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Is it your baby’s first holiday season? How exciting! We have a few tips for you so that you and your baby can enjoy your holidays and make this first year special.

“Bring a good carrier and find a quiet place. I am so pro breastfeeding and not having to go in a room and hide but sometimes babies just get overwhelmed when there’s a lot of commotion and having a quiet place to take them to rest or eat can help soothe them. Also if you’re worried about lots of hugs or kisses on baby and germs, then wearing your baby (especially the newer ones) is a great way to keep them close and keep unwanted hands or lips off of them. It also provides the added comfort to your baby if they’re around a group of people they’re not familiar with.”   —Sierra Smith

“It is easy for babies, and moms too to get distracted and forget to nurse. Especially if someone else is holding and shushing/soothing the baby back to sleep. Holidays are prime time for plugged milk ducts and mastitis due to skipped feedings and exhaustion. Babies also tend to get overstimulated and fussy. Sometimes they don’t get fussy until you return back home and try to get back into your normal routine. Expect post-celebration meltdowns.” —Mellanie Sheppard, IBCLC

“It’s ok to say “no”. Even though you may hurt a few feelings, you don’t have to go to all the parties and gatherings. I promise family and friends will understand. Taking care of yourself and your baby is your # 1 priority – even during the holidays!” — Shannon Sands

“Don’t volunteer to make or bring big stuff. Let others do the cooking and dishes and don’t feel guilty. You’ll have plenty of other years to contribute and work.” – Bevin Victory

“Don’t be afraid to stay home! I went to a Christmas Eve party with a three day old and honestly think it would have been better to stay in my bed and rest.” –Whitney Wright

“Wear the baby, it helps them not get overstimulated and they aren’t passed around being exposed to germs. Use nursing times as a chance to step away and have some quiet time with the baby. Also, don’t feel obligated to go everywhere and do all the things. Its important for new moms to remember that they are still recovering from giving birth. It is ok to say, “not this year”. You’ll have many more Christmases to do all those things, its ok to take this one for yourself.” — Melissa Ritchie

“Stay hydrated! Mamas always forget to take care of themselves!” —Brittany Fitzgerald

“STAY HOME. Seriously as a mama of a December baby I felt obligated to go to all the functions and 4 years later I still wish I wouldnt have. If you have to go, carry a water bottle, wear the baby and don’t feel guilty telling relatives that the baby is not going to be held at this gathering. Also practice nursing in a carrier or in front of the mirror so you can feel more comfortable nursing anywhere.” –Alicia McNamara

“Remember that are the parents and you get to pick – whatever it is. Maybe you aren’t comfortable passing the baby around – then don’t. Maybe you want to stay home for the holidays – then stay home. Whatever it is, you get to pick and don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feeling. Your job is to care for your baby the best you can. Follow your mama instincts and do what’s right for *your* new family.” –Cheryl Amelang

“If you know you’re due around the holidays shop early so you don’t need to be out and about with all the germs. Also don’t stress yourself out buying for the baby, trust me, all they want is you.” —Erin Anzalone

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