New mom's guide to surviving the holidays with a newborn
With the excitement of your new baby at Christmas, combined with the sentiment that the holidays often bring, it's easy to get caught up in the usual holiday hullabaloo. But the difference this year is when you add in a newborn at Christmas, the stress factor can go through the roof. From learning to say no to limiting travel time, check out this new mom's guide to surviving the holidays with a newborn.
Learn to say no
Despite your lack of sleep and new-found baby schedule, you may find yourself wanting to keep up your usual hectic holiday routine of years past. "Learn to say "no" to anything that becomes more stressful than fun," advises Danielle Novi Heller, working mother of two and creator of Smartsolutionstoolkit.com. "That can include cookie exchanges, holiday parties, hosting events, etc."
>>Read about the benefits of saying no!
Cut down on kitchen time
Gain extra time with your newborn at Christmas by buying pre-made foods. Learn to buy foods that are already prepared, like frozen casseroles, frozen desserts and pre-assembled gingerbread houses to save time and lose stress.
If you have an infant carrier or a bucket-style car seat, plan to shop while your wee one has a full tummy and is ready to nap. Or take advantage of holiday hours and leave your baby at home with your spouse while she's sleeping.
>>Need more advice? Find out how to holiday shop with a newborn.
Click your way through your shopping list by buying gifts online. Then opt for gift wrapping services when you check out and skip the muss and fuss of juggling paper and tape with your babe in arms.
Limit travel time
Putting a cap on Christmas travel will make everyone in your newly expanded family happier. "Do not travel more than an hour anywhere," suggests Chantell Ghosh, mother of four. Scheduling travel time during your sweet pea's naptime may make the ride a lot easier, too.
Hire some help
Don't be afraid to enlist a little help. Call a babysitter while you shop for Christmas gifts, bring along a mommy's helper on holiday errands or farm out your tasks to college students looking to make extra money during the holidays, like on www.AgentAnything.com in the New York area.
>>Find out how to hire a nanny for your baby
"The biggest thing is to just know that things are different now and you have to take it one step at a time," shares Lindsay Pinchuk, www.bumpclubchicago.com. "No one expects you to do everything and you have to give yourself a break now and then." You'll not only be cutting down on stress when you have a newborn at Christmas, you'll be letting yourself focus on what is the most important: your baby's first Christmas!
>>Do you have any advice for women who become new moms during the holidays? Please share it in the comments section below!