As we head into the holidays, we’re spending more time doing family activities outside the home. It’s an exciting time to incorporate your newest family member into your holiday traditions. If you have a little one, that may mean breastfeeding in public. For some new moms, breastfeeding on-the-go is an everyday activity. It certainly allows you the freedom and flexibility to be out-and-about during the day. For other moms, breastfeeding is a more private experience. Either way, we’re here to help with some tips and reminders to help prepare you so you can enjoy this holiday season.
Whether you breastfeed in public daily or not, the holidays are a busy, crowded time. There may be more on-lookers than usual so it’s important to be confident in your choice to breastfeed. If you are self-conscious, bring a nursing cover or blanket for discretion, or find a lactation room or lounge for privacy. Regardless of where you breastfeed, be sure to wear easy nursing attire, like a nursing cami, or button-down blouse with a nursing bra underneath. (Psst, shop now and enjoy 10% off all nursing wear!)
If you do get unwelcome stares or snarky comments, have a plan of action. Either choose to ignore them, or have a line prepared. We recommend taking the high road. Rather than being rude back, inform the person why you’ve chosen to nurse and that breast is best for babies. Ignorance is often the cause behind judgment so help improve the problem by educating others.
Start Traditions Early
Think about what you want your holiday traditions to be and start them during infancy. Your tradition can be anything, really. Maybe it’s baking holiday cookies, starting a snow globe collection, taking a picture with Santa or enjoying a multi-generation wintertime hike. You’ll love being able to tell your little one stories about your fun family activity when he was a baby or show him pictures.
We know babies thrive on routine and rely on it for comfort. But you can also use the same concept to mark special occasions. Believe it or not, by incorporating baby in holiday decorating, baking, shopping and other family activities, he will recognize this as a special time. He will begin to identify the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday, and understand how these differ from other times of year. From an early age, you can teach your little one how to get into the holiday spirit!
Stay on Track
While the holidays often mean late nights, lots of sweets, crowded places and perhaps a family invasion, try to keep some sense of normalcy for your baby. If you stray too far from your usual schedule, not only could baby be overwhelmed, but it may also be difficult to get back on track when the holidays are over. When babies are overwhelmed, they often become fussy and don’t want to eat or sleep. This behavior will make the holidays unpleasant for everyone! Do your best to keep a somewhat regular schedule, and be sure to spend some time alone with your little one away from the chaos of the holidays.