The holiday season is a time of joy and merriment. The days are packed full with holiday parties, family gatherings, shopping for gifts, twinkling lights and overflowing conversation. But, if you have a newborn or a baby on the way, you may be wondering how to not only survive the holiday season, but actually enjoy it! We're here to lend our best tips for a happy and memorable holiday season with your baby.
Keep it Mellow & Wear Your Baby
When it comes to planning for family get togethers and holiday parties, we recommend keeping it mellow. You may have family in town who are beyond excited to visit with you and meet your new baby. While it may be easiest to have family come to your house, one of the perks of going to an alternate location is that you can enjoy spending time with your family and leave when you're feeling tapped out.
If you choose to have family or friends come to you, space out the visits and keep them short to limit your need to entertain and overstimulating your baby. Newborns have a wake period of about 45 minutes to 1 hour and this is often overlooked by well meaning friends and family, exclaiming "..but your baby doesn't look tired." Using a ring-sling or other baby carrier will help keep the "pass the baby" to a minimum and provide a comforting place for your baby to nap. Trust us, the key to enjoying these gatherings is to make sure your little one gets adequate sleep.
It's okay to say "No"
Boundaries are more important than ever when you have children, especially a newborn! Let's be real, these adorable and tiny humans are a lot of work! You may be feeling absolutely exhausted and hesitant to say "yes" to yet another event or drop-in visit. If you'd rather stay snuggled up in bed with your baby instead of eating ham with your mother in-law, that's okay!
Simplify the Menu
Planning a holiday meal is a special and meaningful thing for many people. You can still have a beautiful meal with a baby in tow. Keep it simple by ordering pre-packaged sides from the grocery store or deli or by ordering catered items from your favorite nearby restaurant. If you really want to get busy in the kitchen and whip up a culinary delight, we recommend choosing your recipies to include 10 ingredients or less that can be prepared in under 30 minutes.
We're big fans of online shopping anytime of the year. Pajamas, hot cocoa and clicking away with a newborn snuggled on your lap? What could be better? Utilize the wonderful advent of the internet to tackle your gift list in comfort and peace.
With the holidays usually comes years of tradition and expectations. Newborns don't care too much about anything other than their own needs. Perhaps you need to step out to nurse right in the middle of Aunt Betty's famous caroling performance or your little one has a poop-splosion at the exact moment you start your trek around the neighborhood light display. It's bound to happen. Take a deep breath, reduce your expectations for "a perfect holiday" and relish in the fact that you have a beautiful and healthy baby!
Start a Family Tradition
Speaking of traditions, this year is the perfect time to create a new tradition with your family. Maybe you have a wonderful memory from your own childhood that you can introduce to your baby or you can come up with something completely new altogether. Your family tradition can include picking out a special book and reading it every year, singing in your living room, going to the Christmas tree lot, annual matching pajamas, finding the best lights in your town or picking out a new ornament.
We hope you and your new addition have a wonderful holiday season and if not... well there's always next year!