Taking baby out after birth
Hi, there. Sylvia here from Rock the Cradle. Today we’re talking about the holidays. The question we keep getting in our prenatal classes is whether or not new parents should be taking baby out to holiday gatherings. Having had two Christmas babies myself, I remember having all of these invitations and bringing my babies out when they were four, five or six days old. Was it the right thing to do? At the time, I thought so.
But it all depends on a few factors that we’ll talk about today.
How are you feeling?
The first thing I suggest is to see how you, as a new mom, are feeling. If you’ve just given birth, do you actually feel like going out? Do you feel like getting dressed up and leaving the house? Is your perineum sore? Your breasts might be sore. You might have cracked and bleeding nipples. It just might not be the right time to go out. And you might also be exhausted. I remember just feeling really slow and lethargic and not really being in that party mood.
How is baby?
The second thing to look at is your baby. Some babies are more high-needs babies and need you more; they need to be in your arms, they may need to be swaddled or carried. They might not want to be passed around from family member to family member, or even touched. Some are very sensitive to energies and sounds and they just might react badly.
Are you comfortable breastfeeding away from home?
Are you breastfeeding? As new moms, we’re sitting on the sofa, we’re topless, and we’re trying out different types of feeding positions, trying to get that perfect latch. We’re trying to get baby to feed and that’s pretty hard to do when you have a public. So when you’re at a party, are you comfortable feeding in front of others or are you just going to be stuck in a room upstairs all by yourself for hours?
What to do when you do go out
Use a baby carrier
If you decide that you really do want to go out, there are some solutions.
My first suggestion is to wear a carrier. Put baby in the carrier when you get to the party; that way baby won’t be passed around. It’s very rare that someone will ask you to take the baby out and give it to them—especially if baby is sleeping. New parents are also worried about germs—people getting sick and passing what they have to baby. So if baby is in a carrier, that’s less likely to happen.
Schedule outings around baby’s feeds
The second thing is to work around baby’s feeds. Now with a newborn, it’s really hard to know when they’re going to feed. But when you get somewhere, you can feed the baby and then put them baby in a carrier and hopefully baby will have a nice, long nap so you can mingle.
If you don’t want to be there, leave!
Finally, if at any time, whether it’s 30 minutes or two hours, if you are not feeling well anymore or you’re feeling tired or sore, then just leave. Go home.
In the end it’s really a personal choice. You’ll see how you’re feeling. It also depends if your baby is four days old, two weeks, or three weeks. In the meantime, enjoy this special time with your baby and your family and we’ll catch up again in 2017.
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!
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