Christmas is just around the corner. The tree is up, the wrapping has begun and Michael Bublé is on repeat. While this time of year is full of joy and excitement, I think we can all agree that silly season can be overwhelming in ordinary circumstances. Add a new baby into the mix and you might find yourself wishing for the grinch to come and steal Christmas altogether.
No need to pull the plug on Christmas just yet. I’ve put together a list of my top tips for surviving Christmas this year. With less festive stress and more baby bliss.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Let’s be honest it’s always silly season when there’s a newborn in the house! With the social calendar filling up, the present list growing and not to mention the whole being a new mum thing, it is virtually impossible to believe that everything will go to plan. Lower your expectations this year and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to get it all right. Babies easily sense discomfort, if you feel yourself getting agitated and stressed chances are your baby will be feeling the same. Don’t neglect your own needs, make sure you take the time to look after yourself!
2. Your allowed to be a little bit more selfish this year
Putting yourself and your baby first this year will not end with your name on the naughty list. You can be selfish. At the end of the day you’re the one with the newborn. It’s up to you to decide what Christmas arrangements work best for you and your family. If you want people to come to you this year, say so! Likewise, if you want to have a lowkey Christmas at home that’s also okay! You get to make the call this year.
3. Combat the car trip chaos
If you do decide to travel this Christmas with bub, we understand how stressful taking your baby in the car can be, especially if you have a fair way to go. Comfort is key to nailing the long distant drives. Most’s babies disklike the car seat because they find it to be restrictive and hot. Try sticking to only one layer of clothing, ensuring that the fabric is soft and breathable, to help bub feel as comfortable as possible. Introduce soothing sounds to relax your little one and be sure to have toys on hand to keep them entertained. Learn more about my care seat cures here.
4. Be Realistic
Planning and cooking a 3 course meal may be a little ambitious this year. Don’t undertake any unnecessary stress. Instead of trying to tackle all the cooking by yourself this year, ask for help. Get your visitors involved in the action by asking everyone to contribute a dish. Not only will this take the pressure off your plate it’s a fun and exciting way to add variety to your Christmas lunch this year.
5. There is nothing wrong with a quiet Christmas
Maybe you normally host or spend the day jumping from house to house visiting various family members. If you’re not up for a big Christmas this year stay in! Your first Christmas as a family will feel special no matter what you do. So, if you want to bypass the Christmas day activities and just curl up on the couch with bub, that’s totally okay.
6. Be aware of the baby experts
If you haven’t discovered this already EVERYONE has an opinion about how to care for your baby, especially if this is your first one! So, while you might be strategizing how to handle the baby outbursts this holiday season, it’s a good idea to have some strategies in place to handle the grown-ups as well. If you find yourself cornered by the over sharers and advice givers try to remember they mean well. Smile, thank them for the advice and swiftly move on! You don’t need to defend your parenting style; at the end of the day, you know your baby better than anyone else.
7. Factor in quiet time
If you’re away from home this Christmas, your baby will be experiencing a lot of things for the first time. Different smells, new voices, and lots of cuddles! While this is a great time to introduce your new baby to the family, overstimulation can be very exhausting for your new bub. It’s important to monitor your baby for cues. Find a quiet dim lit room where you and baby can retreat to, to feed in peace, cuddle and reconnect-allowing baby to feel your familiar sense of security.
8. Not everyone knows what ‘quiet’ is
If your family is anything like mine being quiet is not one of our specialities. Whilst this makes for a fun day of festive celebrations, it’s not the most ideal situation for getting your little one to sleep. While it’s tempting to ask everyone to use their ‘inside voices’ this solution is just not realistic. Instead, I recommend using a sound app to help drown out those startling background noises. The Sound Sleeper: Baby Sleep App is a popular option that offers a variety of soothing sounds to help calm your baby and encourage uninterrupted sleep.
9. Implement your wind down ritual
As I mentioned above your baby will be experiencing a lot of first in a very short span of time. Whilst it’s important to monitor your little one for their tired signs, overstimulation can have the opposite effect. Your baby can become to stimulated for sleep, making putting them down quite the challenge! Cue the wind down ritual. Being sure to implement your babies wind down ritual will help to calm bub and signal to them that it is time for sleep. You can read more about wind down rituals here.
10. Take advantage of some time off!
If you’re surrounded by relatives, grandparents, and friends this Christmas don’t be afraid of giving yourself that much needed break. Hand your little one over and spend some time doing the things you don’t normally have time to do.
11. Enjoy the little moments
Remember, it’s only Christmas. It’s supposed to be merry and bright. When you feel like it’s all becoming a bit too much, don’t forget about the perfect little gift you received this year. Look down at that little bald head, grasp those tiny fingers and pinch those chubby cheeks-you’ve got everything that matters right there!
If you’re wanting a bit of extra help this holiday season, we have a sleep program tailored to newborns. It’ll be your best friend helping you to navigate a newborn, answer all your sleep questions and teach you how to establish healthy habits. Check it out here.