Kourtney Kardashian has 'invite-only' rule for seeing her newborn. How can parents set boundaries?

Here's how to set healthy boundaries with excited family.

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian attend the 2022 GQ Men Of The Year Party Hosted By Global Editorial Director Will Welch at The West Hollywood EDITION on November 17, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker allegedly have an "invite-only" policy for baby visitors. Here's what experts say. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)

After Kourtney Kardashian Barker and Travis Barker welcomed their newborn son Rocky in early November, rumours suggest the couple has an "invite-only" policy for visitors — family included.

Insiders reportedly told The Sun one of the reasons behind the policy is to protect Rocky from potential exposure to germs, with Kardashian Barker reportedly being cautious about the baby's health.

But how dangerous is it for newborns to be exposed to germs? And should parents be setting boundaries around their baby?

Read on for everything you need to know.

What are the potential dangers of germs in newborns?

Dr. Donald Vinh, a medical microbiologist at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal tells Yahoo Canada respiratory viruses are "definitely problematic."

COVID-19, the flu and RSV can cause complications in a newborn, especially RSV, according to Vinh. It can make it harder for infants to breathe if they end up with pneumonia or bronchitis in the lungs, which can be "very concerning" at that stage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, in children younger than one.

The CDC stated that "healthy adults and infants infected with RSV do not usually need to be hospitalized, but some, especially older adults and infants younger than six months of age, may need to be hospitalized if they're having trouble breathing or are dehydrated."

Vinh explained respiratory viruses are spread from one person to another, especially when they're in close proximity, including children who may be bringing the viruses home where an infant might be present.

"For some viruses, like the flu, COVID-19 and RSV... it can be transmitted through having a runny nose or coughing," he added.

Digital generated image of highlighted by circular spot light coronavirus Covid 19 and projected huhe shadow/silhouette to wall.
COVID-19, the flu and RSV can cause complications in newborns. (Getty)

According to Healthline, "crowded places like malls, airplanes or pools mean there's more chances for germs to spread" and parents are recommended to avoid these places with their newborns.

"If possible, it's also best to avoid places like the grocery store and indoor restaurants where ventilation may be poor and you might have trouble physical distancing from other people," the website stated.

Vinh and parenting experts recommend parents set boundaries with family, friends and others to protect their infant.

What are some of the boundaries parents can set?

Simply put, Vinh said anyone who could be contagious, shouldn't be around a baby.

"I'm not saying we have to live in a bubble… common sense is common sense. If you have symptoms, don't be around people who are vulnerable until your symptoms have resolved," he claimed.

Vinh also recommended parents become proactive with washing their hands regularly and asking others to do the same. If symptoms present or are still being resolved, then wearing a mask would help in preventing the virus from spreading to the infant.

"These are basic things. If you have symptoms, don't be kissing babies... I know it sounds like common sense, but it's very bizarre sometimes how you'll see that kind of behavior."

These are basic things. If you have symptoms, don't be kissing babies.Dr. Donald Vinh

In addition to trying to keep germs away, Jordan Clapp, a certified integrative nutrition and holistic health coach, advised in a Newborn Care Resolutions blog, parents can also ask visitors to refrain from using perfume or smoking beforehand."Babies often have very sensitive skin and lungs," she wrote.

Another boundary parents can set is to have all visits prearranged. Clapp added parents will be juggling sleep schedules, napping and feeding needs where unexpected drop-in visits from friends or family can add onto the stress.

And though holding a newborn is the highlight of a family visit, parents can establish a boundary where loved ones need to ask before reaching in, Clapp wrote.

"There may be times where the baby simply needs to be with mom or dad and not passed to others."

What's the best way to communicate boundaries?

A Yellow sphere sits apart from a group of blue spheres. They are divided by differently coloured areas
Experts advise setting boundaries even before the baby is born. (Getty)

According to Clapp, having a new baby can be a stressful time as parents begin to "navigate parenthood while trying to balance the needs of their healing," along with the baby's needs and expectations of others.

"Setting boundaries with loved ones in advance can sometimes feel challenging, but communicating your needs, concerns, and wishes upfront can often lessen the stress after a baby is born," she explained in the blog.

"I recommend a firm yet loving approach that is communicated ahead of birth. Don't feel guilty enforcing the boundaries you feel are in the best interest of you and your child — physically, mentally, and emotionally too."

Veronica Eyo, a licensed clinical social worker, wrote for Hello Postpartum to "speak even if your voice shakes" when it comes to setting boundaries with friends and family.

Eyo said what can help new parents is first identifying what boundaries they want to set, like expectations of attending events, or addressing comments that made them feel uncomfortable.

"Whatever it is, write it down. The practice of writing them down can help with becoming clear with yourself about what boundaries you are needing to set," said Eyo.

"As a therapist, I am a big fan of role playing and practicing what you want to communicate to another person," she added in Hello Postpartum.

It's common for parents to fear how their boundaries will be received.

To deal with the fear, Eyo recommended parents "say aloud all of the worst case scenarios" they can think of. "Whether or not you practice with another person or with yourself, remember that you are not responsible for the reaction of others as you set boundaries."

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