The holidays are upon us, which means family gatherings and parties where your baby will quickly become the center of attention and your family and friends will no doubt want to see, hold, and play with your little bundle of joy. Who doesn’t want to hold a tiny little baby but babies can easily get overstimulated so we have to be careful to keep the chaos to a minimum (I know, easier said than done!). An overstimulated baby will quickly become a fussy baby and that fussiness can continue for days or weeks after the chaotic experience has long since ended. So for your own sanity you’ll want to do what you can to keep things as peaceful as possible this holiday season.
So what can you do to help keep things quiet and help prevent your baby from getting overstimulated.
- First and foremost is to not be afraid to say no when someone wants to hold the baby. Your baby will feel most comfortable in your arms and will likely remain calm as long as she is there. If you think the baby has been passed around enough or she is just not in the mood to be held it is ok to say no.
- Remind family and friends to remain quiet and calm when playing with the baby. Be sure to end play time as soon as it appears your baby has had enough. You will learn to identify the signs that he is overstimulated before he begins to cry.
- Take some quiet time for just the two of you. If you are nursing you can take feeding time as an opportunity to get away for a little while and relax. You can also take a nap together in a quiet room. (This is a great way to keep yourself sane during the holidays as well!!)
- If the baby gets fussy step away and go to a quiet room where you can calm the baby. Family and friends will likely offer to take the fussy baby off your hands but the baby will likely calm much more easily with you so turn down these offers unless you really need to pass her off. If she is fussy from being overstimulated the last thing she needs is more stimulation.
- Try to stay on your regular schedule even if you are traveling for the holidays. This can be difficult but it will help if the baby can rely on his regular feedings, bath time, bedtime, etc.
The holidays can cause adults to become overstimulated so you can see why it is so easy for your little bundle of joy to become overstimulated. Pay attention to the signs that your baby has had enough, learn some techniques that really work to calm her, and don’t be afraid to say no to family and friends when the baby has had enough. Family and friends may not understand why they can’t hold the baby and play with the baby whenever they want, but remember you are his parent and you are the boss. The holidays will be more enjoyable when everyone is relaxed and enjoying themselves.