New babies are cute and everyone wants in on the action. Here’s our guide to the visitors you’ll get in the first weeks with a new baby…
1. Stoic fellow parents and other sensible souls
There are, thankfully, many people in this world who understand what new parents need: food and sleep. These are the absolute best visitors – they arrive with food parcels, tell you you’re doing a great job and promptly leave. Some even send you to bed while they cuddle the baby, then clean the kitchen without telling you.
2. Squads of health professionals
If you’re a bit baffled by the visits from health professionals you receive after a baby is born you wouldn’t be the first. From the day after you’ve been discharged from hospital or birth centre or had a home birth, a steady stream of first midwives and then health visitors will appear, ask questions, check stitches, weigh the baby, look out for issues like jaundice, and help with feeding. They can appear with little notice, but don’t expect you to be dressed, for your house to be in tip-top condition or to be given The Best Biscuits. It takes a bit of getting used to and by the time you have, they’ll sign you off and disappear, so take advantage of the help while it’s quite literally on your doorstep.
3. Family – the good, the bad and the small
How to rank family? It’s impossible, really – there’ll be representatives from many of the categories on this list but family is family after all. The larger ones will bring opinions on who the newest member of the clan resembles (please don’t say Great Uncle Ken, even though we’re all thinking it), the little ones will want to hold the baby which will probably make you hyperventilate, and when it comes to the in-laws, you’ll realise that you are now bound by blood to these people forever and ever. And ever. You’re welcome.
4. Delivery people
OK, so they don’t really count as visitors but delivery peeps feature heavily in the early days of parenting. Some will be bearing bunches of flowers and lovely, unexpected gifts, many carrying takeaways and some offloading box after box for the woman at number six with the ASOS problem. It will not be long before the handwritten “KNOCK DON’T RING BABY SLEEPING!” sign appears over your doorbell, and you find yourself keeping metal a league table of every delivery professional operating within a five mile radius.
Hi, work colleague! Wow, we’ve shared some good times over the years. You saw me through my pregnancy, have rocked up with super-cute pressies and a card full of lovely messages from co-workers that have made me cry and it’s genuinely nice to see you… but actually, I’m in my PJs with my boobs out wearing a sanitary pad large enough to absorb a pint of after-work shandy and this is a bit awkward.
6. The experts
It’s amazing how, as a new parent, you can simultaneously feel clueless and trust in your instincts all at the same time. Which is why it’s KIND OF ANNOYING when the self-appointed baby expert in your life reveals themselves – especially when all their expertise is outdated. It’s even more annoying when much of their advice proves useful. Ah well, at least they care – consider their visits a great opportunity to get your money’s worth out of hypnobirthing classes as you take lovely, calming breaths.
7. The space invaders
Visitors who turn up expecting bed and board when you’ve just given birth are the pits. Unfortunately, they’re also usually close relatives who have travelled a long way and are excited about the new baby. If you’re expecting this scenario, manage expectations in advance – tell them you won’t be hosting guests ’til you’re ready. Draw the curtains and hide behind the sofa if you need to. Not to be confused with the saintly house guests who turn up, feed you, let you sleep and plump the sofa cushions.
8. Photo opportunity seekers
If you’re unlucky, there is a certain type of ‘friend’ who will invade your little bubble of pyjama-clad happiness, bustle past your gently deflating person and take four million selfies with the baby you have just spent the best part of a year growing. Then they’ll post the pics on social media, usually without asking permission, and get lots of heart-eyed emojis from people you don’t know. These people can get in the bin. Byeee!