You're going to need a plan to survive the holidays with a newborn. Follow my top tips to ensure your celebrations are still full of cheer as a new parent.
The holidays are stressful. You’re searching for the perfect gift for everyone on your list, you may put pressure on yourself to cook amazing meals and somehow still fit in time with friends and family members. And now, as a new parent, there's a whole other layer of stress that comes with this time of year: How do I survive the holidays with my newborn?
Use Nursing Tops & Bras
When you're a new mom, nothing can be more frustrating than having difficult clothing when your baby is hungry. Nursing bras and tops are specifically designed to make it easy to nurse without having to remove much of your clothing. Many of them can be opened and closed with one hand.
Asking for help is not a weakness; it's an act of strength. You'll be amazed at how much more you can get done if you allow others to share in the everyday tasks that would otherwise leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Your family wants to help, but they need direction and guidance from YOU!
Let people know how they can support you. If you want to be more hands on with the baby maybe they can help with dishes, cooking or entertaining the other children who may especially also want attention from their parents.
Pack Your Pump
When packing for travel, pack your breast pump with extra parts and accessories. Remember that once you arrive at your destination you will need to find a place to pump and store your milk. Depending on your accommodation this may require a little preparation.
I recommend traveling with breastmilk storage bags, ice packs and a cooler to ensure safe transport. If you are concerned about pumping, bottle feeding or your milk supply. You can meet with a lactation consultant before the holidays to help prepare you and your baby.
Remember Your Limits
Don't feel guilty about taking breaks. If you have an older child or partner who can help out, try to delegate some of the tasks that aren't essential to your enjoyment of this time together.
It's OK if not everything gets done during the holidays—and if it does get done, it may not be as perfect or pretty as usual! Consider yourself lucky that people love your baby so much that they want to help out with all of his or her needs.
Enjoy every moment, one day soon enough, you won't have a newborn anymore!
Don't Forget About Your Mental Health
Remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your new baby. You need to be kind to yourself and your body. You won't necessarily have the energy to do it all at once, or even at all! Instead, take small steps toward self-care by carving out time for yourself throughout the day.
If stress gets overwhelming surviving the holidays with a newborn, try taking a long bath or music therapy: listening to soothing music or binaural beats has been shown to lower anxiety levels.
The Holidays Can Be Overwhelming
We hope these tips will help you enjoy the holidays. Remember, no one expects you to be perfect. You’re going through a major life change and taking care of yourself, and your family is important. If things get too overwhelming, remember that there are plenty of ways to take care of yourself—from time alone, to calling in reinforcements from friends and family members if they offer to help.