It’s one of my favorite times of the whole year- the holiday season. The excitement and anticipation bring a certain sparkle to an otherwise dreary outdoors. If your calendar is booking up with celebrations and preparation, be mindful not to let a busy schedule knock you and baby out of your usual routine.
Don’t skip feedings.
It can be easy to lose track of time while shopping or spending time with family. Take care to avoid going for long periods in between feedings. Skipping feedings isn’t good for small, growing babies- or for your milk supply if you are a breastfeeding parent. Avoid the holiday hangries for you both: excuse yourself to sit down in a quiet space and have a snack while you feed baby.
Maintain sleep schedules.
Children get caught up in the excitement of holiday festivities and fight sleep (serious FOMO, amirite?). It’s a good idea to do your best to maintain a consistent napping and sleep schedule for your little ones to head off meltdowns from overstimulation. If you are traveling, take along your sound machine to block out noise from partying relatives, and be sure to provide a safe sleep space for your baby.
Take care of you.
If you notice a sluggishness or feeling frenzied, listen to your body’s cues. Take a time out to sit in a quiet space and eat a vegetable with some lean protein. Drink a glass of water. Take a power nap. Your body will thank you. Remember it’s also okay to decline invitations if you’re overbooked. Saying no to one thing is saying yes to another. Say yes to taking care of yourself and enjoying your family without all the stress.
Take care of your breasts.
In my experience, it’s not uncommon to note an uptick in calls around holidays from breastfeeding parents who report symptoms of plugged ducts and mastitis. These problems usually stem from skipping feedings, wearing party attire just a bit too tight in the bust, and generally not giving yourself adequate time to rest. Get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and nurse or pump regularly. If you suspect a plugged duct or mastitis, check in with an IBCLC for further guidance.
Adult party beverages are fine.
In general, having an occasional drink or two is compatible with breastfeeding and you do not need to “pump and dump” your milk. Nurse or pump first, then enjoy a glass of wine. If you prefer to avoid alcoholic beverages, enjoy a tasty mocktail, such as the Ho Ho Coco from La Croix.