the menu

the menu

Newborn with parent and grandparent

Best Tips for Setting Healthy Boundaries After Having a Baby

Setting healthy boundaries with loved ones after having a baby can be awkward but necessary. Some families and friends struggle with this more than others. You probably already have a good idea if your loved ones struggle with boundaries. There are usually some signs of boundary issues before the baby, but they tend to get more intense with the arrival of a new baby. Over many years of being in family homes, I have seen this happen. When talking with new parents about it, they typically say they have had prior issues, but not as severe. Setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining your well-being and sanity during this intimate time. In this blog post, we’ll explore the challenges new parents face when it comes to setting boundaries with loved ones and provide practical tips for navigating these relationships more smoothly and with confidence.

The Challenge of Establishing Boundaries After Baby

One of the biggest challenges new parents face is finding the balance between caring for their newborn and maintaining relationships with friends and family. Well-meaning loved ones may offer unsolicited advice, expect frequent visits, or overstep boundaries without realizing it. Meanwhile, new moms are dealing with sleep deprivation, postpartum recovery, and the demands of round-the-clock baby care.

Breastfeeding and Boundaries

One of the most important times to establish boundaries is when the mom is breastfeeding. I have seen this happen a lot. It’s one of my pet peeves. It’s very hard for mom and baby to get a good start to breastfeeding when there are a lot of visitors. The visitors might not realize this can be a challenge. I’ve seen moms hold off on breastfeeding until their guests leave, and this has a negative effect on the learning process. The first two weeks are crucial in establishing good eating and weight gain for your baby. Mom and baby are each learning a new skill. They need plenty of quiet time for this.

Identifying Your Needs After Having a Baby

The first step in establishing boundaries is identifying your own needs and limitations as new parents. Take some time to reflect on what you need to feel supported during this time.

  • Do you need alone time with your baby?
  • Or do you enjoy the company of friends and family?
  • Are there certain activities or interactions that drain your energy?
  • Or do you thrive in social settings?

Understanding your preferences and boundaries can help you communicate them more effectively to others. Your relationship with each other will greatly change as you become new parents. It’s important to have time together alone with your baby.

Communicating Boundaries with Friends

When setting boundaries with friends, clear and open communication is vital. Let your friends know what you need and how they can support you during this transition. If your friends want to bring you meals but you enjoy cooking, then ask them to come hold the baby while you cook. If they offer to help hold the baby, but you want to have some quiet time with your little one, then ask them to throw a load of laundry in.

Here are a few specific ideas that you could ask your friend’s to do for you:

  • Organize a meal train- One person keeps track of dates and meals so there are no repeats.
  • If there isn’t going to be a meal train, then a friend could make a meal that the family enjoys.
  • Organize nursery drawers and closets – If they’ve had a baby, they may have some good ideas.
  • Take care of the baby for an hour or two so Mom can take a shower or nap.
  • Help Mom figure out some healthy “grab and go” snacks.
  • Run errands if Amazon or Insta cart isn’t an option.
  • If you have an older child, your friend could take them to story time at the library, to the playground, or to any other activity that the child likes.
  • When visiting, bring over Mom’s favorite beverage or treat. If they’re your good friends, they may know what you really enjoy.

When you’re not up for visitors or socializing, don’t be afraid to say so. Be honest about your limitations, and don’t feel guilty for prioritizing self-care and family time. Although your friends may be disappointed with some of your decisions, true friends will understand and respect your boundaries, even if it means adjusting their expectations.

Establishing Boundaries with Family After Having a Baby

Setting boundaries with family members can be trickier, especially when dealing with well-meaning but overbearing relatives. Start by having an open and honest conversation about your needs and expectations. Be firm but compassionate in asserting your boundaries, and don’t be afraid to enforce them if necessary. Remember that you are the parent, and you have the final say in what is best for you and your baby. I’m a believer in each parent handling their own family. If one parent is communicating with both sides of the family, it can get very stressful for the parent to do all of the communicating.

Here are some specific things, you could ask your family member(s) for:

  • Prep a meal- wash, cut, and chop so that meal preparation is easier for you.
  • If you’ve managed to get a load of laundry in the washer but haven’t had a chance to move it to the dryer, your family member could do that for you. Or, if you have things in the dryer, fold them.
  • Tidy up the main living area, kitchen, or nursery.
  • Your parent could assist with bathing the baby. Tiny, wobbly, slippery babies can be intimidating if you don’t have prior experience.
  • Have them take care of the baby, so you can have a break.

The items listed in the “family” and “friend” sections can be interchanged.

Implementing and Maintaining Boundaries

Once you’ve established your boundaries, it’s important to stick to them and enforce them consistently. This may mean saying no to certain requests or setting limits on the frequency and duration of visits. It’s also essential to communicate any changes or updates to your boundaries as your needs evolve. By being clear and consistent in your communication, you can help prevent misunderstandings and resentment in the future.

Prioritizing Self-Care After Having a Baby

Finally, don’t forget to prioritize self-care amongst all the demands of new parenthood. Take time for yourself to rest, recharge, and indulge in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Remember that you are not alone in this journey, and it’s okay to ask for help when needed. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who respect your boundaries during this special but challenging time.


Setting boundaries as new parents is essential for maintaining your well-being and preserving your relationships with friends and family. By identifying your needs, communicating them effectively, and prioritizing self-care, you can navigate this intimate time more smoothly and with confidence. Remember that you are not alone, and it’s okay to ask for help when needed. Trust yourself and your instincts, and know you are doing your best for yourself and your precious little one.

If you need help with establishing boundaries, or getting your baby off to a great start with sleeping strategies, please reach out to me.

Please check out some of my other posts for some more ideas and strategies when dealing with your baby and parenting challenges:

March 21, 2024


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Comments

Trust me: you don’t want your baby to hit this point. If you notice any of these seven signs, it’s time to put your baby to sleep — NOW!

7 Signs Your Baby Is Overtired

the free guide


explore social





Find your way around