The holidays are hectic enough, but add a newborn to the mix, and you have to prioritize Baby’s needs as well as your own. Be realistic about what you can manage, says Denise Fields, co-author of Baby 411 (Windsor Peak; 2017). Here are some of Fields’ other pointers:
Focus on Peace
You are the one with the baby, so when it comes to all of the hubbub around you (decorating, get-togethers, shopping, events and outings), you call the shots. Hang a simple wreath on your door and forgo the lights if that’s all you can manage. It’s OK this year. In general, if you feel you don’t want to do something, don’t. If you want family to come to you rather than your having to pack up and go to them, say so.
Rules at the Ready
If Christmas means relatives will be coming to stay, be ready with directives. Ask them to call before arriving and to clarify that everyone is healthy. Ask all who wish to hold your newborn to wash their hands. If you are surprised by a visitor with a cold or other illness, gracefully keep Baby away. Stay close to your newborn in case you need to swoop in and retrieve him.
Feeding Your Infant
Newborns feed often during their first weeks of life, practically around the clock. Breastfeeding is awkward in the first few weeks as it is, so plan on moving to a quiet room (with the door shut) in order to get away from any noise and confusion. If you’re at someone’s home and there’s no place to hide, be sure to have a handy cover up on hand for privacy.
5 Easy Breast-feeding Tips
Get Your Breast-feeding Support in Place
Breast-feeding Success from the Start
Take Advice With a Grain
People everywhere will give you their two cents about your newborn, especially if he starts crying while you’re out in public. A total stranger may say to you, “Aw, he’s hungry,” putting stress on you without meaning to. Be gracious — you’re doing the right things — and move on.
Fun Things to Do
Having a newborn at Christmas may be a once-in-a-lifetime treat. Make it special by making a tiny handprint ornament, dressing your infant in a sweet holiday outfit, playing lullaby versions of Christmas music and reading special Christmas stories to Baby.