It’s that time of year. Holiday parties, Christmas celebrations, work events- it’s December! If you have a new baby, handling the holidays is a whole new experience. So how do you get through the holiday season with your sanity and your nursing relationship intact?
Here are some tips for surviving the holidays with a baby.
Don’t forget to take breaks
If everyday life feels rushed and full, the Christmas season is overflowing with things to do! It’s so easy to get caught up in all this hustle and bustle that we forget to ever slow down. How do you say no to the get together at your aunt’s house or your partner’s work party?! What about the older child’s play or the event at your local church?
There is easily more to do than we can possibly accomplish.
It’s OK to say no to some of these events! We are hereby giving you permission to bow out.
The baby needs to get to bed. We’ll have to leave early!
We are going to have to miss it this year!
These are things it is OK to say. Or, if you choose to go to events, don’t be afraid to step out and rest in another room or take things easy. It’s OK to buy the pie this year rather than making that crust from scratch.
Don’t forget to take breaks- it will help you survive the holidays with a baby.
Be aware of mastitis
When we are out and about getting life done, we still need to stop and nurse that baby. They don’t forget about eating like adults sometimes do!
If you want to keep up your milk supply and not accidently wean over the holidays, you will want to stay close to your baby and continue to nurse frequently, as the baby desires. This is good for your supply, good for avoiding mastitis, and good for keeping your baby interested in nursing.
Make sure you keep your hands washed, your supply up, and your baby close. If you notice yourself getting overly tired or you find a painful lump in your breast, hit it head on with our tips for avoiding mastitis. Getting a full blown breast infection will stop you in your tracks. No fun during the holiday season- or ever!
It can come as a welcome relief to have more family around during this time of year. For a busy mom who feels trapped under a baby all day long, it’s a lovely break to have loving family members grabbing for your sweet little one.
It does take a village to raise someone- but they still need mama.
When the day is over, or even just when you need it, cuddle up with that baby. Put them skin to skin. Wear baby in the carrier. If an excited grandma is reluctant to hand baby over even though they are showing signs of hunger, don’t be afraid to be firm.
Cuddle up with your baby- it’s a survival technique.
If you sleep near your baby, here are some tips for safe baby sleep.
Practice self care
It’s easy to put yourself at the bottom of the totem pole during the holidays- it’s a time of giving after all! But you cannot give from an empty cup. Taking time for simple things for yourself, like getting adequate sleep, eating nourishing foods, and staying hydrated will help you survive the holidays with a baby.
Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to deal with a rude relative or long line at the store when you got enough sleep the night before.
Naps are your friend! Practice self care- you deserve it.
Boost your immune system
It’s so easy to get run down as a baby-mama. Babies don’t always sleep through the night and our lives can make it hard to get what we need. During the holidays the pace is faster. Don’t forget to take time to boost your immune system during the winter months.
- Take your vitamins
- Get enough sleep
- Eat healthy foods
- Minimize sweets
- Don’t stress! You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, nothing does!
The holidays are truly a magical time of year. People seem more friendly. You get a chance to reconnect with family, friends, and loved ones. Even just getting those Christmas cards in the mail is a touching reminder of the best things in life.
Adding a baby to the holiday madness can increase the madness, but it also increases the joy tenfold.
Cuddle them up, care for yourself, enjoy the love everyone has for a baby, and you will find many gems of beauty this holiday season.
Wishing you a wonderful December!
If your baby hasn’t come out of you yet, never fear! Here is the pregnant woman’s guide to surviving the holidays!