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Rules For Hosting Guests & Visitors Post Delivery Ensuring Newborn Safety

A baby’s arrival is a joyous occasion for family and friends. Everyone wants to come over to meet the Newborn. A stream of guests, religious rituals and more, bombard the new parents. Whom to entertain and how, with endless merriments, is a task. If you are new parents or a soon to be parent, this article will help you navigate the tricky situations in this stage. Clearly explaining the basics of social commitment, the article lays down the guidelines, to ensure the safety of the mother and child.

Your bundle of joy brings in a lot of excitement. Family members and friends look forward to being introduced to the new one. Though this moment calls for celebrations, hosting a series of guests is a task. While you and your partner are getting adjusted to the new journey of parenting, the little one is adjusting with a whole new world. Looking for the comforting arms of its parents, to the new born a rush of relatives is overwhelming. This is the first arena when you as a parent set boundaries to protect your baby. In my case, I was polite but firm on my set of rules. As it happened, at times people took me to be over cautious. Yet, my husband and I, put my recovery from childbirth, our newborn’s safety and our bonding time, on top priority.

As a new parent, it is important for you to understand that a newborn is yet to develop an immune system. In the initial months, a baby is susceptible to infections. Breast milk steadily develops its immunity. The first 3 months are critical for the same. Not just the baby, delivery takes a tremendous toll on the mother’s body as well. Hence, during the process of recovery, the mother needs rest and protection from external infections. No matter how connected your bond is with the guest, you have the right to decline visits or reiterate the rules that need to be followed during this phase. Below, I have listed the rules that we followed, though our son was born in pre-covid era, many of the rules are applicable for the current situation too. As a parent, you might add more to these. However, the ones listed are absolutely essential.

1. Follow the visiting hours in the hospital

The visiting hours are there for a reason. It limits the window of guests arriving to greet your baby. Both the mother and the father are usually exhausted with the new responsibilities of parenting. The child too needs time to settle down. A steady stream of guests would infringe upon the time to rest, bond and sleep. This also opens a chance of catching infections from any of the visitors. Requesting the visitors to avoid meeting you at the hospital is perfectly acceptable. I strongly believe that the less people crowding the hospital, the better. At least for the first 2 days, only the presence of the mother, father and caregiver (if any) is advised.

2. People with signs of fever should avoid visits

As mentioned above, the immune system of both mother and child is weak and vulnerable at this phase. Even a minor infection from a visitor can be hazardous to either of them. A firm refusal to let them see the mother or child, is the best solution. If you are delivering in covid times then even the slightest cold like symptom should be alarming and no matter how close, interactions with anyone with such symptoms should be totally avoided.

3. Choose soaps over sanitizers

Though the hospital too provides sanitizers to disinfect oneself before touching a baby or the mother, soap is the most effective way to get rid of germs. Choose to wash your hand with a soap for 2 mins ,rather than a hand sanitiser. Note that a hand sanitizer is heavy on its alcohol formulation, hence it can irritate the skin of the baby. Also most hand sanitisers have a strong smell that can overstimulate the baby. Choose a mild soap for the baby’s comfort.

4. Ensure mobile phone or camera flashes are switched off

While you and your loved ones would want to click numerous photos of the newborn, ensure that the camera flash is switched off. The blinding camera flash can permanently damage the newborn’s pupils. Sometimes, especially the elders, who aren’t as conversant with a mobile phones operation, might fumble with this rule. A quick trick that I used was to ask them to click a photograph of me first before clicking the newborn’s photo. This way I could ensure that the camera flash was switched off.

5. Avoid flowers

Though flowers are a wonderful way to extend one’s greeting, it is advised to not let flowers enter the room where the mother and child are. Most hospitals also discourage flowers. This is to avoid any pollen allergy or the overstimulation of the newborn with the smell of flower. Intimate the visitors that flowers need not be bought.

6. Do not wake up a sleeping baby

A newborn needs sleep. Some visitors might want to pick up a sleeping baby or may talk loudly in its vicinity. Discourage it. The more the baby sleeps, the better it is for its development.

7. Discourage visitors from rocking your baby too vigorously

This comes from personal experience. An elder of the family rocked Kabir with a lot of enthusiasm. That night was challenging for us. Kabir just wouldn’t sleep and kept crying. He finally slept off around 3am. The incident made us realise that not always are the elder adept at their techniques of taking care of a new born. A new born is used to a gentle pace in a mother’s womb. During pregnancy, a mother is advised to walk slow. Hence, vigorous rocking would only over stimulate the baby. No matter how well-meaning the elders are, if you have a difference of opinion regarding the care of your baby, you have the right to say a polite “no”.

8. Kissing a newborn is not allowed at all

For friends and family, kissing your baby is an absolute no. Even as parents, we shouldn’t kiss our newborn on the face. The mouth and nose are the easiest way for the germs to enter a child and cause an infection. Instead ,as parents you could kiss the feet, hands or back of the head.

9. Space out the visits as much as possible

The initial months for parents are a time for rest, recoup and bonding with the baby. However, visitors might want to infringe upon the time, especially on holidays and weekends. Too many visitors would only increase the chance of infection. It’s also an energy drain for you. Instead of entertaining visits as per their convenience, choose to space the visiting time slots. For example, if someone visits you on a Saturday, you may choose to meet another guest on a Sunday. If that too is taxing for you, request them to visit on another weekend. It’s your comfort that is more important than their convenience.

10. Delay any ceremonies for as long as possible

In some households, the birth of a child marks a series of religious rituals. Try and delay it as long as possible. Any ritual will bring the mother and the child in close contact with a lot of guests, risking their safety. In addition, some rituals like a Hawan, pollute the air around the baby. Breathing this air is detrimental for a baby. At least for 40 days, postpone any such rituals, as by then the baby would have completed one round of vaccinations.

11. Limit people who smoke

A smoker will have smoke particles on his clothes. Just washing hands does not do away with the smoke particles. In addition, the stench of smoking, is too strong for the baby. Discourage a smoker from holding your baby.

12. Avoid perfumes and strong fragrances

A baby is sensitive to smell. It looks for the comfort of the smell of its mother’s body. Any strong perfume disturbs the newborn. Do caution the visitors to not wear a strong fragrance while visiting the baby.

13. Introduce your baby to visitors or new places

The baby’s understanding of the world stems from the comfort and security of its parents. Everything else is new. This can rattle a baby. Instead of a visitor speaking directly to the baby, choose to introduce the visitor to the baby. The voice of the parents, calms the baby down. Similarly should you take your baby out for a stroll on a pram, picking up a crying baby and speaking to it about the new set up has a calming effect.

These rules are definitely not exhaustive. Depending on your family structure, you might have to add on more to these. Though it’s easier said than done, drawing your boundaries and being firm on it is for the best interest of your baby. Parenting is a tough job. Yet it’s all worth it for the little one. A little bit of courage, tact and diplomacy, can resolve a lot of unpleasant experiences. That too while ensuring the safety of your baby.

Feel free to reach out to me and share your trying experiences during this phase. We are present on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and our website. Our stories can inspire and help more parents .This content is also available on a video format (link). Do spread the word. Together we create a community of happy parents. Enjoy simplified parenting.

♥ इस आर्टिकल में बताया गया है – नवजात शिशु से मिलने वाले मेहमानों को किन चीजों का ध्यान रखना चाहिए | इस आर्टिकल की जानकारी हिंदी में पाने के लिए नीचे दिए वीडियो को देखें 


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