Parents don’t generally appreciate unsolicited advice or criticism regarding their methods of parenting. Moreover, parents have a right to establish boundaries for those who come into contact with their kids, especially when it comes to visiting a new baby. However, one mom had a list of expectations, that some have deemed a little unreasonable.
Upon establishing a list of 8 rules regarding visiting a new baby, specifically hers, people online had mixed responses, and KIIS FM in Sydney, Australia, asked listeners for their thoughts. KIIS FM radio host, Jackie O’Henderson read the rules “verbatim”, explaining the couple also planned to do things a little differently. Meanwhile, co-host Kyle Sandilands “sighed at” the list.
To start, in contrast to parents traditionally making a birth announcement, the couple have opted out of any big announcements. They’ve decided there will be no name, birth date or time, or anything else pertaining to the newborn online. “If we want you to know, you’ll know,” O’Henderson continued speaking for the new parents. By the same token, the couple expects that anyone willing to follow their rules and plans on visiting, refrain from posting anything about the new baby online.
O’ Henderson further shares the couple have decided, only those who’ve “checked in” since the pregnancy announcement will be informed about the birth. “Otherwise, we have taken your silence as not being interested in our friendship and it is also reciprocated.” The mom to be disclosed in her statement.
Next, there will be visitors for the first two weeks, “No exceptions, no texts, no calls.” At which point Kyle asked about grandparents. Unusually, the parents have extended this rule not only to friends but also to family. The parents have also established a rule for visiting a new baby, which has become a controversial topic in the last few years. They are expecting anyone who comes in contact with the new baby to be fully vaccinated, minimizing the risk of illness. “Don’t be offended if we ask for proof. We will not be putting her health at risk.”
Similarly, the couple asks that one kiss the baby’s face, or “touch her”. Although that second part might leave room for confusion, parents have every right to decide who will be able to hold the new baby. See Below the Official 8 rules, established by the new parents.
Rules for Visiting a New Baby
1. The birth and baby’s name will not be announced
2. Only those who have checked in on the couple since the announcement of the pregnancy will be notified about the birth
3. No photos posted on social media event
4. No visitors at the hospital or home for the first two weeks. No exceptions, no calls, no texts
5. Everyone who meets the baby will need to be vaccinated
6. No kissing the baby’s face or touching her
7. Do not smell of cigarettes or wear cologne/perfume that is too strong when meeting the baby
8. Do not expect to be hosted when visiting the baby. BYO snacks and drinks
Some people commented that the requests were totally normal and valid. “Their baby, their rules.” Commented one person. While another explained, “The people triggered over this are the type of people these boundaries are intended for.”
However, others weren’t amused at all by the list, feeling it may be a little too much. “I hope she’s knows what she’s doing.” one person shared. “The same person will later complain that no one helps her out and she has no “village,”‘ said another.
Visiting a New Baby According to Experts
While parents are entitled to set their own boundaries, and create their own rules regarding their children, it’s never a bad idea to consult with experts. This helps parents make the most-well-rounded decision possible. According to Johns Hopkins, it’s a good idea to limit the number of people visiting a new baby, especially in the first couple of months. This is because they have an incredibly vulnerable immune system and exposure to bacteria can put them at risk for severe health concerns like meningitis and sepsis. Additionally, the barrier that protects the brain from infection, the “blood-brain barrier”, hasn’t fully developed.
Therefore, it’s recommended that visits with extended family should be delayed until 2-3 months after birth. Whether it’s possible to hold loved ones off for this long or not, good hygiene practices are always advised. When visiting a new baby, it’s always recommended to thoroughly wash hands and remove jewelry to minimize the spread of bacteria.
Experts seem to agree with at least one rule on the viral mom’s list. While visiting a new baby, people shouldn’t kiss the baby or be too close to their faces, as mouths are teeming with germs that can easily spread through saliva. Equivalently, it may be a good idea for those visiting a new baby to wear a mask. However, the Pandemic proves this may also be a controversial matter.
Addressing Sensitive Matters
Regardless, parents have the right to do what they feel is best for their children, and anyone with genuine intentions is more than likely going to respect that. However, it can feel daunting to tell your loved ones, “No.” A good way to overcome these difficult conversations is to address them with your partner or co-parent, if you have one. That way, you’re both on the same page about your expectations beforehand and can be a united front when talking to family and friends. Ensuring loved ones understand the health risks of visiting a new baby is a great way to establish boundaries without hurting anyone’s feelings. Additionally, alternatives like pictures or FaceTime might help ease some worry about missing out on precious moments.