Visitors after your baby is bornIt’s so smart to start preparing now for visitors, while you’re still pregnant. Here are a few handy tips, so you’re able to show your beautiful little miracle off to the world and not lose your mind:

1. Be Choosy With Who Stays With You

There might be a few people who offer to stay with you to help out once your baby comes home. This help can be a blessing or a curse. So, avoid letting anyone stay with you that you don’t feel comfortable crying in front of or telling them to shut up. Choose carefully about who you can be around 24/7 when you’re exhausted and healing from childbirth.

2. Spread Out Visits

So many people like to see a baby as soon as possible. But try to space out the visitors as much as you can. It’ll allow you to get your new routine settled, and able to enjoy everyone’s company.

3. Visit People Who Will Overstay

If you think someone will overstay their welcome, don’t have them visit you. See them instead. Newborns are pretty easy to travel with because all they do is eat, sleep and poop. Take full advantage of this window of time when you can bring them anywhere, and they don’t care!

If you go see the “overstayers,” the length of the visit is all on your terms. There’s no need to try and drop hints that it’s time to end the visit.

4. Give Them Work

Some people really want to help when you have a baby. Let them! Have them tidy up, do dishes, clean the bathroom, take out the garbage, whatever. Show them your to-do list if they ask if they can help. Not everyone is comfortable being around babies but still really want to help. So, give them the pleasure of doing something for you and enjoy it. Don’t forget to thank them profusely!

5. Ask for Food

It’s common practice nowadays to send out a “meal train” website link that includes the parent’s food allergies. Your friends and family just pick a date when they bring you a meal. If you feel rude asking people for dinner, have a friend send out the meal train request for you.

Meal trains are great because not only do you get dinner, but you get to decide which dates are available and control the flow of people. We’ve even seen some clever new parents include a line in their meal train site such as “If we’re not around for visitors, we’ve provided a cooler to leave the food.”

6. Set Up an “Out-of-Office Reply”

Some well-meaning people think it’s cool to drop by if they don’t get an immediate response to their text. So that you can avoid an awkward moment, try treating it like a vacation notification. Edit your voicemail, auto text reply for text messages, and your email to let people know you’re unavailable. Some people feel like they need to check in regularly. Here’s a sample auto-reply: “Thanks for your email (or text or call). We’re getting the hang of parenthood so please forgive us if it takes a little longer than usual to get back to you. So don’t worry, we’re just fine and loving every moment!”

7. Get Responses Ready Now

Do feel like your Auntie Jane is going to be a problem? Try to get responses thought out now. For example, you might think she’s going to show up the day after you give birth and start telling a story of a co-worker’s mother-in-law. Compose an email now, that says something like, “Auntie Jane, we’re excited for you to see our baby! I’m just getting the hang of everything still, so can I give you a call when we come up for air so you can come over and meet him?” Then, you can simply send this when she contacts you.

If she shows up anyway, try to roll with it. Have Auntie Jane hold your baby while you take a shower. The advice we have for visitors is to just roll with it!