Are you traveling for the holidays? The actual travel part can be really simple with a young baby, but what about when you arrive at your destination? Crazy, demanding schedules and overenthusiastic friends and relatives may attempt to derail your routine, but there are a few things you can do to help.
Stay Flexible – It might not make you the most popular person (but neither will a wailing baby), but choose a couple things that are Most Important to attend or do, and stay flexible on the rest. If the baby is taking her first nap in 3 days, maybe you don’t need to wake her up to go to lunch with your aunt you just had dinner with the night before.
Car Autonomy – Driving separately from others going to the same event will allow you to actually stay flexible. It will be hard to leave the holiday lights show early because your wired newborn needs to sleep if 3 other people are depending on you for a ride and don’t want to go home yet.
Babywear, Babywear, Babywear – The first 3 months is called the “fourth trimester” for a reason. At this point, your baby is still supposed to be an extension of your own body. You’ll find your baby is a lot more flexible than you might expect, as long as she’s close to her favorite person ever. And by close I don’t mean in Uncle Harry’s arms, getting a noogie while she watches you from across the room. I mean snuggled up to you, with boob pillows. You might find she just naps as long as you keep moving. And if she needs to nurse, she can tell you a lot more clearly (rooting, etc.) if she’s snuggled up to you. Keep feeding on demand, and you may just end up with a happy baby the entire time.
Feed on Demand – Don’t try to “stretch” time between feedings because of events or the presence of other people. If your baby is hungry, feed her. I don’t mean wailing hungry. I mean sucking on her fists, licking her lips, bobbing her head, rooting hungry. The FIRST signs of hunger hungry. Crying is a very late hunger signal. Before your trip, get comfortable with feeding in public, whether that means figuring out the trick to clipping your nursing bra one-handed, or learning exactly what your diaper bag needs in order for you to mix up a bottle on the run. A fed baby is a happy baby, and that means a happy holiday.