The holidays are upon us! If you are anything like me, you have so many visions of your first holiday season with your adorable newborn all snuggled up by a fireplace with carols on in the background. In reality, my child had a terrible cold and slept horribly while traveling which left me a zombie. However, I nevertheless have so many fond memories of that first holiday season with friends, family, and our new addition. Winter holidays can be incredibly overwhelming for first-time parents as they try to balance the usual hustle and bustle with their addition. Keep reading for a few tips on keeping your sanity this season!
Send Stuff Ahead
This is hands down one of the most outstanding pieces of advice I was given prior to my first holiday season with a baby. Whether your driving or flying, babies require so much gear! Send as much ahead of you as possible so there are fewer items to keep up with. Another great option is seeing if you can do an Instacart drop off to your destination before you arrive! Our son’s first Christmas was a breeze because my mother and grandmother bought diapers, wipes, and a pack-n-play so we wouldn’t have to think about it! Check out the local market and see if some companies will rent cribs or other sleeping arrangements out as well. It is a lifesaver when you are trying to keep up with everything. We have even started shipping presents ahead so that we do not have to worry about wrapping or packing things.
Practice Self-Care and Setting Boundaries
So many of us want to do ALL THE THINGS! It is easy to exhaust yourself the first holiday season with a baby. I know I wanted all the quality baby and family time, but I also wanted to hang with my friends and achieve everything I did in previous years. I ended up exhausted by the end of our visit. It is suitable to set boundaries and take time away for yourself during this time of year. Do you usually host? Try having someone host in your home for you! Go ahead and purchase the pre-made desserts or delegate more than you ordinarily do. Make sure you also take a little time for self-care. This doesn’t have to be a full-blown spa day either. Journaling, meditating, or a quick walk can all help you find balance.
The internet is a wonderful shopping source when you have a new baby. You can find all the gifts you need without ever leaving the comfort of your couch. I do not think I have done in-store holiday shopping since my son was born. I think about the time I save and all the fun holiday things we can do with the hours I didn’t shop and it is a no-brainer for me! There were many feeding sessions in the middle of the night that shopping was able to get done!
Sitting down with your partner in advance to hash out details is crucial. Establishing rules for who can hold the baby, feeding schedules, etc. What happens if you get too overwhelmed at a family gathering? These and other topics can be decided prior to the holiday season and things will run much smoother!
Baby Wearing is such a great thing all the time, but especially during the holiday season. Keeping baby close can ensure that they do not miss their regular daytime feeding sessions. If you are worried about germs you can also make sure the baby is not being passed around too much with this method. Baby-wearing is also a significant way to prevent a new baby from becoming overstimulated with all the lights and noise that come along with the holiday season.
Most importantly, be realistic. The holidays are always crazy but throw in diapers, nighttime feeding sessions, and minimal sleep things will not look the way that they have in the past. That is totally okay! The holidays with a new little one are festive and precious whether you go all out or keep it low key. You are allowed to make a plan and then toss it out of the window for the sake of your sanity and keeping baby as the number one priority.
You see, supporting you during your birth journey is only one of the ways we empower moms. We know that the holiday season with little ones can be tricky when you're trying to find a rhythm. If you're spending the holidays in Nashville, we are available for daytime and overnight support to give you some time for shopping, baking, resting - whatever it is that will make this holiday more joyous for you. If you'd like to learn more, we'd love to connect and learn how we can best support you this holiday.
This blog post was written by Alyssa Dituro, one of our amazing Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas. Supporting families after the arrival of their baby is Alyssa's passion. After having her son, she felt that there were not enough services for mothers during the postpartum time. Her main goal is to see families thoroughly supported in a safe, judgment-free environment. She believes that it truly takes a village to raise a child and we are all stronger when we are in community. Alyssa wants to empower new families in this transitional time and create a peaceful environment for all. Alyssa is a ProDoula Certified Postpartum and Infant Care Doula. Alyssa brings a true sense of compassion to all of her clients and can make comedy out of the hardest parts of the postpartum period. With ten years of experience in early childhood education, she also brings delivers quality educational experiences to start your baby off on the right track.
Alyssa spends her time reading, caring for her plants, traveling, and working on a children's book. She lives in Donelson with her husband and son.
Tennessee Family Doulas, located in Franklin, TN is a doula agency committed to creating calm and comfort for parents and newborns. From education to placenta encapsulation, our services are built to assist in all phases of birth and postpartum.