With over 25 years’ experience in midwifery, Liz Wilkes, midwife and Philips Avent ambassador’s ‘first visit’ memories range from emotional, delightful moments to absolute cringeworthy disasters.
This time should be special for both parents and visiting friends and family, so here are a few tips to consider to prepare for baby’s first visitors.
- Make a visiting time each day
While your friends and family will want to visit your new baby, feel free to have them work around you and bub. There will be an adjustment period, so try to balance the time you have the best you can. Usually late morning is a good time for visitors, and suggesting they bring lunch is a great option. This means you can have a sleep-in, be up and showered, and enjoy your visitor’s company over food before retiring for a rest in the afternoon.
- Be open with visitors
There are a few things parents should consider talking to their visitors about ahead of them meeting bub. If your baby has a sore area from birth, let visitors know to be gentle around that area or avoid holding them. Before the birth of your child, agree on how you feel about vaccinated visitors with your partner, and let close family and friends know this ahead of meeting bub for the first time. Children, including siblings, with vomiting, diarrhoea, any childhood illness such as chickenpox or hand foot and mouth should also stay away from a new baby and seek GP reassurance before visiting.
- Keep it clean
Visitor’s hands should be washed prior to handling baby as well as afterwards. If you have pets at home, this is something to consider ahead of coming home with a new baby. If yourself or your partner would rather keep a pet away from your new baby in the first few days, you might like to ask a family member or friend to look after them.
- Capture the moments
Be prepared for lots of photos and try to remember to capture the important visits for yourself too; beautiful photos of grandma with her first grandchildren are priceless and you want to be able to capture those memories. If your partner, best friend, sister or someone close is happy to be taking some candid shots it’s a great way to give them an important role and take one thing off your list.
- Ask visitors to come to you – especially at first
While the house may not be pristine, having visitors come to you rather than you to them, can be easier for parents in the first weeks. You may wish to have an area set up for visitors that is easy to keep reasonably tidy, as well as an area you can withdraw to during visits for feeding. Using a breast pump is great for when visitors are around so you can pump peacefully and feed bub readily and easily. I recommend the Philips Avent Single Electric Breast Pump which has a soft massage cushion to gently stimulate milk flow so that you feel relaxed even with visitors in the house.