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Having family visit when baby is born

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by daisy_123, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Hubby and I are expecting our first baby in a month and half and I would love some advice from other mums about having family come and stay when baby is born!
    We live in Spain so the grandparents won't be here for the birth, but they are naturally keen to come over as soon as they can, and we're looking forward to that. They won't be staying with us because we have no space, but will be in a hotel close by. I'm worried that when I'm exhausted after the birth it's going to be quite tense having the in-laws/my parents around for a couple of weeks.
    They are all lovely and want to help, suggesting they can look after the baby while we go out etc. I really don't think I will want to leave the baby so soon though and I'm getting anxious about them being in our home all day with me and baby, because we only have one living area. I know I won't be comfortable feeding the baby in front of anyone for a while and am starting to picture myself in the bedroom for hours just to get some space. Please help put my mind at rest! How soon do you think would be ideal to have guests and have you any tips for including grandparents while avoiding stress and getting the help you really need? Thanks!
     
  2. My midwife gave me some very good advice before my son was born. She told me that if people want to help, ask them to do household chores or cook a meal. The person looking after the baby should be you. It's your baby, you don't know how you will feel and you need time to bond. If they don't like it then tough luck. If you want them to look after LO then you can ask them but don't feel pressured into anything. Be firm, suggest they come over at certain times and make it clear you'd like them to go by x time. If you are happy on the day for them to stay longer then you can tell them that. My OH felt strongly that he wanted his parents to visit a lot. I kept asking them to bring lunches with them - novelty soon wore off (she did it three times) and then told me she wouldn't be doing that ever again! Says it alll really. Good luck - hope it all goes well.
     
  3. I agree with Jonesec in that sometimes what people can do to be helpful is look after YOU in order for you to look after the baby. Someone else feeding you so you can sit for ages feeding etc is brill. But you HAVE to feel comfortable and in control. If you do not feel you can be in charge of when people are around then maybe your OH can talk to his parents? Or I'd suggest waiting a wee while until you know how you're doing and how you're feeling before having them stay for any length of time.
    If you are unsure about being able to speak up (about what you need and when) then remember that this is the ONLY TIME you'll ever be getting to know your newborn baby - too important a time to let others' needs come first.
    I was happy feeding in front of people - had to let it all hang out due to extremely sore breasts and nipples and so would have had to be a hermit if I wasn't ready for people to see me feed. You may feel differently about this once you're doing it (not everyone does, I appreciate that - but after late preg and labour I felt pretty open about it all!).
     
  4. i must say i'm very impressed that you have thought this through so well. I was soooo naive!!
    I DID feel as you fear you might about feeding altohugh soon didn't worry anymore but the first few weeks i did not want an audience (inlaws, diddnt mind my parents!) as i fumbled around and got upset about breastfeeding.
    The cooking is a huge help. it is good that they arent in your pockets and staying elsewhere. Maybe if you feel up to it they can take baby out for a hour walk so you can nap every dayxx
    Dont even think about offering to make cups of tea!! My inlaws seemed to still expect this sort of thing despite me having had no sleep and it made me resentful for ages...
     
  5. I'll be honest and say it sounds like a complete nightmare. Sorry to be blunt but.....you need time to recuperate after the birth, establish feeding etc. I honestly cant think of anything worse than having both sets of grandparents around. Cant you get them to leave it for at least 2/3 weeks after the birth and maybe visit for a week each? I realise that they want to see their grandchild but you also need to look after yourself and give yourself time to get to know your baby. Perhaps you could sell it to them by saying they would be able to look after LO for an hour or two by then? They arent saying that purely to be helpful but because they want some time on their own with the baby. I am due in 3 weeks and no-one will be visiting me for more than an hour for the first couple of weeks. I did the same with my daughter and still found having people round stressful. But then we are all different!
     
  6. We did it in reverse and it worked well for us! It was a planned C-Section so was a tad different but basically my whole family came to the hospital the day she was born and then my parents were around for the next few days. OH's family then came for the whole weekend. This was only 5 days after the birth so I was still taking her up to our bedroom to feed. No one stayed with us at any point. However, once everyone had had their introductions and cuddles we had a week long 'babymoon' with no visitors and just the 3 of us getting the hang of things! It was lovely as I had no guilt that people hadn't seen her. At no point did anyone take her out, there's no way I would have let that happen for literally months!! I did find it handy having my parents or siblings there sometimes to hold her whilst I had a shower and stuff tho.
     
  7. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    I must be too laidback as it honestly wouldn't bother me, especially as they are staying in a hotel!
    Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
    All the best. [​IMG]
     
  8. All I wanted to do after my lo was born was show her off. I had no issues with feeding her around my parents or my in laws, but I do appreciate that other people do worry about it. I would probably have been annoyed if the grandparents had come to stay but luckily for me they all live within an hours drive from us so could come over for an afternoon then go home after they had made me dinner and cooed over the baby while I had a shower.
    My sister allowed us all to visit her in the hospital during visiting hours (she was in for about 3 days because of slight complications) but then we weren't allowed to visit til she invited us. She asked my parents to go down and stay for a few days once her hubby went back to work from paternity leave as it would "be more helpful then" but really it was so she could ahve some time with the baby by herself.
    But inviting them once hubby is back at work might be a compromise you could all live with, as they will feel as if they are being more helpful, and you will quite possibly be grateful for an extra pair of hands by that point, especially if you have a baby like mine that didn't like being put down and wanted to be held the whole time. Just being able to hand her over to someone else so I could go to the loo without her screaming the place down was wonderful.
     
  9. I thought I would be bothered about feeding in front of people but wasn't. I had a little guzzle monster who fed for every hour. I wouldn't have seen anyone if it had have bothered me. re the family visiting - I would suggest that they come at separate times. My OH handled it all for me - told everyone what time they could come - tended to be 1 set of visitors each day. Definitely make time for yourselves as a family.
    Good luck
     
  10. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    The other thing is that breastfeeding can be made to look incredibly discrete. Just sling a muslin cloth over your shoulder and arrange accordingly!
     
  11. Thanks so much to everyone for all the comments. It's really useful to have different points of view, so I'm going to take some time to think it over and discuss it with DH. We definitely want our parents to feel welcome and included, but want what's best for baby and us starting out as a family too.

     
  12. I am also living abroad and had a baby 4 months ago, my parents came over a few days after she was born and I was really happy to have them here, they were staying with us but they only stayed a few days and they just helped out a bit round the house and let me get on with it. They didn't interfere in any way with me looking after the baby but they were considerate and understood that it was most important for me to bond with her.My husband wasn't allowed to take time off work immediately so I was really grateful to have the company, but I think he found it a strain coming home to my parents and found it difficult to bond with our daughter at that point.

    My in-laws live here as my husband is local and I minimised their visits as I knew that unlike my parents their priority would be to dominate my baby and not to support me. As for the breast feeding, I was comfortable feeding when my parents were around but at first it is difficult to do it discretely as you are still getting the hang of things so when my in-laws were around I would leave the room to feed, I have continued this as it is usually a welcome break! My parents did actually come again a few weeks later and my mum stayed a week and as that was after my husband had had his paternity leave and gone back to work I found that a help and it was useful to have the opportunity to develop a bit more rountine and get more confident about doing things on my own here with a baby. You might find it a good solution to have a quick meet the baby visit and then a longer one a bit later...Having a baby in a different country can be challenging!
     
  13. Thanks for your advice spring chicken. I am feeling a lot calmer about the situation now and we will be having the first set of grandparents over a few days after the baby is born. They are all so excited and I feel like our baby is so lucky to have so many people looking forward to getting to know her. I'm sure it will all go smoothly!
     
  14. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I know a lot of guys do feel very unhappy when their parents miss out, and the mums' are around day in day out. They may not say at the time, but resent it quietly. Yes, women have the physical pain of birth, but guys have a lot of mental trauma and have to stay strong for us, so I would allow him to have his support too. And his parents may halp you out loads in the future, you never know. In one, admittedly unusual case, x was stroppy about having her mother in law around, and only let her own mum visit. Her partner wasn't happy, but didn't say anything. His mum then died suddenly, and he still resents his ex for not letting her have a few days as a gran holding her grandchild before she died. Unusual of course, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. Was this why thet split up? I don't know.Your partners' parents will have seen and done all breastfeeding or whatver and know a lot more about it than a new mum, they may even be able to help a lot more than a random midwife you've never met who comes in for two minute.
    I know people are differnt, and if in laws are horrible, just as if your own parents were, then it's up to you if they come. But obviously you are asking for advice, so this is just one view. REmember that it's a special time for them, too. Most mils and fils are wise enough to undertsnad that you needhelp and your own space. But remember they can help so that tired you and tired hubby can get a break. Orso you can nip out to Boots to buy the baby things you forgot! Good luck, and remember as you start your family, it's their family too. A couple of generations ago, families were so much closer and new mums got a lot more support, it wasn't just new mum and new dad, but dozens of people.
     
  15. My mother in law's planning on coming to stay locally (renting somewhere) when the baby's due/born.... and I'm actually OK on this front - but I generally get on probably slightly better with MIL than my own mother (although that one's mellowed over the years a bit).
    People keep looking at me like I'm mad when they find out though!
     
  16. In terms of MILs mine I thunk was feeling a bit peeved (they live 1.5 hours away and came round on day 3!) - until she asked me when my parents had been round and they hadnt other than to pick daughter 1 up!
     
  17. Hi,

    Having your first child is an exciting and scary time....learning all new things. I have three children so I talk with experience. It is lovely having others there to help you but my advice is to space the visits out. Remember to allow your self and your partner time to adjust to being parents. It can be quite stressful and having guests can add to the stress if your not careful. When i had my first child it felt like everyone came all together and then when they all left it was quite lonely and daunting :-/

    With regards to feeding, try to get as much advice about this from your midwife before you give birth. I found it a struggle with my first child and you will need space to adjust and time for you and your baby to get to know each other :) It does come quite naturally even if you do not envisage it will at this time.

    Remember to try to use their visits to your advantage....washing clothes, clearing up, letting you get to know your baby and have relaxing baths :)

    Good luck! :)
     

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