FIVE TIPS FOR HANDLING THE HOLIDAYS WITH A NEW BABY
This post is sponsored by IRIS, however, all opinions are my own.
Sleep is important for appearance, your health and your eyesight. There will likely never be a time in your life when you are as sleep deprived as you are when a new baby enters your family. Lack of sleep takes its toll on your body and can lead to dry, painful eyes, itchy bloodshot eyes, eye twitching/spasms and even glaucoma over prolonged periods of time. Try these strategies to make the most of those rare quiet hours and ensure your are getting as much sleep as possible. Your eyes will thank you!
Be Comfortable With Saying No
It’s important to set boundaries when approaching the holidays with visitors. Let visitors know that you are looking forward to their visit but you will need to put limitations on guests and outings. Your main focus will be the baby and resting so you should not feel obligated to host or attend events. Talk about your expectations beforehand and set some rules with concrete guidelines. You can say things like, “We would love to have you over for a couple hours on the weekend between the hours of 11am - 2pm” or “We would like to rest with the baby so can we plan to visit between 1-3pm?”. Be clear and specific regarding set times for visitors and say no when you need to. You won’t be able to please everyone and accommodate all requests, and that’s ok. You deserve to rest and bond alone with your baby during this intimate and exciting time.
Take Some Time For Self-Care
During the holidays, it can be hard to find some quiet time to yourself to replenish and renew. Make time for yourself. Finding 10 minutes a day to sit quietly, practice breathing exercises, and clearing your mind can do wonders to reduce anxiety and stress. Do something you love like reading a book, taking a walk, listening to music or enjoying a soothing warm bath with some Epsom salts and flower petals. You cannot give from an empty well. Just a little time each day, dedicated to self care, adds to your reserves so you can best care for your new little one.
Set Realistic Expectations For Yourself
Each holiday will be different from the last as families change and grow. You may not be able to participate in things you did in prior years or stay up late visiting with family and friends. Avoid planning to host gatherings and rather attend as a guest so you can have the freedom to come and go as you please. If you do host visitors, try holding an open house, which can help to spread out the volume of guests so not everyone comes at once. If it is a dinner party you are hosting, make it a potluck so each guest contributes and brings a dish. Be flexible and know that it is ok to be disappointed if you can’t carry on your usual rituals. It’s temporary; remind yourself that you will be able to enjoy your favorite traditions for many years to come.
Skip The Mall And Shop Online
The virtual world can really be helpful during the holiday season. Navigating the malls with a new baby is a lot of work and what was once a quick in-and-out task now revolves around your and baby’s feeding and sleeping schedules. Skip the hassle and stay home with baby while you shop online from your couch, stress-free, delivery right to your door. Some sites even offer gift-wrapping services when you check out too!
Ask For Help When You Need It
It’s impossible to do it all and expect to not feel anxious and stressed out. Most people genuinely want to help so be honest and tell family and friends what you really need. Get help with laundry, cleaning, cooking, and if you are comfortable you can ask them to assist with the baby so you can catch a nap or have a shower when needed. Remember, it takes a village so don’t be afraid to reach out to get what you need.
The holidays can be an exciting and overwhelming time for new parents. Tis the season for parties, shopping, cleaning, cooking and entertaining….this is sure to bring on stress for anyone, let alone managing a new baby through it all. You may have an abundance of visitors and get-togethers and everyone will want to get some time with the new baby. Keep it simple and don't feel guilty putting your needs first. Remember your health is important and lack of sleep can take a toll on your eyes.