first Christmas

Baby’s First Christmas: Tips to Thrive

The holiday season can be stressful at the best of times, but when you have a newborn that stress is just magnified. Among all of the regular holiday stress, you also have to deal with “Baby’s First Christmas!” Here are my top tips for making your holiday season with a newborn a less stressful time.

Baby’s First Christmas

When our first child was born, we made the decision to make our little family the priority at holidays – especially for the first year. And we stuck to that for every baby. If our family wanted to see us on any holiday during that first year, they had to come to us. Our family was very understanding of our decision and we spent many lovely holidays just as our little family.  I do not regret that decision for one minute and I highly recommend any family with a new baby to consider the benefits that doing so may bring them.

Maybe that’s not something you can do. Maybe your family has huge family functions every holiday. Maybe someone is sick and this may be their last holiday. Maybe you find a lot of joy in attending big family events. But whether you can or not, there are some things you can do to make the holiday season a little less stressful. 

first Christmas
Top Tips to Make Baby’s First Christmas Less Stressful
Learn to say no. 
Seriously. You do not have to do every Christmas themed event or thing out there. This is not the year to go to every cookie and gift exchange! Don’t feel obligated to do things that cause you more stress than joy. Limit outings to only the ones that will give you the most joy. 
 
Cut corners in the kitchen.
Buy premade foods when you can. Nobody will care if your veggie tray was cut up by you or by a person in the store. Utilize food delivery companies like Hello Fresh or Chef’s Plate that deliver full meals to your home. I have used Chef’s Plate and it’s a great service! Buy premade casseroles and desserts. Maybe you make butter tarts every year like me? Instead of making the pastry, pick up some premade tart shells.
 
Shop online.
If you haven’t shopped online yet, this is the time to give it a try. Shopping online can be done at any time of day or night, and doesn’t require dragging your newborn out. Some sites even offer wrapping services that you can utilize so that you don’t have to juggle a newborn and gift wrapping! Make sure to check out the must order by dates in order to receive delivery on time!
 
Be strategic. 
Do you have to attend a function or go out with your newborn? Try to plan to go out directly after a feed so your little one can nap. Babywearing can be a lifesaver here. The other bonus to babywearing is that it usually keeps other people from touching your sweet newborn. You can also take advantage of extended holiday hours and leave your newborn at home with your partner if you have one.
 
Ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask a neighbour or a friend to come for baby snuggles. Hire a babysitter or a mother’s helper (a young girl or boy not old enough to babysit but old enough to help you) to bring with you when you go out. Hire a postpartum doula to help you with baby care and some of those extra tasks you may have.
 
Rest.
Above all else, don’t forget to rest. You are still healing and adjusting to a new normal. Give yourself some grace. Take lots of breaks in your days and rest. Even if you’re in the middle of an event – even if it’s in your own home! I used to disappear every hour or two with my newborn to breastfeed and snuggle in a quiet, darkened room. It made a world of difference and gave me an opportunity to breathe and refresh so I could enjoy myself more. It’s important to let your body and soul rest.
first Christmas

Above all, remember that the holiday season is about family and love. And right now, your little family needs to be nourished in a way that it will help support it for years and years to come. Do not feel guilty for putting it first! Yes, your baby’s first Christmas is exciting, but it’s okay for it to be small and quiet. And if you do find yourself at a large family function and are feeling overwhelmed, your new baby makes a great excuse to slip away to renew and refresh! Don’t feel guilty for using them as an excuse!

Love Sarah   XOXO

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