Protecting Our Newborns: The Vital Role of Restricted Visits in Promoting Infant Health and Development

It can be frustrating to hear the words “Maybe next week” when you’ve been waiting to meet your niece or nephew or your best friend’s new family addition.

But it’s far more frustrating for the parents of the newborn who are overwhelmed, overworked and can’t keep up with the endless list of visitors who want to get their hands on their very vulnerable little baby. From the outside looking in, all the safety measures they take and the delayed visits may seem excessive. But new parents need to conserve all their energy to take good care of the newborn baby, which means all the niceties can wait. So, even though you have the best intentions and want to congratulate your close one, the best thing you can do for them is take a step back and let them settle in first. Here are a couple of reasons why parents of newborns don’t want their loved ones to visit and why their wishes must be respected. Read on to know more.

1. Visitors Show Up Unannounced

The worst thing that can happen to you when you are sleep deprived, hungry and trying to keep a baby alive is having uninvited visitors. There’s nothing wrong with going to see the new baby, as long as the parents have extended the invitation and are well prepared, physically and mentally for your arrival. Everything is a million times harder to do when you have a baby, even have guests over, because the parents can’t just drop everything they’re doing and socialize with you. This can disrupt the routine they have which may upset the baby and their own schedules. Unexpected visitors, even those bearing gifts and loads of love just add to the stress and disrupt the order they have carefully established. So, take a raincheck and wait until they extend an invitation.

2. Visitors Always Stay For Too Long

Friends and family often forget that things don’t work the same as they used to, that is, when the baby wasn’t around. So if they are accustomed to spending hours together chatting with their parents, they might expect to do the same, which is not going to go well. Visiting friends and family have to be mindful of the fact that the parents have a newborn to take care of. Which means that they need to nurse the baby every hour or so, burp them, rock them to sleep and change their diaper round the clock. They need to keep to a schedule especially because they’re still adjusting to it. So they prefer to not have guests at all instead of having to deal with those who overstay their welcome.

3. Guests Visit Even When They Are Ill

This is a big no-no. Some people are so excited to see the new addition to the family, they completely forget how fragile they are and that they need to be protected from germs and viruses. Some guests think it’s okay to drop by if all they have is a mild cold thinking that it might not harm the baby, but this is the farthest thing from the truth. Newborns are extremely fragile and can catch a cold even if a healthy visitor decides to pay them a visit. So it’s understandable why the parents would want to prioritize their baby’s health instead of the desires of a loved one who could potentially harm the baby. The absolute worst is when that sick person decides to hold, kiss and cuddle the baby. Instead of repeatedly explaining the risks of doing these things parents just find it easier to ask their loved ones not to visit during the first couple of months.

4. They Give Unsolicited Advice

No two babies are the same and every family operates differently. So something that works for you and your family may not work for your friends. This is something that most people don’t realize. It’s hard enough to be a new parent but it’s even harder if there’s someone always telling them how to do things better. Especially because when it comes to babies, nothing is as easy as it may seem. These parents are starting a new chapter in their life which comes with new challenges and a chance to figure out their own family dynamic. So be respectful and keep your opinions and advice to yourself unless they reach out and ask for it first. If they need help, they’ll ask.

Taking care of a newborn is not for the faint of hearted. This is why it’s important to give the new family some space to help them settle in and allow them to give their full attention to their little one. We’re sure you’ll be called up for a visit soon. But till then, sit tight!

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