Between disrupted nap schedules, back-to-back family parties, long car rides, and too-close hugs from relatives, the holidays can leave your little out of sorts—and you over it. Want to maintain your sanity and the health of your babe? Take note of these party hopping tips for new moms.
Fight Germs By Keeping Baby in a Carrier
Introducing your newborn to a bunch of relatives? Odds are all 40 of them will want a cuddle before the night’s over. If you’re worried about germs, wear your little in a carrier against your body—fewer people will ask to hold baby, and relatives will be able to tickle his feet while staying far away from his face. (Plus—you’ll have free hands to hold snacks and cider.) If the carrier trick doesn’t work all night, you can always blame your pediatrician—let the fam know he suggested you keep baby close because of a bad cold and flu season.
Prioritize Big Morning Naps
Know you’re going to be party hopping all afternoon and evening as you hit up both sets of grandparents’ houses? Do everything you can to help baby score a big morning nap in a quiet, dark place (whether that’s at home, or in the hotel bathroom) so he at least has one refreshing snooze under his belt, says sleep expert Cara, founder of Taking Cara Babies. If the afternoon nap is only 15 minutes in the car, well… it’s just one day.
Bring Ziploc Bags for Stinky Diapers
Unless you’re heading to a house with a diaper pail, make sure you’ve got a few Ziploc bags on hand to seal off dirty diapers. Other guests won’t get a whiff when they go to toss their drink cups—and your host will thank you.
Take a Break
You’re anything but a party pooper if you’ve got to steal baby away to a quiet bedroom for a distraction-free feed, diaper change, or a few minutes of R&R (for you both). Want company? Recruit a favorite relative you haven’t had a chance to catch up with to join.
Consistent bedtimes are great because they keep everyone on a schedule—but there’s nothing wrong with putting your baby to bed early if he or she could use the extra hour, says Cara. If your little misses his afternoon nap because you were shopping for last-minute hostess gifts, move bedtime up 30 minutes to an hour to make up some of that lost sleep. Bedtimes can also be shifted later an hour if you’re enjoying the party— just try to sneak in an extra catnap in and pack PJs for the ride home, says Cara.
Say No When You Want To
Having a baby is the perfect time to start your own traditions—if you’d rather have a quiet family dinner instead of attending your cousin’s annual bash on Christmas Eve, you’ve got the best excuse to do so. How you navigate the party season is totally your choice—keep baby on her schedule and fit in what you can around that, or wing it and let baby snooze on the fly… whatever keeps you both merry merry is a win.