Surviving the Holidays with a Newborn

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for holiday parties with family, cocktails with friends, and themed play dates with the tots. It’s also a time for germy cousins, tipsy besties, and know-it-all in-laws. Add a newborn to the mix, and wonderful quickly turns to stressful!

My second child was born in October. So I’ve already been through Thanksgiving and a few holiday parties with a newborn. It’s not easy — especially when everyone wants to hold, hang out with, and hug your little one. Here are my surefire tips to help you get through the holiday season with your new baby.

Wear your baby

People can take babies out of car seats and arms. But I have yet to meet someone who can snatch a baby out of an Ergo. Once you get to your destination, strap baby into a sling, carrier, or wrap. Tell everyone that’s the only place where baby will sleep — most will get the hint and just take a quick peek over your shoulder and move on.

Excuse yourself to feed

Since I’m nursing my son, feeding time is a great opportunuty to duck into another room, get away from the craziness and, dare I say it, relax for a minute or two. Most relatives won’t even blink an eye when you take baby back from them and tell them it’s time to eat.

Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize

Want to hold baby? Sure, just squirt some Purell on your hands first. I always carry it in my purse. Most people are happy to do it. If they’re not, just remind them it’s flu season. If they still don’t care, then tough. You can’t hold the baby.

Enlist help

Have your hubby or mom be on the lookout for well-meaning but strange-acting relatives. If Aunt Ethel is known for drinking too much eggnog, have them keep a close eye on her to make sure she’s not holding the baby (or spilling any eggnog on him).

Say no

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the social events on your calendar, pick one or two to go to and politely decline the rest. People are understanding. And if they’re not, go ahead and play the “I have a newborn and haven’t slept or showered in weeks and will literally keel over on your front stoop if I come to your party.”

Any other new mamas have tips on surviving the holidays with a newborn?