How to deal with visitors since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, you might be starting to feel pressured by friends and family members that want to come and meet your newborn baby for the first time. Naturally you want your loved ones to meet your precious new baby, but you are right to be cautious about the health risks to you and your baby.

This is unchartered territory for all new parents, and you must have an endless list of fears and concerns right now. We know you have a lot of questions: When is it a safe time to receive visitors? What precautions should they take? Are they able to hold your baby? Should they have any vaccinations? Will breastfeeding protect your baby? How do you even let people know politely that you don’t want any visitors yet?

How to deal with visitors that want to see your newborn baby now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased

Remember that it’s your home, your baby, and your rules. You do what you feel comfortable with, and people should be understanding. As a parent, protecting and keeping your baby safe is your priority, so only you can make the decisions regarding visitors.

When is it a safe time for people to visit my newborn?

Regardless of the risks of COVID-19, it’s advised that visitors should wait until your baby has had their 6 week vaccinations to protect their immature immune systems. There are still other very serious risks to your baby in the early weeks.

If you have visitors in your home, you still must practice social distancing in most areas. For instance, they can come to the door and stand 1.5 metres away from you, but no cuddles for now. Or you could pop your baby in a pram and go for a walk in a park with a friend, so they can still see you and your baby from a safe distance. Another great idea is to put your baby in a sling or carrier, which makes it easy to control how close someone gets to them.

What precautions should my visitors take?

If you’re happy to have visitors in your home, they need to be 100% well and preferably in isolation or limited contact with others themselves. Even then, be aware that people can be asymptomatic and still be contagious.

Can they hold my baby?

You need to encourage friends and family members to wash their hands well when they arrive. For added safety, if you agree to them holding your baby, they shouldn’t kiss your baby on the face or hands. You might even insist on them wearing a mask, but that is entirely up to you.

Should visitors have any vaccines?

Anyone at all coming near you or your baby should have had a flu shot and the whooping cough vaccine prior. No current vaccines will protect someone against COVID-19.

Will breastfeeding protect my baby?

Breastfeeding can help protect babies from getting sick, and is particularly effective against infectious diseases. This is because breast milk contains antibodies and other immune protective factors. If you choose to or can breastfeed, it’s recommended that you do so to further protect your baby’s immune system. Read more: COVID-19 information for breastfeeding mums. 

How do I let people know politely that I don’t want any visitors?

Some people may be disappointed or outright annoyed that they can’t meet your little bundle just yet, but there are ways that you can let them know without upsetting them.

One idea might be when you announce your baby’s birth (whether it’s via a card or a social media post. Search Pinterest for cute images), you could add something along the lines of, ‘Looking forward to everyone meeting bub in 6 weeks time once they have had their vaccinations. Under the current restrictions, we know that you will also respect our decision to practice social distancing’.

You could also suggest that you’d be extremely grateful to have meals dropped off, or are happy for people to drive or walk past to greet your baby from afar. Reassure them that you’ll send regular photos to keep them happy. Their intentions come from a place of love, but they will just need to have some patience for now.

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