The holidays can be a great time for family and friends to meet your new little one, but trying to navigate parties, visitors, and various traditions with a newborn can be a daunting task.
Between recovering from the birth, figuring out breastfeeding, exhaustion, wardrobe changes from spitting up, and near constant diaper changes it can be a challenge to get out of the house, not to mention finding clothes that feel comfortable… and remembering how to have a conversation about anything other than the baby!
Here are some tips from Balanced Birth Support for saving your sanity during this busy month.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
It is absolutely fine to say no to a holiday party or to decline to bring a dish. It’s also ok to skip a year of that annual ugly sweater party and not drive to a family function, whether its around the corner or 100 miles away. The postpartum recovery period can be tough, physically and emotionally and if you want to sit on the couch in your pajamas snuggling your baby, then do it! This is a special time, don’t be afraid to prioritize the needs of you and your baby.
Wear Your Baby
Wearing your baby in a carrier is a great way to keep your baby close while you get things done. With a variety of options you can find one that is both comfortable and stylish to wear around the house or to a Holiday party. Having your baby snug in the carrier is also a great excuse to decline letting friends and family hold the baby if you aren’t comfortable with that yet. (and that’s ok! you never have to give someone your baby just because they are a friend or family member!) Keeping your baby close will continue that special bonding time which helps keep up your milk supply.
Find A Location To Breastfeed Where You Feel Comfortable
The early weeks and months of breastfeeding can be challenging. If you attend a party or another Holiday function, try to find a quiet place where you can sit and relax with the baby when its time to nurse. Or, if you feel comfortable nursing right where you are… please do it. The bottom line here is the comfort of you and the baby… you do what you feel is best. If you are comfortable breastfeeding is much easier to navigate.
Make sure that you are drinking enough water or other hydrating drink! Find a water bottle that you like and keep it filled. It will keep you feeling good as well make sure you are well hydrated for your milk supply. It will help balance out all that delicious salty party food.
Have A Drink!
Even if you’re breastfeeding, it’s ok to have a drink or two! If you are OK to drive, then you are OK to nurse. We recommending nursing BEFORE you have the drink so that your baby is full, calm, and maybe a bit sleepy so that you actually ENJOY the drink!
Make Sure Everyone Who Visits The Baby Is Healthy AND Washes Their Hands- Even If They Don’t Hold The Baby!
Hand washing and staying away from sick people is the best way to prevent illness. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to ask them if they are sick or if they will wash their hands. They want to keep your baby strong and healthy as much as you do!
Tune Out Unsolicited Advice and Criticism
YOU are the expert on your baby (even if it doesn’t feel that way!) and you and your partner decide what’s right for your family. If anyone gives you “advice” that goes against your instincts, ignore it!
Work With a Postpartum Doula
A postpartum doula from Balanced Birth Support can help you immensely during the Holidays. She can tidy your home for guest, prepare light snacks and help get baby ready for visitors. Your postpartum doula will help you get adequate sleep over the Holiday season so you can be present and engaged during your celebrations. If you are going out shopping for Christmas gifts, take your postpartum doula with you to help you care for the baby at the crowded and busy mall. The ways that a postpartum doula can help you over the Holidays are endless.
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Author: Renee Corbino
Renee keeps Balanced Birth Support organized and amazing as the Administrative Manager. She lives in Northern Virginia with her awesome fire fighting husband and two cute little boys. She is a breech birthing mama and supporter of empowering births.