Surviving the Holidays with a New Baby

breastfeeding thanksgiving

Experiencing a first holiday with your new baby is one of the most exciting and sought after moments for new parents. Introducing baby to friends, family and loved ones brings extra joy to the holiday season. Unfortunately in 2020, many new parents may be choosing to celebrate Thanksgiving alone due to Covid and may choose to introduce their little ones to extended family and friends virtually. We have gathered a few pieces of advice for new parents during the holidays. While many of these are more appropriate for a holiday without a pandemic and social distancing, they can be applied to a virtually celebrated holiday as well.

MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER AGREE ON HOW TO CELEBRATE

This year more than ever, with the presence of Covid-19, you and your partner need to be on the same page on how you want to celebrate the holidays. Whether it’s virtually, with a small pod of your closest friends or family or with extended family and friends, make sure you discuss all the pros and cons of bringing baby along to a holiday celebration. A discussion long before the holiday arrives is important to relieve stress for everyone. If it is baby’s first Thanksgiving, perhaps you choose to celebrate closer to home so a long drive or flight doesn’t add stress. Travelling for the holidays with an infant will put a wrench baby’s schedule for feeding time, naptime, etc. Make sure to factor in unplanned events such as a snowstorm, traffic and flight delays. You and your partner may decide to host the holiday so that baby doesn’t have to leave home. This also can come with challenges as well. While it may be the best choice for baby to be in his own bed for naptime among other things, remember that your house will be bustling with people and added noise. If you choose to host, let others help in areas that you may not have time for as a new mom. If possible, hire someone to clean your home or set aside time after baby is sleeping to clean and set table. Suggest a potluck style dinner so that guests can help with the appetizers, side dishes and desserts so that you won’t have the added stress of cooking for a crowd. Make sure baby has white noise in her room during naptime so that clatter from the dinner table doesn’t disrupt her sleep.

ARRIVING ON TIME

You, as a new mom, discover very quickly that many things don’t go as planned with a new baby. Schedules, feeding times, diaper changes, naptimes, it can all go awry in the matter of a second with an infant. If you are spending Thanksgiving at someone else’s home, make sure your family knows that you may or may not arrive exactly on time due to these unplanned events of being a new mom.  Rather than saying you will arrive sharply at 1pm, give a window of time that you will do your best to arrive by. Shoot for a 30-45 minute time allowance to give yourself enough time should something go unplanned as you’re trying to get baby dressed, packed and out the door. It may also be helpful to ask your host exactly what time he or she plans to serve the meal. Although mealtime can often go awry too, having an idea of what time the host is serving the meal can help you plan for your arrival time too. You want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to arrive before everyone sits down for the Thanksgiving toast and dinner. You don’t want to be ringing the doorbell with baby and all of his gear as everyone is settling down at the dinner table.

SHARE YOUR BABY

If friends and relatives offer to hold baby, allow them to so that you can have that cocktail with your partner or eat your dinner before your turkey gets cold. It can be helpful to have nieces or nephews around to be “mother’s helpers” so that you can enjoy some adult conversation without getting interrupted. With the presence of the pandemic this year, make sure that everyone holding baby wears a mask, sanitizes their hands, and hasn’t tested positive for Covid in the past 14 days.

DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO UNSOLICITED ADVICE

Friends and relatives may offer unsolicited advice to you as a new mom. Remember that you need to trust your own intuition as a mother. You know yourself and your baby better than anyone. People love to share their own parenting experiences and sometimes it can be helpful to hear. However, don’t let it ruin your day or your experience as a mother. Don’t ever doubt your mothering skills based on someone else’s events.

WEAR BREASTFEEDING FRIENDLY CLOTHES

If you are a nursing mom, be sure to wear a breastfeeding top that you can easily nurse in. You don’t want to be grappling with buttons when baby is screaming with hunger. Whether you have to pull over on the side of the road to breastfeed or find a quiet room at a relative’s home, a breastfeeding top will simplify feeding time. At Nursing Bra Express, we have an extremely cute nursing hoodie and stylish double layered breastfeeding top that are ideal for quick nursing access. We also have a nursing tank that is an ideal layering piece, complete with a built in nursing bra for support. You may want to pack an extra nursing top and nursing bra in case of unpredictable milk stains or spit up.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our families! Be safe and enjoy each moment of celebrating with your “little turkey”.