First of all, happy holidays, and congratulations on your bundle of joy!
You may be feeling overwhelmed by the thought of juggling the arrival of your baby and holiday preparations if you are expecting around the holidays. But if you put things in perspective and plan ahead, you can avoid stress and make the most of the holiday season. To assist you get through this hectic time, here are some suggestions.
Be flexible with plans
It's a lot to process that you're welcoming a new baby into your family during the holidays. Plus, it's the cold and flu season as well; so on top of everything else, you have to deal with hyperactive children, demanding relatives, and crowded supermarkets. We realize it's a lot, but being adaptable is essential for making it through the holidays.
Each baby and subsequent recovery is unique, even if you have had others before. Not to mention, you have no idea if you'll be resting after an unscheduled c-section or a particularly demanding newborn. You shouldn't worry too much about this, but it's worth remembering that it’s perfectly alright to make vague plans. Just be ready to make adjustments or cancel if necessary.
Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty
Yes, you can miss the annual holiday reunion with your family that’s 5 hours away because things will be different. You have a baby to care for, and sleep might be elusive. You will need to devote more time and effort to caring for your newborn, and you just won't have the same energy.
This year is entirely up to you. If you know that attending a large family gathering will be too taxing on your sanity, you shouldn't force yourself to go. Never feel bad about prioritizing your own well-being and your baby's as well. Maybe spending Christmas alone in your own home is just what the doctor ordered. If you're in the mood and have the energy to hang out with your family, make sure to sneak in a nap or two. Just make sure that your needs are communicated to your loved ones.
Let someone else host the party
You can still ask someone else to host the party, even if it's at your home. Just the food preparations alone can drive you crazy, so assign someone in your family to take care of cleaning, running errands, preparing food, and picking up guests from the airport.
Women who have recently given birth often offer their houses for celebrations. The reason for this is that hosting a party at your own place is considerably more convenient than hosting one at someone else's home, especially if their place is several hundred miles away.
Having your family holiday celebration at home has many advantages, since you can easily sneak away for feeding and naps. Plus, your infant will be more comfortable with normal routines and settings, which will most likely make him or her much more calm! If you are going to host the event at your home, use a sound machine so that you can drown out the noise of people talking and laughing loudly.
Set Ground Rules
So, everyone is excited to see (and hold) the new baby! But would you want everyone in your family to pass them around? Someone will surely have the cold and you don’t want them handling the baby. You might not want your infant to be passed from one relative or acquaintance to another. If you aren't comfortable discussing the "why" behind your preference, then don't. Hold your newborn close to you by babywearing. One of the numerous advantages of babywearing is that it eliminates the need to "pass the baby" when attending social events.
How can you protect your infant from exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses when you go to parties or when relatives want to come over and hold the baby? The best approach to prevent the spread of illness is to wash hands frequently. One simple technique to protect your infant from being exposed to adult germs is to ask visitors to wash their hands before holding the baby. Make sure that this is properly communicated to everyone.
Set a Time Limit
If you have a new baby, it's crucial to put limitations on how long you may spend at gatherings. Informing loved ones of these time limits will help everyone stay on the same page. Remember that you don't owe anyone an explanation, and that you don't have to stroll in the door at the party and announce that "you're just here for an hour or two." Set a time limit of an hour or two that you and your partner have agreed upon in advance.
Ignore Unwanted Baby Advice
Sigh. We’ve all been through this. Bringing a child into public can make you feel like you're inviting criticism of your parenting choices from strangers and relatives alike. As a parent, it helps to be receptive to feedback, reflective, and open to new ideas. However, it's common knowledge that a lot of the advice given out there isn't based on careful consideration, but rather on instinctive reactions representing the way they or their parents did things.
Just embrace your choices with confidence! And you don’t have to go into an argument with anyone on how to raise your baby. A simple clapback like “I'll give that the consideration it deserves” or “That would be one way to do it” will do the trick most of the time.
What additional amazing holiday survival tips or ideas do you have? Do share them in the comments section below.