Like most holiday seasons, many families are planning on multi-generational get-togethers, particularly if there is a "baby's first Christmas" to celebrate. But having a new baby around at Christmas can be as stressful as it is wonderful. Try to keep things nice, and not naughty by following this tips:
• Prepare to have the baby's schedule changed up just a bit, but try to keep things relatively normal in a chaotic time. Stick to feeding and sleep times, but relaxing "regular" bath times and walks can help when dealing with conflicting demands and family time.
• If you have concerns about other children carrying or holding the baby, make sure you make it clear with the parents of the kids, so that they can help explain why their new niece is too fragile for them. Remind the parents to tell their kids not to feed the five day old infant a turkey leg.
• Take the opportunity of having family around to get out alone and visit friends or have some much needed "me" time. Leaving the baby with a trusted relative is the best gift you can give yourself -- and them.
• If your baby is too young to have completed all their vaccinations, or any, make sure grandparents and other relatives are up to date so that they can cuddle up. Conversely, protect elderly and other young family members from being passed something other than a present, by making sure your family is up to date on vaccinations as well. (Check for information on the pneumococcal vaccine in particular.)
• Don't expect the entire household to quiet down because baby has to nap. Try to find a quiet place with a door that closes, go for a drive, or simply try to get them to sleep amongst the noise (great sleep training!)
• If you have fancy baby wardrobes to pull out, do it now. They will outgrow it by next season.
• Take lots of photos, but remember to treat your digital camera like a traditional film one; use it sparingly or you'll have too many photos to sift through later. Who has the time?
Relax, enjoy, and make it baby's best Christmas as well.
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