Can you believe we’re nearly at the end of another year? It’s been another hectic one for a lot of people, especially with Covid still hanging around while things like travel, work and entertainment open up again; we’re in a real period of transition. And one group likely bearing the brunt of that transitionary feeling are those who have welcomed new additions to their families in the last couple of years. For those people, heading out for Christmas and New Year celebrations might be a bit different this year; but even if it isn’t, it’s always a busy enough day in its own right! Luckily there are a few tips and pointers to help you get through this often hectic time of year with a new baby, so let’s take a look at some of the things you can try to help make your end-of-year celebrations run a little bit more smoothly!
One of the first things to remember, especially if this is your first holiday season with a baby, is that things are not going to be quite the same as you may be used to – babies love to run to their own schedule, after all! That said, if it’s possible, keeping bubs to their usual daily routine is one thing that can really help them get through the day with minimal upset. If they can go down for a nap at their usual time, it can make a whole world of difference. This means planning your day to the best of your ability, though that doesn’t necessarily mean rigid planning. There will, of course, always be those little unexpected things that crop up throughout the day, but if you have a good idea of where you’ll be and when, as well as what you’ll likely need, you’ll be able to deal with any issues as they arise. Having things like your baby bag packed and ready to go the day before is just one small example of how you can space your preparations out, making them more manageable.
Of course, depending on what you need to do on the day, you may already know in advance that it’s just not possible to keep up the usual routines. If you’ve got a lot of travelling around to do (or even a single long visit!) it can all be made a bit more complicated – in which case, trying to be as flexible as possible is hugely important. Travel cots are a great option if you’ll be going somewhere for an extended period of time, especially if you’re going somewhere that hasn’t had to sleep a baby in a while. Taking your baby’s usual bedding along can help them feel more settled and more able to drift off with the smells that are familiar to them.
You may also decide to express milk before the day and bottle feed your baby. This can be for a whole range of reasons, but a real advantage is that it gives others, such as grandparents, the opportunity to have a cuddle while taking part in feeding time. Any Haakaa Pump, whether Gen. 1, Gen. 2 or Gen. 3, is going to be ideal for this, but one of the best items to have on hand are Haakaa’s Milk Storage Bags. Not only are they great for storing the milk you’ve expressed, but they also make it amazingly easy to transport. Pack a few into a chiller bag and transfer them to the fridge when you arrive, and you’ll have easy access to your expressed milk as and when you need it! You can either transfer some to a bottle to warm, or, if your baby is going to drink everything in the bag, you can heat it right in there just by popping the bag into a container of warm water (or using a standard bottle warmer, if you have access to one). For those with babies over six months, there’s even a feeding teat attachment available so you can store, transport, warm, and feed without transferring the milk back out of the bag!
For those planning to express these holidays, did you know that there’s no reason at all you can’t dress your pump up with a bit of merriness? This year has seen the arrival of these adorable Christmas-themed Pump Stoppers to help spread cheer even when pumping milk! With the same functionality as our ever-popular Flower Stoppers, they’re just as effective at keeping your milk safe and sound in the pump, but you instead get the choice of four festive stopper tops – a snowman, Christmas tree, Santa hat, and of course, Santa himself. You can buy them individually, as a complete set, or grab one of our handy combos: either the Gen. 1 Pump + Stopper, or the 150ml Gen. 2 Pump + Stopper! While we're probably a little close to Christmas to able to get them for this year, if you don't already have these they can be a great option if you know you or a loved one will need them for next year!
Don’t forget that just because the end of the year can be stressful doesn’t mean it has to be. Try to build in some quiet time for yourselves as new parents, for a baby who might feel a little overwhelmed, and for all of you as a family. And once the long day is over, a bit of aromatherapy can really help make bedtime that much more relaxing. For bubs, a bath and gentle massage with our specially formulated Sweet Dreams Lotion Balm can help draw the day to a close, signalling the transition into night-time that a lot of babies need. The subtle fragrances of lavender and chamomile help soothe and calm, encouraging sleep. And because the base is made from a mix of coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax, it’s fantastic for their skin, as well! Best of all, it comes in a handy tin, so it’s easy to take with you even if you’re going to be spending the night away.
For the adults, the Aromatherapy Eye Pillow that comes as part of the Eye Pillow & Shea Butter Soap Gift Set is designed to aid sleep. Its gentle weight creates light pressure on your eyelids, while the botanicals it contains – including lavender – help to relieve stress, making it a must-have for the end of a long day of Christmas or New Year celebrations.
Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of you. It’s been an absolute joy to have you here with us, and we’ve loved having the privilege to be alongside you on your parenthood journeys. We can’t wait to see you next year – we’re so excited to see what 2024 will bring us!