Though the 2020 holiday season is certainly full of new experiences, many look toward holiday traditions as a way to find a sense of normalcy through the effects of the coronavirus. Even if holiday gatherings are smaller, they’re still met with enthusiasm.
It may be a different story for the newest members of the family, though. It takes time to learn the customs, traditions, sights, and sounds of the season. So while participating in holiday activities can be a rewarding growth experience for infants, keep in mind that too much of a good thing may be overwhelming for some.
The doctors at Katy Pediatric Associates want you to know that it’s important to maintain milestone care, including immunizations, even through times of social distancing. They also want to offer some tips on how to keep your infant healthy and happy through the holidays.
The importance of sleep routines
Though many newborns and infants seem to have no sleep routine at all, they do respond over time to the establishment of sleep patterns. Don’t lose your hard-fought progress for the sake of the holidays and, whenever possible, follow your regular sleep game plan. Consider strategies like bringing pyjamas with you to events that might run long. Changing to PJs might be just the touch of routine needed to trigger their internal rhythms even when the overall routine is disrupted.
Dress for comfort
Seasonal outfits are part of the fun, of course. Be sure, though, that you choose baby-friendly fabrics and include layer strategies to keep your child comfortable in a range of temperature conditions. Accessories and synthetic materials may be distracting or irritating. Consider layers for yourself too, since things may get warm if you’re cradling an overstimulated child in your arms.
Recognize that your favorite holiday memories may originate from a different age than your child is now. You may love the neighborhood Christmas lights drive, but they could be a few years away from appreciating it. Accept that an infant’s moods are volatile, and that it takes time to reinforce traditions.
Protect your baby time
Having everything perfect for the holidays often means pushing your way through an already busy schedule that’s now further strained by shopping, decorating, holiday baking, and more. As the stress builds for you, it transfers to your child, though it’s possible neither of you will notice. Your baby, however, is more likely to be on an even keel if you are too, so take time to relax and enjoy your child who is, after all, one of the greatest gifts you’ve received.
Expect the unexpected
Have an extra travel bag ready to go, with diapers, clothes, toys, wipes, and snacks — whatever you need when a last-minute change of plans arises and you have to pick up and go. This will reduce your transferable stress and offer your child some continuity with familiar things. If you never need the extra diaper bag, there’s little time or effort lost.
The holidays are about celebrating family, an enriching time that grows warmer as your child gets older. Contact Katy Pediatric Associates if you need assistance with newborn care, developmental screening, immunizations, or any other aspect of pediatric health during this time or at any time during the year. Call the office directly at 281-492-7676, or request an appointment online. We also offer telemedicine appointments. Happy holidays to all.