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Having a new baby tends to bring everyone around. For your mental sanity and more importantly your new baby's physical health, it is so important to set boundaries so everyone knows what to expect and what they can and cannot do around you and your little one.
First it is important to respect your baby’s schedule. Most babies get into their own sleep schedule, so you should work to keep them in that. Sleep is so important for a new baby. Don’t try to keep them awake for guests. Allow your little one to get sleep while you enjoy your company, but remember that you need your sleep too. It is okay if you have to cancel company coming over for a night so you can get rest. There are plenty of other days for people to come visit!
Second, your baby’s feeding schedule. New babies eat every two to three hours typically, and it should stay that way! Don’t let your baby go hungry because grandma Jean wants more cuddles. If your baby is bottle fed, sure others can help with feeding, but they don’t have to. That is your special time with your child. When my baby gets hungry, everyone knows that it’s time to give him back to me and we go somewhere quiet and private to eat. That is an expectation that I set with my family and until I’m ready, I will be the one to feed him!
The same rules apply when you go to visit other people. It is okay to ask for some privacy and space. It is also okay to not go anywhere either. Traveling with a new baby isn’t always easy, so just take it slow and when you feel you are both ready then travel! Those who really want to see you can come to you, when you’re feeling up to it of course!
An important thing to remember is that you are your baby’s advocate. If someone is doing something that you don’t like, you have every right to speak up for your child. Not only are you here to protect your children, but what you say goes. You know what is best for your baby. Whether someone is playing too hard, or your baby has had too many visitors for the day, you are the boss. By having a healthy amount of contact, you limit your baby’s chances of getting sick or over stimulated. The people who really love and care for you will respect your decisions and want what is best for your baby too.
Communication also plays a huge role in setting boundaries. Some couples choose to set expectations before the baby is born, like who will be at the hospital during delivery, or how soon after people can come visit. Talk with your significant other and decide what will be best for your family. Then, don’t shy away from expressing your decisions to those around you.
For me, I just wanted my husband at the hospital when our baby was born. It was so special just having him there and not having to worry about other guests. Those few days spent with my little family were perfect. Then we got home and took a week or so to adjust, and then our families were invited over. Everyone was very anxious to meet our baby, but it worked out perfectly on our schedule. Do what is best for you!!
It might not always seem easy to express your wants and what you feel is best, but as long as you and your significant other are on the same page, that’s all that matters. I promise you will feel so much better once everyone knows what to expect when visiting you and your child. Once again, those who love you will respect what you want. Just remember to set your boundaries firmly, and don’t feel guilty. As mentioned above, you know what is best for you and YOUR baby. Good luck!
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