First Holiday Season with a Newborn?
You’re short on sleep and your daily routine now revolves around the needs of a new, tiny human. Despite all of the changes in your life as a new parent, you may be trying to push through and celebrate your “perfect holiday” in the ways you have always celebrated before baby. The fact of the matter is, you have a new normal and a new “perfect”, and the holiday season will be no different! Here are some tips to keep the holidays happy and stress free with your new bundle of joy!
Shop Online: Beginning your holiday shopping is often to the start to the holiday season. Shopping in crowded places means more germs floating through the air and well intentioned strangers reaching out to to touch your baby without thinking about the consequences of their actions. While exposing baby to germs is helpful in building their immune system and it is by no means necessary to to shield baby from all holiday outings, it is important to remember that illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu can be deadly in the newborn stage and when the holiday season (which is also be the start of sick season) happens to be the newborn season for your family, it is best to take a bit of precaution where you can. Clicking through your shopping online will save time and keep your little one safe. And many online stores even have gift wrapping options so you will not have to juggle the wrapping paper and tape while caring for your little one!
Routine is Key: When it is time to visit family, have guests over, or attend some holiday functions, remember that your baby’s routine is key for success. Make sure your little one has a full belly before your car ride and that he or she is getting plenty of rest. Remember, overstimulation and overtiredness can major reasons for a fussy baby, especially around the hustle and bustle of friends and family during the holidays. It’s ok to to plan your holiday festivities around your little one’s bedtime, an overtired baby is no fun for anyone. When there is extra noise and stimulation, wearing baby or keeping a blanket over their carseat or stroller may help with overstimulation in the busy atmosphere. (Read more about overstimulation and how to help baby through it here.)
It’s OK to Have Help: Lean on family and friends or hire some help! This normally busy season is even busier with a new baby at home. Having some help can take a lot of the stress off your shoulders. Hire a sitter to stay with your baby while you run some last minute errands, get your wrapping done, or step out for an adults only holiday party. Hire a Newborn Care Specialist to help you navigate the change in routine over the holiday season and help you get some sleep by staying with your baby overnight. Let your family pick up the slack and make that extra side dish for the party that you just don't have the time or energy to put together. When your friends ask what they can do to help, don't be afraid to be honest and let them know what would be most helpful.
Don’t be Afraid to Say No: It is ok to say to no anything that is more stress than fun. Some holiday events may be more than you want to take on, remember that your needs and the needs of your baby come first. This can be a time to make your own holiday traditions for your new family, its ok to skip that holiday party you have always attended and stay in for family snuggles and a Christmas movie by the fireplace if that is what sounds best this year. If you are with your a group, remember it is ok to take your baby back!! It is natural for family members to all want some snuggle time. And while family time is important for everyone, including baby, you are his or her parent. You can hold that baby close the whole time, wear him or her in a carrier or wrap. You know your little one best, and they may just need that closeness with Mom or Dad to feel safe and secure in the excitement of the holiday season.