Having a new baby makes you quite popular. People are ready to show up at your door for a visit, a chance to see the baby and maybe even bring you lasagna. But are you ready? Here are the types of visitors to expect postpartum, plus tips on how to handle those pop-ins.
The Unannounced Surpriser
One of the trickiest postpartum visitors is the kind who stops by without warning, knocking on the door because they were just “in the neighborhood.” Typically, when these surprise visitors arrive, your hair is in the same topknot it has been in for days, there are dark circles under your eyes, and your nursing bra may or may not be fully clipped.
How to handle them: While these visitors mean well, hosting a surprise visit can be exhausting and frustrating for you and your family. You can always duck into the nursery and not answer the door, or you can be more honest and thank the guest for coming but tell them this is not a great time. Their feelings may be hurt, but ask them to text you when they can come by in the future and you’ll be happy to invite them in for some baby time.
photo: Jjbyrne via Pixabay
The Baby Whisperer
One of the best visitors to receive postpartum, the Baby Whisperer is typically an experienced parent who knows exactly what to do to soothe your newborn. Even better, the Baby Whisperer won’t make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, they will probably tell you all the things you are doing right, giving you the self-esteem boost you desperately need after that sleepless night.
How to handle them: You can’t beg the Baby Whisperer to stay with you forever, but you can ask them their secrets. They are treasure troves of information and experience, so be sure to take advantage. You can also ask them if they will visit again during a particularly fussy time of day, giving you a bit of reprieve.
Family members or friends who stop by and take all the pictures, posting to their social media page before they even walk out your door, can make even the most patient mom grind her teeth. Photos of your newborn and of this time in your life are great, but many new moms don’t want others posting photos when they’re in the background looking exhausted.
If you have the Photographer in your home, tell them if you don’t want photos on the internet from their visit. Or ask to be approve photos before they hit social media. It’s better to be honest than be resentful later on.
photo: Landersb via Pixabay
The Baby Stealer
Not to be confused with the wonderful Baby Whisperers, the Baby Stealer is only at your home for one reason: to hold your baby. These visitors do not ask questions about how you’re doing or feeling. Instead, they are cooing to baby and taking off baby’s socks to “look at those little toes.” These visitors typically remind you that “these are the best days” and regale you with horror stories of your newborn becoming a sassy teenager.
How to handle them: If you’re nursing, use feeding time to sneak off and decompress with your little one, even if Baby Stealer is begging to give baby a bottle. And ask your partner to run interference, lovingly showing the visitor the door when they have been there too long.
The Play Date
This visitor typically shows up announced but with kids in tow. She revels in holding your newborn while you watch as the toddler finds your breast pump and the two-day-old cookie sitting on the end table. It’s fun to catch up with your pal and ask her questions about her child’s newborn days, but it can also be difficult to entertain older kids when your expertise, energy and toy stash are limited.
How to handle them: It is best to meet Play Date at a local park, if possible. You get the chance to practice unfolding the stroller or putting baby in the carrier, and your friend’s kids can play. There are benches to sit on, and fresh air is the perfect cure for sleepless nights.
photo: Omar Lopez via Unsplash
The Postpartum Angel
A rare and wonderful respite from most of the other visitor types, the Postpartum Angel is focused on you. The Postpartum Angel never shows up unannounced, and likely tells you not to worry about putting on makeup or having coffee ready. She shows up with a latte for you, a must-have item for baby, and a bag full of meals to freeze and desserts to enjoy.
She asks you genuine questions about how you’re doing, offering advice only when you ask her for it, all while gently holding your newborn and pointing out how beautiful and well-behaved baby is. If you’re extra lucky, the Postpartum Angel may even fold a few loads of laundry for you, or hold baby while you take a well-deserved shower.
How to handle them: The best way to deal with a Postpartum Angel, besides thanking them genuinely, is to pay it back by being an angel to someone else when the time comes.
The Bottom Line With Postpartum Visitors
If you find that your visitor schedule is becoming too overwhelming, set up visiting hours for friends and family. It will let you have the time you need to rest and bond. And when it is time for a visit, you will look forward to it instead of dreading it.
— Haley Buress