The festive season is stressful, and having a new baby is stressful, but when you combine the two? Wow - stress level: 100.
Neither the festive season nor the newborn stage lasts forever, and with a bit of planning and deep-breathing exercises, you can survive the festivities with a new baby, we promise! Here are some tips to help you:
Maintain consistency as much as possible
Christmas parties and events are now in full swing! 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 celebrations.
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 realise that gifts are not essential. 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 with your shopping. Consider purchasing gifts that will extend beyond their newborn stage, like books, stuffed animals.
Set ground rules with visitors
The festive season, unfortunately, coincides with “illness” 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 your baby during this time. Don’t hesitate to ask visitors in your home to wash their hands when they arrive, and make sure to always wash your own hands while you’re out and about. Use hand sanitiser 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 your baby and adapt as needed to keep baby safe.
Keep your new bundle of joy safe during the frosty weather by having your car serviced for winter. Check road conditions before you leave and keep emergency supplies in your car, including nappies, wipes, formula, etc. for your 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 aeroplane or feeding during the flight to help keep baby calm and to help their ears avoid pain from the air pressure. Bring a backup of everything in case something gets misplaced on your trip - dummies, bottles, socks, blankets, etc.