My wife and I had a lovely daughter born about three weeks ago. It has not shocked us that many of our friends wish to visit; many of these friends live in the area, some as close as next door, and the most practical place to visit is in our home. While many of them have shown restraint, we have noticed that it is not uncommon for some visitors to stay ninety minutes or more. Some of these guests specifically wish to see the child awake. Others simply like to continue the visit longer than reasonable. I notice that young people–mid 20′s–without children and older friends who are of grandparent age, but have no grandchildren, are frequently the worst offenders. When you are trying to feed a baby every three hours, this is a significant chunk of time, and it frequently results in the disruption of the feeding schedule and mother or baby becoming irritated.
I have a commitment to offer guests hospitality, but I would also like to express our wishes that guests stay only a reasonable amount of time in a gracious way: do you have any suggestions? 0211-12
The first thing to do is create or buy a sign for your front door that says, “Shhh….Mom and baby are sleeping! Please do come again”, and hang it on the front door when needed. Something like this:
When friends knock on the door, it’s quite acceptable to not open the door fully to them, inviting them in, but rather say, “Hmmm, Bob, this really isn’t a good time to visit the baby and Mom. Is there another time you could come?”
One way to encourage visitors to leave is for Mom to get up and leave the room to nurse the baby in private. Left to sit there for quite some time should dissuade lingering guests to go home. Mom is under no obligation to let people into her “baby sanctuary” to talk with her while she’s nursing or changing diapers or rocking the baby to sleep. When guests begin to get an clue just how involved baby care is, I think they’ll get the idea and adjust their visiting hours.