Little ones change everything—holidays included. While there’s nothing quite as magical as experiencing the season with a new baby, it also requires forethought and planning that wasn’t as necessary pre-kids. Here, we’re sharing some of our best tips for keeping things merry and bright as a new parent during the holidays.
Don’t be afraid to say no
The kindest gift you can give yourself and your family this season is to prioritize your health and wellbeing. If driving six hours with a new baby to visit relatives feels like a task only fit for Olympians, skip it this year. If you normally bring three kinds of homemade pie for Christmas dinner but would rather cuddle your little one than spend hours in the kitchen, store-bought is perfect. It is fair and honorable to create boundaries that keep your family happy and healthy.
Plan ahead and communicate
Consider what plans will work best for your family this season, and then communicate those plans clearly. Let others know who you’re planning to see, when you plan to see them, and where. Try sending a quick text or email to clarify expectations and set boundaries. Remember, you’re not asking permission—you’re letting everyone know what you’re doing and inviting them to participate in the ways that make sense for you.
Holiday travel can be stressful without kids. Add a new baby to the mix and it can feel overwhelming. Take feedings, naps, and your own bandwidth into consideration when thinking about traveling and plan accordingly. Be prepared for baggage mix-ups, flight delays, or baby meltdowns and bring along plenty of grace for all of it. And if you need more help, here are some tips for flying with baby.
Set realistic expectations
Everyone has expectations for how they think the holidays should go—even you. You might be tempted to play superhero and do all the things with all the people, but only at the risk of wearing yourself out and feeling exhausted when the new year hits. Be gentle and give yourself breathing room. Remember, your only job is to enjoy the season as best as you can with the time and energy available to you right now.
Make a game plan
Sure, you can’t have a plan for everything that could potentially go awry, but you can think through what you might do if friends want to hang out during baby’s naptime or how you’ll respond when Aunt Linda asks when you’re having another baby.
Wear your baby
‘Tis the season for coughs and colds—and it’s absolutely ok to want to protect baby from well-meaning loved ones who can’t hold off on giving slobbery baby kisses. The easiest way to keep others at a comfortable distance is by wrapping up your babe. Plus, baby is also less likely to feel overstimulated or miss a nap when they're snuggled up against your chest.
If you have any other tips for navigating this season with littles, share them in the comments below! This community is full of thoughtful advice and tips and we love learning from you. Wishing you and yours the happiest, healthiest holidays. xx, Your Solly Family