Welcoming a newborn during the holiday season can be both joyous and challenging. As a new parent, finding a balance between festive celebrations and the needs of your baby can feel overwhelming. However, with a few strategic choices and a bit of planning, you can not only survive but also enjoy the holidays with your newborn. Here are 7 tips to make the holiday season more manageable and less stressful for you and your family.
1. Make Them Come to You:
The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be exhausting, especially for new parents. Instead of traveling or trying to attend multiple gatherings, consider hosting a small gathering at your own home. This way, you can control the environment and schedule, making it more comfortable for both you and your baby.
2. Wear Your Baby:
Investing in a comfortable baby carrier can be a game-changer during the holidays. Wearing your baby not only provides comfort and security for them but also allows you to have your hands free to enjoy festivities. Additionally, wearing your baby allows you to keep the baby from being passed from one person to another, limiting their exposure to germs and keeping them from becoming over-stimulated. It will ease the anxiety for both of you, allowing for a more enjoyable time with family.
3. Breastfeed/ Chestfeeding:
If you're nursing your baby, don't hesitate to do so wherever you are comfortable. If you're not comfortable with feeding your baby in front of people, you can experiment with covering you and baby with a thin blanket, or even a ring sling. This is another good reason to wear your baby! If other family members are uncomfortable with you feeding your baby in front of them, remind them there are other rooms in the house where they may go until your baby is finished. If they want to see the baby, they ought to be prepared to see all of the care surrounding the baby.
4. Retreat When Necessary:
Don't hesitate to retreat to your bedroom or another quiet room when you or your baby need a break. This allows you to maintain your baby's routine and ensures they get the rest they need amidst the festivities. It also allows you to rest, because you are going to be pretty exhuasted. Remember, you matter too, and your body has just achieved an incredible feat! It's OK to give yourself time to rest and help your body to heal.
5. Minimize and Simplify:
Scale down your holiday plans and focus on what truly matters. Consider a smaller, intimate gathering with close family and friends. Simplify decorations and meal plans to reduce stress. By setting realistic expectations, you'll be able to enjoy the holidays without overwhelming yourself.
6. Outsource the Holiday Magic:
Hire someone to come in and do a holiday house cleaning for you. Hire a crew to put up your lights or decorate your home. If you need to wrap gifts, order them already wrapped or buy gift bags. Remember, you're in survival mode and even if you prefer to do all of the holiday preparation yourself, this is one year where you can take a break.
7. Outsource the Cooking and Baking:
Cooking can be a daunting task for new parents. Consider outsourcing meal preparation by ordering takeout or asking friends and family to bring the food. Many people are eager to lend a hand during the holidays, and accepting their support can lighten your load and allow you to focus on enjoying time with your newborn. It's also not realistic for anyone to expect you to feed a crowd during this holiday season.
Another great idea is ordering from a private chef! At Las Vegas Postpartum Support, Chef Jen is happy to create a whole series of delicious entrees, sides and desserts that we will bring right to your door. Everything will be home-made, fresh, and delicious, and you won't have to lift a finger!
Surviving the holidays with a newborn requires a combination of planning, flexibility, and self-compassion. By making conscious choices to prioritize your baby's needs and your own well-being, you can create lasting memories during this special time of the year. Embrace the support of loved ones, simplify your holiday plans, and savor the moments with your newborn during this festive season.
You can order a copy of The Postpartum Survival Guide for an entire book of suggestions for getting through the first 3 months with your new baby. It makes a great gift!