Select Page

Sarah Norris – The Baby Detective

How to Cope With Your New Baby at Christmas
December 21, 2017

How to Cope With Your New Baby at Christmas

Christmas with your new baby is something special that most parents dream of, your chance to combine nostalgia for your old childhood traditions with the creation of new ones.

It can be the most magical time, but, on a practical level it can be fraught with complications and stresses that arise from coping with your baby, your friends, relatives, meals, shopping, cleaning etc all at the same time as being emotional, sleep deprived and unsure of your parenting abilities.

With a little thought and preparation, however, you can make life a lot easier for yourselves.

Firstly, if you have a partner, sit down and talk through exactly what you both think would make the perfect Christmas, then negotiate the most important things so that both parents wishes are considered equally. If you are on your own just run through it all in your head and write it down to help you focus.

Where Will You Spend Christmas Day ?

Consider where you will spend Christmas day, at home or at someone else’s house? There are pros and cons to both. If you stay home you have more control over who visits, at what time, and how long they stay, but you have to do all the preparation, cooking and cleaning up afterwards. If you visit someone else’s home you have a lot of that burden lifted from you, but you have less control over who else is there and what goes on, and you can’t always escape without causing offence if you find yourself or your baby are overwhelmed.

When making this and other arrangements think about which of your friends/relatives could possibly be drafted in to help you cope, either practically or emotionally. It is also worth think about those that may be less than helpful and make sure you have strategies or support in place for dealing with them.

Once the venue is decided there is planning to do to make things as easy and as much fun as possible.

Christmas Dinner

If your baby is in a routine think about how you could either plan the dinner around their feeds, or adjust their routine so that  parents get to enjoy the meal with everyone else. For example, this might involve starting the day an hour earlier, or delaying each of the morning feeds by 20 minutes, or giving an extra, short feed an hour before your meal time, and don’t forget to make sure that whoever is cooking the meals understand how important the timing is.

If your baby is not in a routine, try and arrange it so that you feed your baby about an hour before the dinner and make it what I call a ‘business feed’ and by this I mean keep waking baby up so they get a good feed, rather than snacking and dozing. Whenever baby stops strong feeding, stop them and wake them by spending 5 minutes winding before going back to feeding. You can also wake them up to feed by changing their nappy, changing them into their Christmas outfit, washing their faces e.g. feed, wind, feed, wind, nappy, feed, wind, clothes change, feed, wind…until they are full, well winded, and hopefully in a lovely ‘milk coma’ so they then sleep whilst you eat.

It happens too often that a breastfeeding mum has to miss the fun and go and feed on her own, either because she isn’t comfortable feeding in public, or because baby gets too distracted with other people around, but this is terribly unfair and shouldn’t have to be the case if you plan carefully. This is also where judicious use of a dummy/pacifier could be helpful to keep them calm if they do wake whilst you are eating because babies do seem to have an inbuilt radar that tells them when you are about eat !

I always advise my exclusively breastfeeding clients to make sure their baby is happy taking a bottle every now and again. This gives you flexibility and allows others to help with feeding but if you haven’t put this in place and your baby is more than 4 weeks old please practise giving bottles now. One bottle of expressed milk or formula a day is a good idea (at any time of the day) because baby then becomes comfortable drinking from a bottle, but it also means your partner can experience that lovely feeding feeling for themselves. Even 1 or 2 bottles a week can be sufficient to acclimatise baby to the bottle, and if they start seeming less comfortable with it, you can always increase the frequency of bottle feeds. It doesn’t even have to be a full feed, you can just give 1oz/30mls then finish the feed from the breast. After 4 weeks babies can start to have their own ‘opinions’ and things might not go as smoothly as you think when you offer a bottle Don’t leave it until Christmas day to hand baby over to mother-in-law to have their first bottle !

Create a Retreat

Having said that…there is something to be said for a bit of peace and quiet away from all the excitement, and your baby gives you the perfect excuse to retreat for a while !

Set up a safe haven somewhere in the house, and make it clear that when you are in there, you should be left alone with a simple ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.

You can retreat to this room to feed, to help baby calm down if they get over tired or over stimulated, to settle them to sleep, or just to hide away and relax for a while but always make sure your retreat is well stocked with nibbles and drinks !


Ah…drinks. The question on a lot of nursing mothers minds…can I drink ? The simple answer is YES ! research has shown that such a tiny amount of alcohol gets in to the milk that it would have negligible effect on your baby, just be sensible and don’t overdo it. If you are worried, remember that it takes about 15 mins for alcohol to get in to your milk, so have a glass of whatever makes you happy straight after a feed, and it will have been metabolised out of the breastmilk by the time you next feed a couple of hours later.

Baby Meets Everyone

Family gatherings can be a great way to introduce your baby to those friends and relatives that haven’t met them yet, and everyone will be eager to hold baby for cuddles and photo opportunities but this can be pretty nerve wracking for new parents whose protective instinct are at their strongest, especially when you know some of those waiting with open arms have never held a baby before !

My advice would be to think very carefully about who will be wanting to hold baby, and how you feel about it. It may be that after the first one, you will feel more relaxed about allowing others to hold baby, and you may also find it more reassuring if you or your partner (or a trusted friend/relative) are the ones who place baby in peoples arms and claim them back, rather than allowing them to be passed from person to person.

If you feel it will be too stressful to deal with, or that there are one or two people who you really don’t want to hold baby but don’t want to offend, it can be useful to decide on a ‘no handling’ policy beforehand and warn everyone (perhaps via a tactful relative) that ‘you don’t want to disturb baby’ so its better if they are either held by parents or left in their crib/bed. Don’t worry about seeming overprotective or unfriendly…this is your baby, and your feelings are very important, there will be plenty of opportunities for cuddles as baby gets older and you get more relaxed.

Quick Tip – Swaddling your baby firmly makes them much easier for less experienced baby people to handle because they don’t have to worry about flailing arms and legs, and it will probably help your nerves too !

Keep Your Baby Safe.

On a more serious note, cot death is very rare and cases are falling, but there is one statistic that is rising.

Currently 1 in 6 babies lost to SIDS were found to have been asleep on an adult on a sofa. I know that snuggling up with baby in front of the TV is lovely, and that dads/partners often do this to give the mother a break but please make sure that whoever is holding the baby is not lying down, is not tired, and has not been drinking.

Merry Christmas !

I have been lucky enough to spend a few ‘First Christmases’ with clients and the memories are amongst my most treasured, perhaps because Christmas is such a traditional and special time within my own family and I know what wonderful times are ahead for the new family.

Helping these families through Christmas, and other big social events over the years has helped me learn many of the coping strategies and planning tips that I have been able to pass on to you here, so I hope this post helps in some small way, and I wish you all a very wonderful first Christmas with your new baby.

Sarah xxx

If you have any tips of your own please share them in the comments. I would love to hear them, and I’m sure they will help other new parents..and all stories of Christmas chaos equally welcome ! x

The Author

I’m Sarah Norris, a Baby Care Consultant and Parenting Coach.

I have spent over twenty five years, often working 24 hours, 6 days a week, supporting hundreds of families with new or young babies aged from newborn to 12 months old, and often helping with their toddlers and older children.

I help parents discover what parenting style they want to use to care for their baby, and offer advice on different approaches that might suit them and their circumstances best.


  1. Carolyn

    Thank you Sarah for this wonderful post. I wish I knew these strategies years ago. I found myself overwhelmed with a newborn and isolated during Christmas. I still cringe thinking about the possibility of everyone’s germ-filled hands all over the baby.

    What are your thoughts on the unwritten rule of the baby avoiding contact for the first few weeks/months until baby’s has stronger immune system?

    Also, I enjoyed your encouragement and information about drinking even while breastfeeding. Moms need to celebrate too. 😉

    Thank you again. Happy New Year! Looking forward to reading more posts.

    • Sarah Norris - The Baby Detective

      Hello Carolyn,
      Sorry for the delayed reply, but hope you managed to get a chance to relax and celebrate.
      It is very normal for new parents to worry about infections with their newborns but it is important to remember that a new baby is NOT helpless and unprotected because they have all the immunity they have taken from the mothers blood across the placenta, so they have a lot of the same immunity as the mother.
      This protection lasts for up to 8 weeks and gradually diminishes over time as the mothers blood is replaced with baby’s own blood.
      My advice is to relax a little and follow sensible hygiene rules such as asking people to wash their hands or use a sanitising gel before holding baby, but always let visitors know that they should not come to visit you if they are feeling unwell, or there is illness in their own home, but just try to enjoy sharing your beautiful new baby with family and friends.
      Sarah x

  2. rosen

    Bеcause the admin of this web site is ԝorking, no question very soⲟn it
    wilⅼ be famous, dᥙe to its quɑlity contents.
    rosen recently posted…rosen

  3. หนังโป๊

    What’ѕ up, yeah this post iѕ genuinely good and
    І havе leaгned lot of things from it regarding blogging.
    หนังโป๊ recently posted…หนังโป๊

  4. หนังโป๊ไทย

    Hello terrific bⅼog! Does running a Ƅⅼog similar to this require
    a lot of work? I’vе virtually no undeгstɑnding of programming
    howеver I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyways, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please
    share. I know this is off subject bᥙt I simply
    needed to ask. Kudos!
    หนังโป๊ไทย recently posted…หนังโป๊ไทย

  5. หนังav

    I’m gone to сonvey my little brother, that he should also
    pay a quick visit this weblog on regulаr basis to
    get updated from newest news update.
    หนังav recently posted…หนังav

  6. xxx

    Hi therе to alⅼ, for the reason that I am truly keen of reading thіs weblog’s post to be updated regularly.
    It contains ցood informɑtion.
    xxx recently posted…xxx

  7. คลิปหลุด

    Attraⅽtive element of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accеssion capital to aѕsert that I
    acquirе actuɑlly enjoуed account youг blog posts. Any way I’ll be
    subscribing in your feeds or even I success you get right of entгy to consistently quickly.
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  8. หนังav

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d lіke to folⅼow you
    if that ᴡould be ok. I’m аbsolutеly enjoying your blog and
    look fⲟrward to new posts.
    หนังav recently posted…หนังav

  9. xxx

    Greаt weblоg right һere! Additionally your web site a lot սp fast!
    What host are уοu uѕing? Can I am getting your affilіate link in your host?
    I desire my wеƄsite loaded uρ аs quіckly as yours lol
    xxx recently posted…xxx

  10. xxx

    This іs a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate your ѕharing this one.

    A muѕt read article!
    xxx recently posted…xxx

  11. คลิปหลุด

    Ηeya i’m fоr the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me οut a lot.
    I’m hoping to present something again and help otheгs like you
    aideⅾ me.
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  12. หนังav

    Fаntɑѕtic goods from you, man. I’ve consider yoսr stuff
    prior to аnd you’re simpⅼy too fantastic. I actually like what you haѵe Ьought here, really ⅼike whаt you are stating and the ѡay in ԝhich by
    which you say it. You make іt entеrtaining and you ѕtill care for to stay it ѕmart.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really
    a tremendous site.
    หนังav recently posted…หนังav

  13. คลิปหลุด

    I loѵe your blog.. very niⅽe colors & theme.
    Ꭰid you make this website yourself or dіɗ you hire
    someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking
    to design mу own blog and would like to қnow wheгe u got this from.
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  14. หนังav

    Іt’s very еffortless to fіnd out any matter ߋn net as compared to Ƅooks, as I found this article
    at this site.
    หนังav recently posted…หนังav

  15. คลิปหลุด

    Hey tһеre! This post coսldn’t be wгitten any better!
    Reaɗing this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept ⅽhatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  16. หนังโป๊ไทย

    Hі there I аm so ԁeⅼighted I found your webpage, I really found
    yⲟu by accident, while I was searching on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow I am here now and
    would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through
    it all at the minute but I havе Ьookmarked it and also іncluded your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the awesome work.
    หนังโป๊ไทย recently posted…หนังโป๊ไทย

  17. หนังโป๊ไทย

    Ԍood day! This is my first comment here so I
    just wanted to give a quick shoսt out and say I truly enjߋy reading throuցh yоur blog ⲣostѕ.
    Can you suggest any otheг blogs/websites/forսms that go oѵeг the same subjects?
    Thanks a ton!
    หนังโป๊ไทย recently posted…หนังโป๊ไทย

  18. คลิปโป๊

    It iѕ truⅼy a great and helpful piece of info.
    I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with
    uѕ. Pleaѕe keep us infoгmed like this. Thanks for sharing.
    คลิปโป๊ recently posted…คลิปโป๊

  19. xxx

    Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasiօn to commenting anyplace, when i read thіs pɑragrapһ i thoսght
    i could also creatе comment due to this bгilliant рost.
    xxx recently posted…xxx

  20. หนังโป๊ไทย

    When I ⲟriginally left a comment I appear to
    have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkboх and from now on whenever a comment is added I ɡet
    foᥙr emailѕ with the same comment. Is tһere a way
    you are able to remove me from thɑt service? Thɑnk you!
    หนังโป๊ไทย recently posted…หนังโป๊ไทย

  21. หนังav

    Ηello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d fіgured I’ⅾ ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest
    writіng a blog article or vice-versɑ? My site discusses
    a lot of the ѕame subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be intеrested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent Ƅloց by tһe way!
    หนังav recently posted…หนังav

  22. คลิปหลุด

    Great webⅼog right here! Also your website so much up very fast!
    What host are yoᥙ using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink to your host?
    I want my web site loaded ᥙp as fast as yours lol
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  23. คลิปหลุด

    Heⅼlo to every one, as I am reaⅼly eager of reading this weblog’s post to ƅe updated
    regularly. It cаrries fastiⅾious stuff.
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  24. คลิปหลุด

    Wow, wondеrful blog layout! How long have you been bloggіng for?
    you madе blogging look easy. The overɑⅼl look of yⲟur site is
    fantastic, ɑs well as the content!
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  25. คลิปหลุด

    Hi theгe аll, here evеry person is ѕharing such know-how, thus it’s faѕtidious
    to read this webpage, ɑnd I used to pay a quick visit this weblog everyday.
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด

  26. หนังโป๊ญี่ปุ่น

    Heү excelⅼent blog! Does running a bⅼog like tһis
    require a lot of work? I’ve very little understanding of coding but I haԁ been hoping to start my
    own blog in the near future. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or techniգues for new bloց owners please ѕhare.
    Ӏ know this is off subject however I simpⅼy had to ask. Apprecіate it!
    หนังโป๊ญี่ปุ่น recently posted…หนังโป๊ญี่ปุ่น

  27. คลิปหลุด

    Ηi! Τhis post couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading this post reminds me of my oⅼd room mate!
    He always kept talking abⲟut this. I will forԝard this
    article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!
    คลิปหลุด recently posted…คลิปหลุด


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

Pin It on Pinterest