Holiday Tips for New Parents
There’s a familiar chill in the air. Your local store has made an abrupt shift from spooky decorations to holiday decor. The scent of pumpkin spice hangs in the air outside every coffee shop. Yes, the holiday season is upon us!
If you’re heading into your baby’s first Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah — you might be experiencing a host of conflicting emotions. On one hand, who doesn’t dream of a cozy holiday season with their little family? On the other, you might be dreading the stresses of the season now that you have a new little one in tow.
The truth is, the holidays can be downright demanding, so it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself to make everything perfect. Instead, kick back, relax, and consider these tips for tackling — and enjoying — the holidays as new parents.
Avoid an Overstretched Schedule
One of the most demanding elements of the holiday season is the packed social calendar that often comes with it. While this year is destined to be an unusual one for holiday gatherings, you may already have a crowded calendar of virtual or socially-distanced events.
Now that you have a little one, it is important to know your limits and set boundaries:
- Don’t be afraid to say no. Making an appearance at social events — physical or digital — involves all sorts of hoop-jumping when you have a newborn. You may need to find a babysitter. You’ll also need to plan around feeding and sleep schedules, which can be tricky to say the least! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to bow out of any event that feels like too much.
- Temper expectations. Though your friends and family should understand that you may leave an event early — or not appear at all — because of the wonder and unpredictability of being a new parent, it doesn’t hurt to remind them. Set clear expectations with your loved ones and your partner. This will make your eventual exit simple and fuss-free.
- Limit family time. During the holidays, even time with extended family can start to wear on you — especially as you and your partner navigate life with your new little one. Don’t feel guilty if you need to set a specific time and day for family to visit. This can save you from being overwhelmed by surprise visits and hosting responsibilities.
- Let someone else host this year. Your baby’s first holiday season is a great time to forgo hosting duties. Set yourself free from additional cleaning, cooking, and general duties so you can savor your little one’s first Yuletide.
Keep Your Baby Healthy
With the holiday season often comes cold and flu season. As every new parent knows, newborns are particularly susceptible to germs. Especially this year, keeping your bundle of joy healthy and safe during the holidays should be your first priority:
- Prioritize health. As the holiday season gets busy, it is essential to prioritize the health of your family. Remain vigilant about sanitation and hand-washing when you leave the house. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and consider getting your yearly flu shot before the holidays kick in.
- Stay home. This year, keeping your growing family safe might mean staying home. Make the most of your time at home by spending quality time together in your comfiest family pajamas.
Make Gift-Giving Fun
Gift-giving should be fun, but all too often it can turn into a chaotic and frustrating process. To take the stress out of giving presents:
- Keep it simple. You may want to buy your new baby every toy and cozy onesie in the world, but remember — you don’t have to! Pick one or two keepsake gifts to make the season truly memorable. Remember that grandma and grandpa, your BFF, and even your neighbors might have presents in store for the newest member of the family.
- Make a wish list. Moms and dads: it’s important that you take some time to treat yourself this holiday season! You just brought a new life into the world — you deserve a little self-care. Consider making a cute and simple wishlist to exchange with your partner during the festivities.
- Ask Santa for help. If you know what you’re planning on gifting to your little one, consider being direct with friends and family about what kind of presents you would appreciate — if they plan on partaking in the holiday spirit. Even Santa gives practical presents like a new diaper genie sometimes!
- Organize a gift exchange. To limit your gift-giving obligations, consider organizing — or suggesting — a one-to-one family gift exchange, so you can focus on curating the perfect first holiday with your baby.
Put Your Little Family First
Holidays are often about big family gatherings and connecting with old friends, but it can all feel a little overwhelming when you’re taking care of a newborn.
Remember, it’s ok to prioritize cozy time with your partner and children:
- Don’t forget about your better half. With a new baby in the house, it can be easy to forget about your partner. If you have one, remember to keep communication open and clear about holiday plans and expectations.
- Say yes to snuggles. It is more than acceptable to say no to holiday events in favor of quality time with your partner and baby. First Christmases, Hannukahs, and Kwanzaas go fast! Don’t hesitate to spend some time alone with your growing family — you won’t regret it!
- Plan activities as a family. The most wonderful time of the year can be a blur! Don’t forget to schedule some family activities for you, your partner, and your little one. Take the time to make a DIY first Christmas ornament, plan a walk to see the local holiday lights, and create some special memories by taking your baby’s first holiday photos.
Update Your Holiday Greetings
Seasonal greeting cards are a holiday tradition — and for good reason! Holiday cards can be an adorable and memorable keepsake for friends and family. However, your first holiday season with your baby is the perfect time to consider streamlining your holiday greeting process:
- Ditch the personalized cards. Who doesn’t love a holiday greeting written in curly cursive lettering? However, as a new parent, it might be unrealistic to work letter-writing into an already busy holiday season.
- Digitize. FamilyAlbum makes it easy to organize all of your baby photos and share them with friends and family. Consider sharing holiday milestones with your loved ones via FamilyAlbum’s safe and secure sharing features — so you can enjoy a more effortless holiday season.
- Give the gift of photos. In lieu of holiday cards, you can easily create beautiful keepsake photobooks with the FamilyAlbum app. FamilyAlbum automatically organizes your photos by month and suggests photos for the perfect photobook gift — it also lets you handpick photos to create a personalized memento for grandma, grandpa, or anyone else.
Cherish the Moment
Above all, remember to take a deep breath and enjoy every moment of your baby’s first holiday season. After all, there are few things quite as beautiful as watching your tiny tot experience the magic of the holidays for the first time.
- Don’t set your expectations too high. No matter how much you plan, the holiday season won’t be without its stressful moments. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make every minute perfect. Your baby may not get to sit on Santa’s lap this year. You may miss the perfect photo opportunity in front of that Christmas tree in the park. Maybe your little guy will spit up on that adorable onesie you picked out for them. Babies can be unpredictable. Taking the holiday moments as they come and enjoying them in their messy glory will make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.
- Accept help. Don’t hesitate to accept help from willing family and friends. Getting through the holidays with a newborn can take a village!
- Take pictures. Come what may, your baby’s first festive season will be over before you know it. Take the time to snap candid moments of your lovely little one and schedule time for a family photo. Once you’ve taken photos of your bundle of joy, let FamilyAlbum do the rest. With auto-organized albums that tell you how old your baby was in every photo and auto-generated 1s Movies that are sure to capture the spirit of the holidays, FamilyAlbum helps you cherish every special moment — big and small.
Focus on the Holiday Spirit
Often, the holiday season can get so hectic that we lose sight of the true essence of the season — family, connection, and joy.
Try to prioritize being in the moment and enjoying the holiday season with your new baby. Remember, you are making memories that you will cherish for a lifetime!
Whenever possible, let go of stress and focus on your love for your little one and your family. When you’re ready to share the holiday love with your friends and family, FamilyAlbum lets you easily and securely share your pictures with your dearest friends. With the app, they can comment and react to every special holiday moment along with you!
This winter, feeling close to our loved ones is more important than ever. Remember to enjoy the season and let FamilyAlbum help you share life’s most precious moments with the people who matter most.