Christmas with a new baby is a magical time but it can play havoc with the routine. Christmas lover and sleep consultant Hannah Love give us her tips on how to make the festive period with a newborn that little bit easier.
Saved article for later
I love Christmas and everything about it.
The tree, decorations, visiting family, social occasions, food, drinks and giving presents! For a lot of parents however, especially with young babies and children, all of these things can be daunting. Here are my top tips for coping over the festive period, with children and babies.
If you are visiting:
Plan your journey around your baby’s present schedule, even if that means arriving at the destination early. If they usually sleep between 12pm & 2pm, make sure you’re in the car then and they’re getting that sleep.
Travelling with a baby is very different to travelling on your own, you will need to allow time for stops to change nappies, feed and to get some fresh air. The last thing you want to be is rushed and stressed when you arrive.
Take familiar things with you to aid their sleep. Items such as their sleeping bag, a comfort toy, music (which can also help drown out noise), a bed sheet. The more familiar your baby is with their surroundings at bed time the less chance there is that their sleep will be affected.
The first night of your visit, you may want to stay in the room while your baby goes to sleep, this will give them a little reassurance for that first time in new surroundings. Try not to put your attention on them, maybe play on your phone or read a book whilst they go to sleep. The next night you should be able to walk out the room as you would do at home.
Always take a good pushchair with you, whilst a lot of people opt for buggies babies can find it very hard to sleep in these. This can be very restrictive if you are going out for lunch at nap time or an evening meal, when you want your baby to sleep.
- If you plan to go out with your baby in the evening, I would advise carrying out your baby’s usual bed time routine. Give them their bed time feed, put them into their swaddle or sleeping bag, then put them straight into the pushchair and go out for the evening. Fingers crossed they should sleep while your out.
If you have visitors to you:
- Be realistic! Planning and cooking a 3 course meal may be a little ambitious. Why not try a one pot wonder like a casserole, risotto or curry, they can all be made in advance. If you’re tackling Christmas lunch then remember, there is nothing wrong with asking for help! Get your visitors to chip in or bring a dish with them.
Not everyone knows what ‘quiet’ is. To avoid a waking the baby when your guests slam a door, or stomp up the stairs, try playing music or white noise into your baby’s room.
Take advantage of some time off, with relatives, grandparents, friends and partners around more, you can hand your little one over and spend some time doing things you don’t usually have time to do. Even if that is cooking or entertaining!
Do what is right for you and your new family, planning too many visits can result in a grumpy baby and stressed parent.
- If your baby needs help to sleep independently then the festive period can be a good time to tackle it. Take advantage of your partner’s time off! It’s a great time to implement a new routine.
Whatever happens over the festive period, remember that anything can be fixed. It is practically impossible to undo any good work in a one, or two-week period. So, enjoy yourself! If this means resorting to survival tactics such as co - sleeping or feeding in the night, then go with it.
Everything can be fixed.
I hope you all have a truly wonderful Christmas with lots of fond memories to look back on.