5 Tips for a Stress-free Holiday with Baby

first christmas
Image via Flickr/ William F. Yurasko

It’s officially “the holiday season”.

Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, New Years.  So many celebrations, so little time.

It’s a magical time filled with family, friends, faith, and food!

But, for new parents, it can also be a stressful time when you have to deal with wet mouth kisses from your always lit overzealous Aunt Bertie, that one skeevy uncle with the wandering hands, and the clearly evil, snot wiping, booger picking, crumb snatching twin toddlers that belong to your second cousin’s baby’s mama.

It’s the kind of crazy you’ve come to expect and even love, but it’s also the primary reason you only vow to see these people and their shenanigans once a year.

You can only take small doses, so imagine what it does to your baby!

The sounds, the smells, the being passed around from random relative to even more random relative, the plastic covered couch in your grandma’s living room that is horrible for napping.  All stuff that has the potential to blow baby’s fresh-from-the-womb little mind. 

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But, there are some things you can do to make baby’s first holiday season one that is memorable.  For good reasons.

First Holiday Success Tips

1.  Don’t rush.  I know, you’re breaking your neck to get to your gran’s house to suck down some of her special pie, but having a baby changes things.  When you’re going to be facing a mixed up schedule and a lot of new faces, it’s important to have a calm start to your day.  Take some quality time to play quietly with baby and feed and dress her without hurry.  That way, when she misses her afternoon nap because she’s busy watching grandma do the electric slide, she won’t be quite as cranky.

2.  Bring a bit of home.  Favorite blankies, toys she loves, anything that is portable and a reminder of home.  Having something familiar may help her relax in her strange surroundings.

3.  Take a time out.  When someone hands back your crying baby and she has 8 shades of garish lipstick smooches on her face, it may be time for a time out.  Babies get overwhelmed with being held and passed around to new faces, so when she starts to get overwhelmed, jump in and give her a bit of mommy time.

4.  Don’t be afraid to say no.  I recall some random elderly family friend person trying to give my baby a chicken bone.  That she’d eaten.  You know, so he could like suck on it or something.  Ew.  I gagged.  And then got all mommy don’t play that on her.  I don’t want random old broads pushing her sucked on chicken bones on my kid and it’s my right to let her know that.  Don’t be scared to put your foot down when it looks like your baby needs to take a beat, or if you’re just not down with her sucking on an old, chewed up chicken bone. 

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5.  Make it tasty.  I’m pretty sure I failed in this area because The Dudes vehemently dislike most traditional holiday foods (bloody ingrates they actually prefer boxed macaroni and cheese).  But, pull baby up to the table, let her experience the family dynamic and get her grub on!  Tons of traditional holiday foods are perfect for baby: squash, sweet potato, green beans, and stuffing can all be jammed in a baby mill (or in a good old-fashioned blender) and made tasty for baby.


Hope your holiday season is relaxing and delicious!

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5 Tips for a Stress-free Holiday with Baby

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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