Sometimes it’s difficult to walk the line between welcoming friends and family to meet a newborn and shutting yourself away to incubate her from all the germs and dangers of the world. And, no matter what you do, someone will get upset by your diligence (or lack thereof). It’s often the first experience we have with parenting criticism. So, no matter how you oversee things, it’s ultimately your choice and your choice alone; just do what’s right for you and your family. In our house, we try to allow for some immediate family visits with hand washing (and strict “please don’t visit if you’re sick” rules). But, then things get complicated with family birthdays and holidays. So, what do you do when you’d rather not have your baby passed from second cousin to friend-of-your-aunt at the bigger get-togethers when her immune system is still very much developing? I’ll let you in on our little secret. We swear by a baby carrier. No matter the brand, no matter whether it’s a solid structure, wrap, or otherwise, as long as your baby is being worn in the age- and size-appropriate way, keeping baby close to Mommy or Daddy is ideal for avoiding those germs (and unwanted touching) - in addition to the myriad of other awesome reasons to babywear! We have a big post-Christmas get-together with extended family every year and I’ve seen people come sick (with no warning to other partygoers). While I can appreciate their excitement and dedication to the shindig, it can be annoying to encounter this even without a small baby in tow. So far, wearing out babies has been a savior because a) they usually fall asleep to your heartbeat and cuddly warmth (a great excuse not to take baby out), b) people can see the baby’s face, and c) obviously it keeps unwanted holding to a minimum. Some may say that I’m a party pooper not to pass the baby around, but at smaller events with trusted loved ones I’m happy to get a bit of a bit of a breather and have others hold our little munchkin. And I work to create some one-on-one time at other, less crazy times to meet with beloved friends and family - especially the older folks who, I find, often crave baby time (to see the way their eyes light up is enough to bring me to tears, so to share this squishy newborn stage with them is a joy). So, I really don’t use this strategy as a means to upset relatives; my goal is to keep the baby safe during those crazy hectic (often virus-laden) times of the year. And I have found that it has kept things happy and calm for everyone - it’s just the right amount of baby to quench that newborn fever that people get. No pun intended.
What about you guys? Do you allow folks to pass the baby around or do you essentially shut yourselves away for the first month or so? Or do you have a strategy to kind of walk the line between both? We’d love to hear in the comments!