I can remember having a two and a half month old as the holiday season rolled around and started to wonder how I was to navigate all the get-togethers. There is the expectation to show off the baby, attend all the functions and yet somehow do it in a seamless manner. Being a first time mom and just learning the ropes of this new little human, the idea of just staying home seemed like a better option.
With some conversation, support and planning with family, the holiday season can still be enjoyable and memorable for you without loosing your mind.
Surviving has this connotation that it's going to be awful, so let's just say this list of ideas is to ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS, with your baby and their first Christmas!
1. SAYING YES TO THE IMPORTANT STUFF
Before anything else, I'd recommend looking over the calendar and choosing what events that you love the most. These are the things that bring you joy and not to miss out on. It can be easy to make excuses and say 'no', not participating in the name of baby, but celebrating with those you love and enjoy are still important for you as an individual.
2. ORGANIZE WITH PURPOSE
As you have the calendar out, start to write a list for everything that comes up. This can include things like getting a tree, baking with family/friends, traditions and get-togethers both large and small. You can also host in your home with some help.
With this list, you can look at the calendar and space them out. Give yourself time in between so you can feel prepared and enjoy the events that you choose. This will also help with baby to maintain some type of routine and allow adequate rest, limiting baby becoming too tired and agitated.
3. HOST IN YOUR HOME
I'm not suggesting that you throw a full blown epic Christmas holiday party, but you can host without doing all the work! This is also a great option when you just don't feel like packing your life into bags and dragging your baby from place to place.
Family and friends can all agree to an item or task to pitch in making the event more enjoyable and easier for you.
Creating a potluck list to account for all items and even the cleanup can be assigned so everyone has time to enjoy each other.
4. VENTURING OUT: WHAT YOU'LL NEED
* Feeding cover
* Bottles in a cooler bag
* Extra diapers and wipes (change pads too)
* Change of clothes (for you and baby)
* Swaddle blankets
* Portable chair or bassinet
5. SAYING NO
This goes with most things in life. It can be hard to say no and disappoint others but you need to know when to tap out. Not everyone can do everything so remember that you and baby come first. When you look at that calendar and plan to attend the important stuff. Raising a tiny human can be exhausting and there's no benefit to being stretched too thin just to visit with family during the holidays. You can always plan those visits another time.
6. MOM & BABY CHECKLIST
Colds, flus and bugs circulating this time of year can cause many of us to want to stay home, especially with a baby. Discussing your rules and expectations ahead of time with a partner as well as family and friends will help in enjoying the holidays.
* Wash hands before holding baby
* No kissing the baby's face or hands
* Keep to baby's napping schedule
* Adhering to a time limit. If you're ready to go or baby has hit the limit, you can head home.
With some planning for the holiday season, you can baby can enjoy all the is important while limiting stress and making memories.