'Tis the season! Preparing for the holidays with baby.

The holidays are approaching and it is a time when we prepare to share space, food and love with those we care for.  If you have a new baby it is always exciting to be able to show off your new little one with family and friends.   But before this Thursday, it may be a good idea to take some time with your partner and talk about schedules, traditions, and expectations for the day so you know you are on the same page to support each other, avoid family drama and gear up for the first special holiday gathering with you and your newborn.  By knowing what your boundaries are and making sure you and your partner have a plan can help set up the day for success and ensure a happy Thanksgiving!    

Below are a few things you may want to ask yourself and discuss with your partner prior to the big day!

·         How is the care for your little one going to be divided? If you are a new parent, this just may be the time you feel like you want to cut loose back to the days before a baby, as it is easy to assume with all the family around you that you will have a break. While that may be an option for some, it is not always the case.  Remember to stay responsive and attentive to your partner and baby’s needs during this time.  Perhaps create a catch phrase or word that will signal your partner that you need some help without them having to ask for it in front of the entire group.

·         If your baby is brand new, are you comfortable with baby being passed around to different family or guests? If you are not, make sure you and your partner have each other’s back when enforcing it.  ***This really applies to any parenting decision you have made that may raise a family member’s opinion/advice.  Stick together and be confident in the decisions you have made for your family, and remember, you know what’s best for your baby.   

·         Be clear on your expectations of the day with your family prior to the holiday.  For some, family traditions run deep and having a change in a tradition may throw family members for a loop.  Skip the intensity of dealing with it on Thanksgiving Day and give extended family a head’s up if needed.

·         Discuss arrival and departure times that work for you, your partner and baby.  If you would prefer to see how the day goes instead, discuss and devise a signal to let each other know when it is time to go and stick to it!  If you do plan a times in advance, let your host know if you can before Thursday what time you will not only be arriving but also departing.

·         Though there is nothing controversial about breastfeeding, you may or may not be comfortable breastfeeding in front of certain family members.  If you are a new mom and still working on establishing breastfeeding or would perhaps prefer a quiet private place without the commotion of the festivities around you, talk in advance with your host so you and baby can feel relaxed and comfortable.  Partners make sure you support mom during this time.  

·         Be respectful of your partner’s thoughts and feelings, becoming a parent can give you a whole new set of emotions and insecurities that may feel intensified when at large gatherings like holidays.  

If you have already been through a holiday with a new baby was there anything you weren’t prepared for during your first holiday/family gathering, or was better than you imagined?  What are your suggestions for new parents?