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How to keep a baby’s routine over a busy Christmas

Whether you follow a strict routine or like to go with the flow, Christmas generally takes us out of our normal routine, with family gatherings, later nights, travel, and maybe even sleeping over at other people’s houses. All which can make feeding and and sleep a bit trickier for little ones. But with some planning and flexibility, you can help ensure a smoother transition. Here are some tips to help you keep your baby’s routine during the Christmas holiday period:

  • Stick to a Schedule:
    • Try to stick to your baby’s regular feeding and sleeping schedule as much as possible. Consistency can help your baby feel more secure and well rested
  • Create a Portable Sleep Environment:
    • If you’re traveling for the holidays, bring along familiar items from your baby’s sleep environment, such as a moses basket, favourite sleeping bag, soother or toy. This can help create a sense of familiarity.
  • Take your feeding tools with you:
    • Whether you’re breastfeeding and have a feeding pillow, or you’re using formula and love your prep machine, consider taking whatever you need with you so you can feed your baby as you would at home. And don’t be afraid to ask to pop away to a quiet room if you feel you, and your baby, need a calm space
  • Plan Around Naptimes:
    • Schedule holiday activities around your baby’s nap times whenever possible. This may require some coordination with family or friends, but a well-rested baby is likely to be happier and more adaptable.
  • Monitor your feeds
    • When things are hectic, you’re catching up with friends and family or baby is distracted with all the lights and sounds, you might find baby takes less feeds in the day and wants to make up for it at night. If you’re breastfeeding, this can leave you feeling engorged and lead to blocked ducts or mastitis because it’s easier to miss feeding cues when everyone is holding the baby. If you do get issues, its important to keep offering feeds, it will help with the pain. Check baby is latching properly, a quiet room will stop baby being distracted. Gently massage the area, apply a warm cloth to help with milk flow and a cold one after the feed to sooth inflammation. Rest, drink lots of fluids and take paracetamol for pain or fever. Try leaning forward over a sink and hand expressing a little to release engorgement, but not too much or you could encourage increased supply. If symptoms continue you may need antibiotics from a GP. For more help and advice check the NHS website.
  • Use a premium absorbent nappy at night
    • With all the fun to be had, the last thing you want is baby waking in the night or nap time because their nappy leaked! Mum & You Nappychat nappies have smart tube technology to whip wetness away and keep baby dry for up to 12 hours.
  • Communicate with Family and Friends:
    • Let family and friends know about your baby’s routine and the importance of nap and bedtime and find out what time meals are planned for. This can help avoid scheduling conflicts and ensure that others are supportive of your efforts.
  • Maintain Bedtime Rituals:
    • Stick to your usual bedtime routine, even if you’re away from home. This could include activities like a warm bath, reading a story, using a white noise machine or gentle rocking.
  • Be Flexible but Firm:
    • While it’s essential to be flexible during the holiday season, don’t be afraid to advocate for your baby’s needs. Politely let others know when it’s time for a nap or bedtime. If baby is being passed around and you’re not comfortable, or need to feed or comfort them, don’t be afraid to take your baby back!
  • Limit Stimulating Activities Before Bed:
    • Try to avoid overly stimulating activities close to bedtime. Excitement during the holiday season can make it challenging for babies to wind down, so creating a calm environment before bedtime is crucial.
  • Plan travel for nap times
    • If your baby is happy in the car, it may be easier to travel when its nap time so they arrive fresh and you don’t need to try and get an overtired baby to sleep at someone else’s house
  • Stock on baby essentials
    • When you’re out and about or travelling away, you don’t want to run out of nappies and wipes and have to go to a busy supermarket or use a brand you’re not familiar with! Stock up early and have extra in the car.
  • Watch for Signs of Overtiredness:
    • Pay attention to your baby’s cues and watch for signs of tiredness. If your baby becomes overtired, it can be more challenging for them to settle down for sleep.
  • Take Care of Yourself:
    • Parental stress can impact your baby’s mood and routine. Make sure to take care of yourself and find moments of relaxation during the busy holiday season.

Remember that it’s okay if things don’t go perfectly. The holidays are a special time, and a little flexibility can help everyone enjoy the season.

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