How to Survive the Holidays with a New Baby
Holidays are stressful, and having a new baby is stressful, but when you combine the two? Whew!
Stress level: Wynona Ryder in Stranger Things.
Thankfully, but also unfortunately, neither the holiday season nor the newborn stage last forever, and with a bit of planning and deep-breathing exercises you can survive the holidays with a new baby. Here are some tips to help you:
Maintain consistency as much as possible
It seems that once Halloween is over, there is a party or event every weekend until the end of the year. Time FLIES during the holidays and the hectic pace can wreak havoc on the schedule of a baby. Do your best during this busy time to maintain their schedule in order to promote good sleep and eating habits. Stick with a bedtime routine to help them learn cues for bedtime, which will not only help them sleep better at night but can help them sleep better in an unfamiliar place if you’re going to travel for the holidays.
Be reasonable about baby’s gifts
Most new parents are so excited about celebrating baby’s first Christmas that it’s only in hindsight that they realize the pointlessness of gifts. Babies this young don’t really play with toys or only do for a short period of time before they’re on to something else. Of course, you can buy gifts for them, but be reasonable in your shopping. Consider purchasing gifts that will extend beyond their newborn stage, like books, stuffed animals, or something you both can use like a new stroller or baby carrier.
Set ground rules with visitors
The holiday season, unfortunately, coincides with “sick” season. Family and friend get-togethers are a given, but sickness doesn’t have to be. Make a plan of action for keeping germs away from baby during the holidays. Don’t hesitate to ask visitors in your home to wash their hands upon arrival, and make sure to always wash your own hands while you’re out and about. Use hand sanitizer when hand-washing is unavailable, and don’t feel bad about asking hosts if anyone in their home is or has recently been sick to avoid exposure to germs. At such a young age, newborn babies’ immune systems are not as strong as adults, and it’s much easier to prevent an illness than to treat it.
As baby begins to roll around and crawl, remember that they will also put anything and everything they can reach into their mouths. Many parents have accepted that they must put their Christmas tree behind a baby gate or up on a table where baby can’t roll into it. Consider other decorations that could be hazardous to baby and adapt as needed to keep baby safe.
Travel safely (and with sanity)
Keep your new bundle of joy safe during the winter weather by having your car serviced for winter. Check road conditions before you leave and keep emergency supplies in your car, including diapers, wipes, formula, etc. for baby. Plan long travels around your baby’s sleep schedule to make the drive or flight easier on everyone. Expect to be pacing the aisle of the airplane or nursing during the flight to help keep baby calm and to help their ears avoid pain from the air pressure. Bring a backup EVERYTHING in case something gets misplaced on your trip. Pacifiers, bottles, socks, blankets, etc.
What tips would you give new parents to help them with the holiday season?
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