The holidays are an exciting time for all of us…a time to celebrate with family and friends, warm fires, delicious food and drink and many holiday parties. However, if you have a new baby it can feel extremely overwhelming. It may seem like you just got your little one to follow a sleep schedule, and now it will be disrupted. Traveling 10 miles is a disaster with a crying baby in the back seat, and now you have to travel to a different state for the holidays!? In addition, there seems to be so much baby gear to travel with for just a night away. Here are a few suggestions to make the hectic holiday season peaceful and stress free for your family.
Travel at your baby’s nap time or bed time.
Feed and change your baby before you get in the car. Your baby will likely fall asleep during the ride, and the motion of the car will keep them sleeping right through the time they would usually wake. Take this time to reconnect with your partner, while your baby catches some zzzzz’s!
Bring a baby sling.
When you arrive to your destination, everyone will want to hold the new baby in the family. If you don’t want everyone touching your baby during cold and flu season, wear him in a sling. Likely, no one will ask for you to take your comfortable, cozy baby out of the sling to hold him. The sling gives a natural barrier between others and your little one, yet everyone still gets to enjoy visiting with him.
Be flexible with a nap schedule.
Your baby will not “forget” when they should nap after just a few days off of your schedule. Part of being a mother is the ability to be flexible. Don’t stress over the nap schedule and just enjoy this time with your family. When your baby seems fussy or it has been a while since he has napped, carry him in your sling so he can doze off in the comfort of your arms. During the holidays, your baby will be overstimulated with the busy schedule and new activity around him so his naps may be unpredictable anyway. My tip is to just go with the flow and follow your baby’s lead.
Think about things you need for your baby that can be used for two purposes. Plan to bring those with you on your trip. A sling can be used instead of a stroller, and also doubles as a place for your baby to take naps. There is no need to lug around a heavy high chair for a day or two. A Bumbo can be used as a high chair on the floor, and also for floor play with your baby. Simple plastic cups can be used for stacking, pots and pans for banging, and a few small blocks and a large cup can keep a baby entertained for a long time!
Feed your baby in a quiet, private place.
You may find your baby doesn’t feed well during the holidays. All of the activity around you is interesting to your little one, so they might need some assistance getting in a quiet, relaxed state to breast or bottle feed. Your baby will be so stimulated by the activity around him, and will want to reconnect with you a few times a day. This is the perfect opportunity. Take this time to reflect and appreciate the moments your baby is so little. You will remember those moments forever!