The gift that outshines every other gift over the holidays? A new baby. No cashmere sweater compares to the coziness of newborn snuggles and that new tech gadget isn’t nearly as entertaining as watching your little one sleep. Still, as sweet as the holidays with a new baby are, they’re also a whole different ball game—and a new game calls for new rules. If you’re a new parent, we hope you’ll check this list as many times as you need this year.
Remember that it’s okay to say no.
This is one of those pieces of advice that’s always true, but it’s especially true (a) with a newborn and (b) during the holidays. Too sleep-deprived to make it to the annual Christmas party? RSVP: No. Too content snuggling your babe to hand them off to someone asking to hold them? “Not right now—baby’s so comfy right where they are!” If it doesn’t serve you or your little one, no is the perfect answer.
Skip—or switch up—traditions that feel like obligations.
If sending out holiday cards feels more like a chore than a fun way to connect with loved ones this year, go ahead and skip them. If cookie-decorating for an entire day doesn’t seem feasible because of feeding and naps, consider opting for a partial day this year instead. The only “have to” on your agenda this year is to take good care of you and baby.
Give yourself grace (and then some more grace).
The holidays often come with added expectations and pressure whether you have a new baby or not. Add sleep deprivation and round-the-clock feedings to the mix, and it can get overwhelming fast. If you forget to get a gift for someone on your list or decide to leave out store-bought cookies for Santa instead of homemade, that’s okay. Let this be the year you give yourself the gift of grace.
Acknowledge that this year might look/feel different than years past.
In fact, it most certainly will because you’ve got a whole new family member hanging around! Embrace the change with open arms (and few expectations)—and give yourself plenty of space to feel whatever emotions come with the newness.
Make time to be alone.
It can be hard to find solo time with a new baby in the mix, but having extra bodies around during the holidays is the perfect excuse for some “you” time—even if that just means a cup of coffee to yourself in the other room or a 15-minute walk outside.
Last but not least, look for beauty in the small moments.
The holiday season with a newborn is likely to be more low-key than in years past. Consider that extra time at home with baby an opportunity to look for delight in the little things—the chance to savor a warm meal (cooked by someone else, ideally), enjoy that sweet newborn scent while baby naps on your chest, or breathe in some fresh air during an afternoon walk.
Remember, no matter how you’re feeling about spending the holidays with a newborn (thrilled, anxious, overwhelmed, fill in the blank!)—it’s likely an experience you’ll only celebrate once (a few times, max) in your life. Embrace the season for what it is, give yourself permission to feel all the feels, and enjoy the ups and downs of welcoming your new little one into the world. Your Solly family is here wishing you the happiest holidays.