Weigh Your Options

If you have a newborn or a baby under 3 months of age, you may be wondering if it’s wise to take him out visiting during the winter holidays.

Newborn with Santa hat

Newborn babies are a wonderful addition to your family, and with one of the biggest holidays of the year fast approaching, you may be wondering whether or not to take your new little one out visiting to Christmas parties and events. There are a few things to consider when you’re going out and about, though.

Your health

Having a baby is a pretty big physical undertaking -- the birth itself of course, and then establishing breastfeeding and the frequent wakings and general lack of sleep a new baby in the house tends to bring upon new families. Even if you’d like to go to your mom and dad’s house for Christmas dinner, you may not physically be feeling up to it, especially if you just had your baby within the last few weeks. However, while big trips may be out of the question, you might consider going across town to visit a relative for a couple of hours. When you get an invitation, let your potential host know that you may be able to come but it really depends on how you’re feeling that day.

Your baby

"Newborn babies are super adaptable"

Newborn babies are super adaptable. You can take them anywhere, and with a newborn you don’t have to worry about him crawling down a flight of stairs or trying to eat the Christmas ornaments. You can attach your baby to your body by means of a wrap or another baby carrier which will greatly minimize the chances of him being passed around like a sack of potatoes. If he cries, you can feed him -- either or bow out to another room to get some solitude and peace, or sit down in the comfiest chair to nurse him.

The germ factor

Newborns have a pretty tender immune system and are particularly susceptible to complications if they do get sick, so being concerned about germs in the first few months is totally legitimate. One way to limit exposure is to stay home, of course, but if you want to get out for a bit, the baby carrier idea will keep him away from potential germ baths since he’ll be snuggled up next to you. If you allow family and friends to hold your baby, request that they wash their hands -- this goes for children too.

Overall, you shouldn't worry about declining invitations if you're not up to it. Family and friends will understand. And if you go, keep your options open -- you may need to make a hasty exit!

More on the holidays

Handling the holidays when you're pregnant
New parent dilemma: Sharing the holidays
Dealing witih morning sickness through the holidays

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