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The New Mom's Guide to Handling Houseguests

The New Mom's Guide to Handling Houseguests

During pregnancy, you probably fantasize about the few days after delivery when you can show off your baby to a slew of family and friends. But after the big day arrives, it's hardly uncommon to realize that the last thing your exhausted body needs is a houseful of well-wishers. Here's how to handle in-house visits, courtesy of Lauri Berkenkamp, author of Go Parents! (Nomad Press) parenting guides:
  • Be prepared
    Organize extra linens and towels for overnight guests. Also, make a list of chores that will be tough to get done once the baby's born. When mom asks how she can pitch in, you can hand her the list instead of shrugging your shoulders.

  • Make overnight guests work for room and board
    If close relatives or family friends stay at the house after your delivery, make it clear ahead of time that you will be enlisting their help, and they won't be allowed to simply "ooh and ahhh" over the baby while you cater to them.

  • Be proactive instead of reactive by setting rules
    Before you suddenly find your house overrun with relatives, friends, the entire neighborhood (and their kids!), set some ground rules for "baby visitation time." Berkenkamp says, "Let close in-house guests, like your mother, be the enforcer." Some good boundaries to set: Guests shouldn't bring their kids along unless you're sure you won't have to watch after them; no visits are allowed during "transition times" such as when your partner gets home from work; guests shouln't expect to be fed when they arrive.

  • Be flexible -- and expect the same from your guests
    A new baby means there's little you can predict in your household, so don't try to plan visits out too much. Even if you've arranged for a friend to come by at a specific time, ask her to call first; you never know when you might end up awake all night with the baby -- and comatose when it's time for your pal's AM visit.


About The Author

Kristyn Kusek is a regular contributor to Your Baby Today. She's also written for Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, The New York Times, and Lifetime TV Online.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.

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