Holidays are major celebrations for a lot of families and of course, everyone wants to see the newest addition. Thanksgiving is in the middle of cold and flu season and it may seem hard to know when to bring baby around family and friends during the colder weather. Babies also need a lot of sleep and just the right amount of stimulation to avoid getting overtired and fussy and no one likes seeing baby upset. Here are a few tips to help keep baby happy, warm and healthy through the Thanksgiving family gathering.
First, make sure baby is bundled up in blankets when taking baby outside. It may seem obvious, but in the rush of getting the other kids ready, getting yourselves ready and running out the door, baby may be dressed inappropriately. Blankets help cover baby's face to protect them from breathing in the cold air. They are also easiest to remove since you're not supposed to put a baby in a coat in a car seat. You can easily cover baby up in the car seat with the blanket.
Also, keep checking to make sure baby isn't too hot or cold throughout the day. They lose a lot of heat- especially through their heads so they need hats. Young infants can't fully regulate their body temperature yet, so they are prone to overheating or getting too cold easily.
If someone is sick, either try to stay away from them (they should understand) or you may want to stay home if it's bad enough. Staying home really should only be a last resort, but if someone is going to be there, insists on being there and has something serious, then you may want to consider staying home. If it's just a cold, remember that RSV is common this time of year and it's innocent to an adult but can be deadly to a baby.
Don't let people smoke around the baby and wash your hands frequently with soap and water and try to avoid overexposure to hand sanitizer. People push hand sanitizer but it's actually been linked to being more likely to get sick. For best protection against colds, washing your hands with soap and water works best.
Know your baby's tired vs overstimulated cues. There are some cues that are universal, but others that only your baby will develop. Being held constantly, all the new faces and new people holding them will wear them out. Potentially missing naps will also be more than a baby is used to. Once you start to see that first sign, make sure you put them down for a bit.
Make sure there is a quiet, safe, dark area you can lay baby down to sleep. They will likely be there during at least one nap time so make sure there is a room you can use out of the way where noise will be minimal and baby can nap.
Holidays don't have to be stressful with a new baby. Just watch for cues of overtiredness, or being overheated and make sure to wash your hands frequently and baby can have just as safe and enjoyable a time as everyone else.