First up, congratulations! If you’re reading this, you probably already have that baby in arms or you will soon, and we’re so excited for you. You might be wondering how Christmas will look now that you have a newborn baby. Today, we’re going to talk you through a few tips and strategies for coping through your first Christmas.
Cut yourself some slack
If you’re usually the hostess with the mostess, you might want to consider taking this year off. When you have a newborn, it’s normal to feel exhausted from sleep deprivation and generally overwhelmed. This year, either head to family for the day or delegate responsibilities like it’s your job. There is no shame in focusing on your most important responsibility: you and your baby!
Are you a holiday-bucket-list type of person? If you are, I’d throw that list away for this year. When you have a baby in the mix, especially a newborn, all of those activities and outings will probably just serve to stress you out.
Carols by candlelight might sound like a really great time, but it’s much less fun when you’re handling a baby screaming blue murder because they missed their nap. Trust me. Rather, stay home and cuddle up. Use the holiday season to lay low at home, let people come to you if they must, and just relax as much as you can.
There will be times when everyone is enjoying a meal or knocking back festive drinks and you’re rocking your baby to sleep for the umpteenth time that day. As hard as it can be, try not to let it get to you. If your baby is that baby who can’t fall asleep by themselves (and they are many), consider getting a baby carrier.
Babywearing is a great way of keeping baby close, cosy, and they can sleep in there whenever they like. It also gives you free hands to eat or enjoy a festive drink, so it’s a win-win! And while a missed nap can feel like the end of the world when you’re clinging to every minute of sleep, try to just go with the flow. It’ll be much easier on your mental health (and baby will live).
Keep it small
This is probably not the year to have a vast family reunion. Newborns pick up germs so easily and you might even have a compromised immune system if you’re super tired. Keep this Christmas to close family and use it as an excuse to keep things really low key. Outsource the gift buying, delegate meal responsibility, and put the reunion off until next year.
Look at it from baby’s level
Babies, up until about two years old, have a pretty small attention span. Everything is new and fascinating but nothing is so for very long. You might imagine your little tyke opening and loving each present but what’s more likely is that they’ll love the paper and swiftly lose interest. You could wrap anything in crinkly paper and they’d love it, so don’t feel too much pressure to find amazing gifts for your baby.
The basic message here is to lower your expectations and try to relax. This isn’t the Christmas to do it all, buy it all, or host the whole world. It’s a great opportunity to keep it small, slow way down, and enjoy your baby as much as you can. There will be other years when you can do all the things: this year is just for you.