Christmas can be a stressful time of year – and one spent with a newborn even more so!
Here are some handy tips to help you and your little one, enjoy the festive season.
This Christmas will be different for you in terms of what you feel up for and what you’re able to manage. So, don’t overstretch yourself. Jot down some thoughts about what Christmas arrangements work best for you as a new Mum – ponder whether you want people to come to you instead of going to them & if you don’t want to see anyone for too long don’t be afraid to say so.
Similarly, if it would suit you to get out for a Christmas breakfast rather than a late lunch, say so. Make the day revolve around you and how you’ll best cope with your baby’s needs without feeling guilty. It’s sensible to pace yourself & recognise things this year may be a bit different.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ to invitations – new babies are hard work & you’ll probably be suffering from sleepless nights, endless nappy changes & late night feeds so take it easy & be kind to yourself.
Everyone loves a cuddle with a baby so make good use of willing babysitters – everyone will want to visit at Christmas so let family/friends take the strain while you grab a bath/quick nap or a bit of time to yourself. It’s important to get a break.
Babies love routines so stick to your schedule where possible – even though it’s the festive season, when routines usually go out of the window, keep to yours where possible because let’s face it nobody wants an over tired baby on their hands on Boxing Day! ?
I know it’s tempting, as this is a special time, but there’s no need to go overboard with pressies and make yourself short or worried about money in the New Year as that causes you stress which isn’t good for you or your baby – remember your little one really won’t remember the gifts this year.
Families are spread all over the place these days, which means that Christmas get-togethers can involve some time travelling. Driving or flying with a newborn might be something you feel comfortable with, but if you don’t, let people know.
There are lots of babies who are happy when they are mobile & on the go and will sleep the whole journey, but there’s also babies that will protest very loudly during a long trip. So, give it some thought before you begin a long trip to see your in- laws.
Beware of the baby experts! With all those relatives and extra people around, beware of the baby experts who want to tell you how it was done in their day & how you ‘should’ be doing it. Anyone who has ever had a child will tell you what they think they know about baby settling, feeding and sleeping, and chances are, it will be completely different from what you’re planning to do.
My advice is to thank them for their input and change the subject. The last thing you need is a debate about how you should settle them or what to do if they cry, and being made to feel like you’re doing the wrong thing. Trust your instincts & do it your way with confidence.
Be mindful that all those lovely, well-meant cuddles from different people with different smells and voices can be too much for some babies. Watch your baby for cues that they’ve had enough stimulation, and make your excuses to escape somewhere quiet together. Some time in a dimly lit room where you can cuddle & relax and feed in peace should help your baby resettle and will probably help calm your nerves a bit as well. Enjoy your special time together away from the excitement & noise it will re centre you.