Setting Healthy Boundaries

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Written by One Mama Midwife

Coming into the end of the year is a very exciting time, however having multiple events on can be overwhelming for new parents and babies. It is important that you set healthy boundaries with family members and friends to ensure you can enjoy yourself too.

The first part of setting healthy boundaries is having the discussion with your partner about what events you are going to go to and what you are going to do with your baby at these events. For example, it could be helpful to discuss together:
- How will we navigate baby’s sleep while we are out
- How will we navigate people wanting to hold our baby
- How will we handle unsolicited advice
- How can we ask our family and friends not to kiss our baby
- What can we do if one of us are uncomfortable

So, after you have talked to your partner and are on the same page it’s time to tackle the event!!

Setting Healthy Boundaries For Events

Baby’s sleep

Navigating baby’s sleep while you’re out can be challenging. If you are at a house, you can bring a portacot with some familiar items from home, such as blankets and your Riff Raff Sleep Toy. If you are out at a restaurant, you want to try and make the pram as comfy and familiar as you can to help your baby sleep. 

Remember, if your baby doesn’t have the same length nap out as they would at home don’t stress to much about it. Try to go with the flow and let your baby have a longer nap at the next nap.

Passing your baby around

Passing your baby around may not be something that you are comfortable with. You may have concerns about overstimulating your baby as well as the many germs that are going around. If this is something that you aren’t comfortable with, you could try keep baby in a baby carrier that way people won’t ask to hold your baby. Alternatively, you could tell family and friends prior to the event that you are so thankful that they love your baby too, but that your baby is still too young to be passed around. Most people mean well and understand if you explain to them why you don’t want your baby passed around. 

Unsolicited Advice

Unsolicited advice is something you can’t avoid and there are a few ways that you can tackle this. My favourite is to just laugh it off and make light of it, then change the topic. Alternatively, you could politely say “thank you so much for your advice, but this way works really well for our baby”. At the end of the day, this is your baby and you’re doing an amazing job doing whatever works for you!!

Please don’t kiss our baby

If you are okay with people holding your baby at events but aren’t comfortable with them kissing your baby, then it is best to approach this by being very clear about it. You could try, “I am happy for you to hold my baby, but please don’t kiss her as her immune system is still very immature”. Again, most people will be respectful of your wishes, if they are able to understand where you are coming from and they know that you aren’t trying to be mean. 

If you’re uncomfortable

If you are uncomfortable or your baby is unsettled during the event, it is important to have a conversation at the event with your partner so that you are on the same page. See if you can go to another room and take some time out, just you and the baby to calm down and reset. Alternatively, if you aren’t comfortable, you can leave and no one is going to judge you for it.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect at events. Things aren’t going to go exactly as planned and back up plans are the best plan. If you don’t feel up to going to an event, you don’t have to go. If you only want to go for an hour, go for an hour and then leave. Having a baby is a period of tremendous change both physically and emotionally, so it’s important that you put yourself and your baby first. Alternatively, if you aren’t comfortable, you can leave and no one is going to judge you for it.