Many new parents have looked forward to their first Holiday Season with their new baby. But others have anxiety; more people around their babies mean more germs!
The good thing about breastfed babies is that their moms “share” their immune system with them. That doesn’t mean that Uncle Joe who has the flu can hold your baby! What it does mean is that being around others who may be sick, and not even know it, is a little safer for your baby. (That being said, next time you are in the grocery store, grab some hand sanitizer and bring to your family gatherings. Asking family and friends to use hand sanitizer is not an absurd request.)
Another option? Baby wearing. If Mom or Dad is ‘wearing” the baby, others are less likely to touch the baby. Many babies can nurse while in the carriers, making it unnecessary for mom to find somewhere to nurse. Using wraps or carriers while doing your holiday shopping is another way to make the experience a little less anxiety filled http://babywearinginternational.org is a great site to help you find the right carrier for you and your baby.
This also leads us to the question…where should I nurse my baby when family is in? In my opinion, use your judgment. If you are in your own home, letting everyone know that you are going to feed the baby, gives everyone the option of leaving if they are uncomfortable with public nursing (you are in your own home, not public nursing by the way). The holidays are about being with family, not hiding in another room feeding your baby. Unless, YOU feel uncomfortable with nursing in front of others, I suggest giving them the option to leave. http://www.llli.org/faq/discreet.html ßclick here for more tips on breastfeeding in public.
If you are in someone else’s home, you should speak to your host about their feelings with you nursing your baby in the “open”. Some older family members may be uncomfortable. If that is the case, find a quiet room to nurse your baby and enjoy the quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the day.
Try and enjoy this magical time with your baby without being overwhelmed. Being with family and friends should be a joyous time, not anxiety filled.
Now that you’re at a party, I bet you’re wondering about how alcohol affects your baby. Luckily, our own Janice wrote an article about that for St. Patty’s Day. Same info, just a different day. Cheers!