When Caelan was born, we were so excited for our family to come meet him right away. The day we had him, my parents, my sister, and her fiancee came to the hospital to meet our little bug. Seeing them with him were some of the happiest moments of my life.
Over the next two days, we had quite a few family members visit: my husband’s parents and siblings, some aunts and uncles and cousins, and one of my best friends. Andrew was really, really amazing at scheduling people so there weren’t SO MANY people in at once and keeping visitors to daytime hours. It got overwhelming, though.
During the first few days, Andrew and I were still getting used to this idea that we have a child. I was getting used to breastfeeding, which was NOT easy for me at first. Caelan also napped a lot during the day, but since we had people in and out we didn’t get to sleep when he slept. Big mistake. When we brought Caelan to his first doctor’s visit, we were kind of scolded for not waiting until he was a bit older (and home) for visitors, and for not allowing ourselves to adjust better.
I probably should have waited.
Wash your hands. This is a given, no?
Coordinate with dad, not mom. I honestly ignored my phone for like three weeks. My husband though, coordinated everyone and everything (with my permission, of course) and it made it so much easier to not worry about responding and typing and thinking about scheduling while taking care of a one day old.
Keep it short and simple. At one point, my hospital room was filled with family talking politics and my husband had to ask everyone to shut up. I shouldn’t have to remind you to keep the conversation light and your visit brief. Talking Trump the day after birthing a human is just too much for me.
Let feeding time be an exit. I wasn’t, and really still am not, comfortable breastfeeding in front of anyone except my husband and my mom. Please just let mom and baby develop a nursing relationship in private.
Don’t ask to wake up or pick up the baby. First, we always believed in letting the baby sleep. Birth had to have been traumatic for him, too, so please let him rest if that’s what mom and dad want. Also, if someone wants you to hold the baby, they’ll offer. And if mom wants the baby back, hand him over.
Bring coffee. Or a meal. Or even a bottle of wine for mom to enjoy when she has a moment of quiet.
Don’t bring young kids. They have germs. Babies have no immunity.
Don’t offer unsolicited advice. This bothered me from the day we announced that I was pregnant, and it holds true now that my baby is born. Actually, this will always hold true.
Clean. The best thing ever was when my sister came over and folded my laundry, did all my dishes, and even made my bed. All without asking.
The biggest thing is to remember that this is an adjustment for us as two very new parents. It’s always going to be an adjustment. I will always prefer that people wash their hands and that they try to find a convenient time to visit. I prefer that people let him sleep or ask before they can just grab him. It’s also still very much appreciated if you bring wine. When Caelan is 23 and out on his own, it will still be very much appreciated if you bring wine.