Are you traveling for the holidays? The actual travel part can be really simple with a young baby, but what about when you arrive at your destination? Crazy, demanding schedules and overenthusiastic friends and relatives may attempt to derail your routine, but there are a few things you can do to help.

How to preserve your baby's routine over the holidays. Things can get crazy, especially when you're traveling and visiting family - here's how to cope with it when you have a new baby.

Stay Flexible
– It might not make you the most popular person (but neither will a wailing baby), but choose a couple things that are Most Important to attend or do, and stay flexible on the rest. If the baby is taking her first nap in 3 days, maybe you don’t need to wake her up to go to lunch with your aunt you just had dinner with the night before.

Car Autonomy – Driving separately from others going to the same event will allow you to actually stay flexible. It will be hard to leave the holiday lights show early because your wired newborn needs to sleep if 3 other people are depending on you for a ride and don’t want to go home yet.

Babywear, Babywear, Babywear – The first 3 months is called the “fourth trimester” for a reason. At this point, your baby is still supposed to be an extension of your own body. You’ll find your baby is a lot more flexible than you might expect, as long as she’s close to her favorite person ever. And by close I don’t mean in Uncle Harry’s arms, getting a noogie while she watches you from across the room. I mean snuggled up to you, with boob pillows. You might find she just naps as long as you keep moving. And if she needs to nurse, she can tell you a lot more clearly (rooting, etc.) if she’s snuggled up to you. Keep feeding on demand, and you may just end up with a happy baby the entire time.

Feed on Demand – Don’t try to “stretch” time between feedings because of events or the presence of other people. If your baby is hungry, feed her. I don’t mean wailing hungry. I mean sucking on her fists, licking her lips, bobbing her head, rooting hungry. The FIRST signs of hunger hungry. Crying is a very late hunger signal. Before your trip, get comfortable with feeding in public, whether that means figuring out the trick to clipping your nursing bra one-handed, or learning exactly what your diaper bag needs in order for you to mix up a bottle on the run. A fed baby is a happy baby, and that means a happy holiday.

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  2. Good advice.
    I also found you need to be very firm with your personal space and your babies, and have your spouse or partner in agreement and support with you. Whilst little squishy newborns are wonderful to cuddle, and “Great Auntie Agatha” is desperate to hold, cuddle and kiss your baby, and Mother in Law is dying to get her hands on her grandchild, most babies don’t like being over handled, poked, prodded and general passed round like a parcel. My son was a bit older at Christmas, but my daughter was born at New Year, so we had a fair number of visitors, festivities and things we went to when she was teeny. I wore her, in a sling or wrap, and kept her close to me, away from lots of prying hands wanting to cuddle and touch her (warding off lots of lovely winter germs too) and although I’m not shy about nursing in public, I found “I need to go feed the baby” meant I could nip off to a quiet spot, so she and I could have a little quiet time away from the noise and visitors. Whilst I know my friends and family want to adore and fuss over my newborn, I also needed to protect her and myself, or it became overwhelming!

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