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Baby at home: invite guests?

As soon as the newborn baby is placed in your hands, you will probably have a queue of relatives and friends all waiting for an invitation. Some of them can be a tad bit more impatient and try to press themselves through the hospital doors just to see the little one. Good tips on how to deal with these guests are being given to readers by baby counsellor Kadi Leppik. ‘I advise to ask the guests to stay away from the hospital beforehand,’ is her recommendation. ‘For the first couple of months I would also ask them to postpone their visit on a later time – this is so that the newborn can get used to his or her new surroundings and to how it smells. Unfamiliar scents can only create stress in the baby,’ says Leppik. ‘Baby’s sense of smell is considerably stronger than ours. If upon the visitor’s arrival the baby starts to cry, it can actually be stress created by unfamiliar scents.’

If the guests do insist on seeing the newborn baby, Leppik offers them to join the parents for a walk outside. ‘This is how you can keep it less stressful for the child,’ she explains. But if you do wish for the guests to pay a visit to your home, Leppik strongly advises for guests to remain from wearing any perfume or strong smelling deodorant. Additionally, smokers should smoke their last cigarette at least half an hour before meeting the baby, as well as lessen these smells with a mint or a chewing hum afterwards. ‘Of course all hands have to be washed before any contact,’ she adds sternly.

Additionally she would advise the guests to offer some help with cooking or to grab some snacks for the visit itself, as they should not expect a newborn’s mom to start baking and cooking. ‘Visiting time shouldn’t be long, 30 minutes to an hour and half is maximum and this should be mentioned to the guests beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings,’ advises the baby counsellor.

In all of this the newborn baby is the most important. ‘If the baby needs to sleep, then do not wake him or her up just to show them off to the visitors. Some people do tend to kiss the baby directly on lips – please ensure that no one does so as this is the first source of herpes virus which can danger the baby’s life,’ she explains. Leppik also strongly advises to never let visitors enter the baby’s room while he or she is sleeping. ‘You should consider whether you would like to have strangers observe you like an animal at the zoo while you are sleeping,’ she says. ‘You should also not let anyone else hold your baby – he or she should get used to parents first.’


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