Achieving a stress-free Christmas with a family can be challenging enough. Travelling with a newborn to see the family is another level of challenge.
With a brand new addition to the family, there will be a juggle of the family’s expectations and the baby’s needs. It’s never easy, but you would have to pick up what’s important and set some boundaries to keep everyone happy and stay sane!
Having been there with my clients, I have some golden rules to help you navigate through this festive season and make the holidays that little bit less stressful.
Write a list of what you will need in advance.
Trust me, your mental list will go through the window as soon as you open the bags to pack them. Get plenty of change for yourself and the baby. Pack the baby sling, it might save your life and your relationship with your family.
Make sure you know sleeping arrangements in advance.
Ask for a room which is furthest from the rest of the family, if possible. You will avoid getting stressed if the baby starts crying in the middle of the night. You will also avoid being disturbed by night owls, who might not have the same judgement about how much noise they make after a few drinks!
Stick to the routine as much as you can.
It might be the most tricky thing you will have to do, but it will make your time with your family more enjoyable. Nothing is worse than an overtired baby, who stayed up way past their nap and sleep times. Keep clear boundaries and talk to your family, so they know what to expect. I promise you, they will understand if you give them enough notice and explanation.
Having said that, don’t worry if things go pear-shaped with your baby’s routine, remember that you are doing your best and you always can go back to the schedule once you get home.
Stay away from sick relatives and make sure everyone has washed hands before they hold the baby.
This is a boring one, but it needs to be said and done to increase the chances of having a stress-free Christmas. Winter is germ season, and little humans are particularly vulnerable at this time. It’s better to be proactive than get home with a sick baby. Hand sanitizer in stockings? Yes, please!
Travel outside rush hours and peak time.
Planning your driving time is as vital as planning your stay and can save you from headache and stress. Make sure you accommodate breaks, your baby shouldn’t be in a car seat longer than 2hrs.
Also, pack plenty of food and water, both for you and your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Your Baby’s First Christmas should be unique, and there is no reason why spending them with a family can’t be a joyful time with a little bit of preparation and effort!
With all of that said I wish you all a very merry and stress-free Christmas and a happy New Year.