Holidays are stressful. Even the families with the most laid back attitudes and best of intentions can cause stress during this time of year. The hustle and bustle, the cold, the snow, the obligations, the expectations can all lead to frazzled parents and an over-stimulated baby.
There are some things you can do to minimize the effects on you and your newborn while still participating in the fun and festivities. Keep in mind these things when making decisions about the holidays.
1. Know what your boundaries are and keep them
- Don’t be afraid to ask family to come see you instead of you traveling to them. Traveling with an infant is not only difficult but it can be exhausting. You just had a baby and you both need to be taking it easy.
- It’s ok to say no to certain parties and get togethers. Choose which ones you will or won’t go to based on what’s most important to you.
- If your baby starts to become fussy and over stimulated it’s okay to step away and go into a quiet room to minimize the amount of external stimulation
2. Know your limits and don’t be ashamed that you have them.
- Ask your family that does come to you for help. This is their opportunity to offer you support if they haven’t been able to do so already.
- Offer your home to host, but ask that guests bring food or use your kitchen for preparations while you sit and join in the conversations.
- If you or your baby need to step away for a while to nap it’s perfectly understandable.
3. Watch for signs of an over stimulated baby.
- Newborn baby’s nervous systems are very immature and therefore cannot deal with external stimulation like noise, lights, and commotion, for long periods of time. They will go to sleep to shut out the external stimuli, but it is not a restful sleep and it will result in an over tired and grumpy baby at bedtime
- Babies will sneeze for the same reasons as above. It’s not a cold or allergy, it’s a reaction of the central nervous system to too much external stimuli.
4. If you have to travel think of ways to make it the least stressful.
- It‘s ok to buy the store made version of the pie. People will understand or they might not even be able to tell.
- Give the folks at your destination a list of things you need for baby- toiletries, a pack n play, etc. It means less for you pack and tote.
- Try to keep to your schedule and baby’s as much as possible.
5. Keep it in perspective.
- Your baby won’t remember this Christmas as a newborn
- It’s never too late to create your own traditions that work for your family
- It’s one or two days out of the year.
I hope this helps you find some stress relief this holiday season!