The Christmas season is such a magical time of year and adding a new baby to your family is sure to bring you even more holiday joy. However, this time of year is commonly very busy and we know there are already a lot of "extras" that creep onto the calendar - add in a new baby and it can become quite overwhelming! If traveling, visits from family members, holiday parties, baking, shopping, etc have you feeling stressed out, it's time to back off and remember what Christmas is really about. Here are our tips to surviving (and ENJOYING) the holidays and keeping your Christmas cheer all season!
Good ole Amazon Prime! If you just had a baby, the last thing you need to be doing is braving the malls in December, going from store to store. Loading and unloading a brand new baby from the car once is more than enough! You can even get free same day grocery delivery (usually within two hours) from Amazon Prime Now. We highly recommend online shopping for as many of your Christmas gifts as possible. Stay in your cozies, in bed, with your baby snuggling on your chest, AND be productive - does it get any better?
2. TREAT YOURSELF
With a lot of focus on giving during the holidays, how about giving a gift to yourself? Meal services (such as Munchery) are a fantastic way to take care of one daily task, without compromising on taste or nutrition. Housecleaning services, in-home massage, and/or a postpartum doula are all excellent ways to take care of yourself/your family and get a little extra support during this busy season.
3. JUST SAY NO
I don't know about you, but it seems like there are endless party invitations in December! Work parties, kid/school parties, cookie decorating parties, volunteer opportunities, get togethers with friends, family gatherings, the list goes on and on. While these are ALL fun and worthy occasions, try to accept the fact that you simply can't do it all. With a new baby at home, you'll have different needs and priorities this year - and that is ok! These parties can be overstimulating and overwhelming for Mom and Baby alike. Do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to say, "not this time."
4. LET GO OF "SHOULD"
This is good advice for all new parents, but especially relevant this time of year. When you catch yourself thinking ‘I should…’ or ‘my baby should…’ or 'my partner should...' - remember that thoughts are not facts. We encourage you to allow yourself the grace of good enough. Store bought cookies = good enough. No Christmas lights on the house = good enough. More Christmas movies and not as many festive events = good enough. Doesn't that feel nice?
5. MANAGE FAMILY EXPECTATIONS
If you have family in from out of town, be sure to set their expectation ahead of time that they'll need to be flexible and adjust to your needs. If you know that having constant company in the early days of adjusting, healing, learning to breastfeed, etc will create stress, consider having your guests stay at a hotel. If you end up needing more time to yourself, don't be afraid to say so. Your family members should be adding support, not stress, to this time. Have a list of helpful things they could do (taking your older child(ren) out, stopping at the store, picking up coffee, etc) and be ready to say "no thanks" to the things that are not helpful.
6. DECORATE YOUR BEDROOM
The more time that you can spend snuggling in bed with your baby, the better! We call it laying in. That's why we recommend creating a sweet space in your bedroom so that you don't feel shut away from the festivity. Your bedroom will also serve as a great place to escape to if visitors have overstayed and you need a break from entertaining. Having Christmas lights, a little tree, or other decorations can go a long way to help keep you in the holiday spirit!
7. CHRISTMAS CAROLS
Most of us love Christmas carols, even little babies! Swaying to the music with your sweetie will almost certainly calm and comfort her. O Holy Night, Silent Night, and Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel are some of my favorites for lullabies.
We hope that your holiday season is especially meaningful this year! A new baby is the perfect reminder to slow down and celebrate this special time of year with those you love most. It is our wish that this will be a truly magical season for you - full of love, peace, and newborn snuggles!