Maybe participating in holiday traditions is a priority for you.
Maybe they aren't and you plan on being a hermit through the end of the year.
Or maybe you are taking it a day at a time and finding yourself somewhere in the middle. No matter what you choose, make sure it's conducive to your recovery and the wellbeing of your family, both mentally and physically. We want you to look back and treasure the memories of those early days with baby!
Here are some our tips for navigating the holiday season with a newborn/young baby:
Give Yourself Time
Adding a baby to the family adds time to the "get ready" schedule. Add time to your preparations for accidents (sh*t happens), last minute nursing or pumping sessions, and any other things that may come up while dealing with a newborn! RB&B's official recommendation is to take the amount of time you usually need- and double it!
Prepare or Request A Space Ahead of Time
If you feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of families and friends, go for it! Not only is public breastfeeding protected by law, but it's a normal and healthy part of life for women and babies. That said, a lot of women prefer to either nurse in private, and appreciate having a quiet place to relax with the baby, pump, etc.
While it's not recommended to lift or babywear during the first two weeks, this is an effective way to both connect with your baby and subtly communicate that the baby isn't available for visiting with others. As an added bonus, with a little practice, you can even nurse while baby is nestled up with you!
When it comes to your baby's needs and safety, you are the expert! Don't feel bad about communicating that with others. It can be helpful to discuss these ahead of time with your significant other, so you can be on the same page and back each other up if there is pushback. Simple requests like "please don't kiss the baby" are not unreasonable and you should feel comfortable conveying what's important to you.
Everyone is learning how to navigate this new situation, including you and your baby. Keep your focus on rest and bonding and keep expectations for everything else to a minimum. If you push too hard or the baby is struggling, you're the one who will feel the effects! When possible, try to build in extra time to rest and be honest about your limitations when people ask!
It's not a secret that childbirth and recovery take a lot out of you! That doesn't mean that others will automatically know your needs and understand how to meet them. It certainly would be easier if everyone had the ability to read minds! Until we figure out how to make that happen, go ahead and have the conversation with your friends and families. Let them know what to expect from you during a visit, if your schedule requires some tweaking, and if you need additional accommodations.
Remember, it's ok to change your mind. If you feel up to something that you had previously said "no" to, go ahead and enjoy it! If you agreed to attend a function and when the day arrives, you decide it's too much, don't feel bad about bowing out. What matters most is that you and baby have the time and space necessary to recover and bond.
What tips would you add to our list? Leave 'em in the comments below.