Advice

3 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays with Your Baby


Good morning everyone! We have a special contributor blog post today from the team at The Mama Coach! If you’re a mama and would like some amazing advice, tips, and tricks when it comes to raising your little ones then I would recommend checking out their page! Today, The Mama Coach is going to provide us with three tips for enjoying the holidays with your baby!

Jillian Harris Give Back Gift Guide

Hi everyone! It’s The Mama Coach! Here we are mamas, rolling into the holidays. Does anyone feel torn? On one hand, all you want for Christmas is a baby that naps on point and sleeps beautifully at night. And on the other, you are desperate for some “Christmas spirit” – you want to get out, show off your adorable baby, and enjoy the holidays!

Guess what mamas. . . You CAN have both!

You have a baby, and the first thing to remember in motherhood is that nothing is perfect or goes according to plan. Say yes to socializing and enjoying the holiday season, and know that it will look a little different than your pre-baby festivities. Being a mama does not mean that you have to stay home and miss out.

In fact, it is really important that you don’t stay at home alone. Socialization is exceptionally important on your motherhood journey. Research done by Action for Children in 2018, found that 52% of new parents felt both lonely and socially isolated. That’s more than one in two mamas! It’s easy to see how–in our current culture of prioritizing technology versus human interaction–social isolation has become so common.

Your beautiful baby needs their mama. You love on your baby 24/7 – providing for all of their basic and higher-level needs – food, shelter, protection, connection, and unconditional LOVE. That is no small feat! We bet you have never been more committed to doing an amazing job as a mama, than on anything else previously in your life. You are hungry for all of the information and want only what is deemed the very best for your baby.

As Registered Nurses (RN) and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), we are telling you with 100% certainty that your mental health matters most of all! A healthy mom is vital to a healthy family, in fact as mamas, you are most likely the cornerstone of your family. At The Mama Coach, we know that the number one thing determining positive outcomes for families is not breastfeeding or bottle feeding; whether your baby is in a bassinet or crib; what they are wearing for sleep and for play, etc. What matters is HOW mama is doing – mentally, emotionally, physically and dare we say spiritually. You matter!

We can also tell you that you aren’t screwing it all up, especially if you’re not completely consistent over the holidays with your baby. According to Dr. Jody Carrington’s research – whom we suggest following by the way – you need to nail connection with your child 30% of the time! Mamas, that gives you a whopping 70% of the holiday season to enjoy yourself to the fullest! You can have both, and don’t need to feel guilty about it!

Jillian Harris Give Back Gift Guide

Here are our top three tips for enjoying the holidays with your baby

1. Say NO to nap jail

Even if it wasn’t the Christmas season, we would never tell you that you absolutely have to be home for every nap. Who counts down to 6 pm because that’s the time when your partner walks through the door? Your day will go much smoother and you will feel so much more satisfied in your motherhood role if you make a point of getting outside. This might look like a walk to clear your head while your baby rests in a carrier or stroller; or meeting up with some girlfriends at the mall for a walk, talk, and shop session! Social interaction is vitally important for your mental health. Find a group of moms to connect with – we guarantee they are experiencing the same things.

Being out and about doesn’t mean skipping the nap altogether, merely embracing the nap-on-the-go! Time your outing making sure your baby is fed prior to you leaving the house, and head out around 15 minutes before your baby is ready for sleep. This will help your baby fall asleep while on the outing, not before! You don’t want the car ride to the mall to be the nap. If you decide you want to stay home for one nap during the day, let it be the morning one, as that is usually the most recharging nap and sets baby up for a wonderful day!

Jillian Harris Give Back Gift Guide

2. Hang on to bedtime… even if it is a little later

Create a simple routine for your baby to cue that bedtime is coming. Remember that babies can’t read the clock, and they thrive on routine as it helps them understand ‘what comes next’. An example of a bedtime routine for babies over four months is:

Milk

Bath

Jammies

Book | Song

Bed

If you stay out later than usual, do a mini version of your bedtime routine when you get home. If you know it will be a later night, and you aren’t ready to pack it in come baby’s bedtime, bring the routine and sleep space with you! This doesn’t mean you have to bathe your baby at the party. Instead, do a condensed version of the routine, washing face and hands instead of a bath, and ask the host ahead of time if you can set up a sleep space in an extra bedroom. One of our favourite portable sleep spaces is the Nuna Sena, it folds with one hand and is safe for sleep with babies up to a height of 86 cm, weight over 15 kg, or until your child is able to climb out [please follow all manufacturer recommendations].

Your baby might need some extra help falling asleep in a new space, and we recommend trying to recreate the sights, sounds and smells from home i.e. bring a portable sound machine, baby monitor, sleeping bag (a car seat adaptable one is ideal i.e. Woolino), crib sheet from home, and ensure the room is ‘middle of the night’ dark. Once your baby is sleeping, crank up the sound on the baby monitor and enjoy the festivities [please ensure the sound does not exceed 50 decibels and is 100 cm away from your baby’s head].
When it is finally time to go home, pack up as much as you can into the car prior to disturbing your baby. They may stay sleeping, or you may need to offer another feed once you get home prior to putting them into their crib. Try to keep voices to a minimum during the car ride, and the house dark and quiet when you get home. If your baby is under three months old, you may be able to keep them in a carrier the entire party!

Jillian Harris JH x Smash + Tess: The Coziest Collaboration Yet!

3. Give yourself some grace

This holiday season may be off the charts busy for you. Juggling your baby, your family, celebrations, shopping, wrapping, etc. the list goes on! Be kind to yourself and focus on what is really important. You are doing a beautiful job with your little one, and it isn’t the end of the world if the routine, that you worked so hard to achieve, comes a little unraveled during the month of December. Focus on having a beautiful holiday season and celebrating with those you love most. Once the holiday season has passed, jump back into routine with your baby. It won’t be as bad as you think getting everyone back on track – yourself included!

The Mama Coach has created a downloadable eBook of sample schedules that will work for your family – we outline schedules for babies from 12 weeks old all the way to 12 months of age. We have created up to four schedules for each age group because let’s be honest, every baby is completely unique! Maybe you have an early riser or maybe your family stays up a little later – we’ve got you covered. Click here to get your free copy now.

Wishing you and your family all the very best this holiday season! Get out and enjoy it!

From all of us at,

The Mama Coach

XO


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