far too easy to let your big day become everyone's day. Go with what feels comfortable for you and your spouse. Remember to set up a plan of action, communicate whether you are up for visitors, accept help and, most of all, try to enjoy those first few hours with your precious baby. They truly are short-lived and priceless moments.