To Travel or Not to Travel? Navigating the Holidays with a New Baby
As the holiday season approaches and our little ones reach their first big holiday season, the decision to stay home or travel to see loved ones becomes a difficult one. Being near family and continuing holiday traditions can seem so important as you begin your baby’s first journey through the holidays, but the idea of traveling during this busy time can be overwhelming. To travel or not to travel? We’ll explore the pros and cons here, and hopefully help you make the decision that is best for your family.
Cozy at Home
Preserving Your Routine
Opting to stay home allows you to keep your baby’s routine intact. As we all know, routines with a little one can be life-saving, and straying from them can lead to stress and sleepless nights. Staying home will allow you and your little one to stay on schedule and reduce stress for both of you! Not only that, but having familiar surroundings and all your things nearby is undeniably easier and more convenient on a daily basis.
Remaining at home allows for uninterrupted family time without the need to navigate the complexities of holiday travel. Staying put means that your little family unit will be able to stay close and cozy – and maybe start some of your own, new traditions together!
Traveling and Tradition
Making the Decision Not to Miss Out
Choosing to stay home could mean forgoing cherished family traditions that often accompany holiday gatherings. If your extended family has treasured traditions that you’d hate to miss, it could be worth packing things up and hitting the road!
Face Time with Family
There’s just no substitute for seeing someone in person! Visiting family will allow your little one to spend valuable time with your extended family, and will allow your family to love on your little one! Not only that, but you may find yourself having help with the everyday tasks of motherhood, like diaper changes and spit-up cleanup!
Ways to Make it Work
If talking about travel starts to stress you out, you may want to consider staying home. If you’re worried about missing out on time and traditions with your extended family, there are a few ways to combat that uncomfortable feeling! First, modern technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and more have made staying in touch super simple, even from far away. Although it’s clearly not the same as seeing someone in person, it can be a great way to be part of family traditions from afar. Another way to conquer your fear of missing out is to continue treasured traditions in your own home. If your grandma makes gingerbread, make some at home and continue her legacy in your own little family! If your family plays board games or watches certain holiday movies, watch them at home with your new little family unit. Not only that, but staying home leaves the door wide open for you to create your own family festivities, and begin traditions that one day your children will carry on!
If you’re feeling ready to conquer the road, there are some ways to make travel time tolerable. First, when traveling with a baby, flexibility is everything. Plan for frequent stops for nursing, diaper changes, and whatever else may come up when you’re on the road. Along with this, make sure to leave lots of extra time in your itinerary in case things don’t go quite as quickly as planned! Traveling, especially with a baby, can certainly be unpredictable.
It may also help to have one parent sit in the back seat with baby, to attend to whatever needs may arise. Keeping an emergency bag handy in the car can help, especially if you make sure it’s packed with extra clothes, warm layers, and infant essentials. While you’re with family, make sure there’s a quiet space available where you can escape with baby to feed them, change them, and allow them to nap w
ith as few interruptions as possible. Sticking as close to your routine as you can will keep baby’s stress level down – and in turn, yours!
If staying with family stresses you out, consider getting a hotel room nearby. It may be helpful to have a separate space where you and yourlittle one can wind down and rest, away from the excitement of holiday festivities. Explain to your family that it’s best for everyone if baby has a separate space to sleep and decompress after all the activity and travel time!
Whatever You Choose, it is the Right Decision
Fretting about hurting feelings and disrupting traditions can make the holidays hard, especially for a new mama. But rest assured, whatever decision you make will be the right one for you and your family. Knowing your baby best, you will make the decision that serves them (and YOU!) best and makes your holiday with your little one the most memorable one you’ve experienced yet.
Do you have any helpful hints for holiday success with a new baby? How has your family navigated the changes that come with welcoming a new little one into the world? Share in the comments!