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Happy Holidays?

'Tis the season for family get togethers, parties and all the chaos that goes along with the holidays. When you have a new addition to the family, it seems everyone that you have ever known wants to come for a visit. Here are some tips on how to keep yourself, your baby and your family calm, and healthy over the holiday season!

  1. Set your boundaries and hold firm. This can be very hard to do, especially with a newborn. Everyone wants to come and meet the baby. Before the holidays start, figure out what your boundaries are. Maybe only visit with friends and families at their homes or at pre-arranged gatherings. That way it keeps your home quiet and calm and a place to escape from the chaos. Or if you prefer to stay home and not go out in public, set 1 day, or 1 weekend to have people over to see the baby so that you aren't having to people constantly in and out.

2. Wash your hands!! let everyone know that as soon as they walk through the door and want to see the baby, they must wash their hands. Hand sanitizer is great, but it is very harsh on baby's skin - regular hand soap works just as well.

3. If they are sick, stay home. This is a tough one because no one wants to admit that they are sick! If you are worried that your auntie or cousin may have a cold, have some disposable masks at the door for people to put on. That way they can still see the baby, but they won't share their germs.

4. No kissing face or hands. Besides cold and flu germs, many other germs can be shared through kissing. Family and friends are welcome to kiss the top of the baby's head but limit it to that.

5. Come prepared to work! Let people know that the price of admission to your home is either food or a chore! The goal is to make your life easier, not harder. You already have a newborn to take care of, plus the pressure of hosting, so make your guests earn their entry. Bring a prepared meal, snack, or order take-out. Get them to fold some laundry or do the dishes, even vacuum the floor! Take some pressure off of you, so you can rest.

6. The baby is not a football! We are all guilty of this. Everyone wants to hold the baby. The baby ends up getting passed around like a football, from one person to another. While you want everyone to meet the baby, it is very hard to keep track of things like hunger cues when the baby is halfway across the room with Uncle Omar or your BFF Jaime. It is completely up to you if you are okay with everyone holding the baby, or you can place them in a stroller or chair so that everyone can see and not touch!

It is okay to say no!

7. It is okay to say NO! This is the most important one of all. It is okay to say no to visitors. It is okay to say that you won't be able to make it to a gathering or party. It is okay to say no to letting people hold the baby. You have permission to say no. I am officially permitting you to say no to people and invitations!! Just as you would turn down an invitation to a party that you don't want to attend, just because you have a new baby that people want to see, doesn't mean that you have to visit when you don't feel like it. If you had a particularly rough night, or you just don't feel like being around people, then say no. People will understand, and if they don't, then too bad for them. You have to do what is best for you and your family, and if that means that you don't want to pack everything up and head out to a party, then that is okay.

The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy your family and friends. The key word is RELAX. If that means that you stay home and chill with the new baby, then do that. Taking care of babies is hard, and if you have older children then it can be even harder. Having a newborn is the perfect excuse why you can't attend functions or have people over! Do not be afraid to set your boundaries and say no to events or visitors. You need to take care of yourself and your kids first and foremost. Know your limits and stick to them! You can do this. And remember - Enjoy the holidays!

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