Twinkling lights. Piney scents. Cozy gatherings. Endless germs.
Spiced treats. Warm drinks. Familiar carols. Upside-down schedules.
The most festive time of the year can quickly spiral into the most frantic, especially when there’s a new baby to factor into your holiday shuffle. But there’s a tool likely already in your toolbox that can be a game-changer when it comes to navigating the holidays with a little one. Time to pull out the carrier, mama—babywearing is the best gift you’ll receive this year. As the CEO of Solly Baby, here are my best tips for babywearing during the holiday hubbub.
6 reasons to babywear during the holidays
1. Keep baby on schedule
The preschool concert is smack in the middle baby’s morning nap. The parade is mid-afternoon (naptime, again!). And the neighborhood cookie swap carries on through bedtime. Enter: contact naps. Tuck baby into your preferred carrier (a wrap is ideal for newborns, a soft-structured carrier may be preferable once they’re a bit bigger), and gently rock or bounce as you lull them to sleep right in the middle of the action.
Tip: Adjust their head as needed for proper support, and double-check that their chin is off their chest and their air passageways are clear, so you can both rest easy right through the festivities.
2. Ward off germs
It’s understandable—and sweet!—that friends and family will be eager to love on your new addition. But in case RSV, flu and cold season has you wary of a good old-fashioned round of “Pass The Baby,” here’s a trade secret of protective parents in the know: Put baby in a wrap or carrier before you arrive. Having baby snuggled up (and strapped in) against you is the subtle equivalent of wearing a sign that says “Don’t touch!” Even Great Aunt Sally is likely to receive the universally understood message.
3. Provide comfort among chaos
From sights to sounds to smells, the holidays are dripping in sensory experiences. And while that’s part of what makes them so magical, for a little one, all the newness can prove overwhelming. That doesn’t mean you need to sit out the gift markets or avoid the boisterous family gathering, though. It just means baby will benefit from a familiar place from which to take it all in. Babywearing allows baby to feel and hear your heartbeat, which they recognize from even before they were born. They can smell your scent and listen to your melodic voice. So even as they catch a whiff of roasted chestnuts or startle at raucous laughter, they know their No. 1 is right there to experience it all with them.
4. Check off your to-do’s
Try as you might to keep things simple, the end-of-year to-do list seems to grow by the minute. You’ve got cards to write, presents to wrap, and, if you’re like the rest of us, a house to clean and a mountain of laundry to fold. Strap baby in, and hop to it! A hands-free carrier means you and baby can spend the season together and accomplish all the extra things.
5. Have your hands in the kitchen
From your grandmother’s beloved casserole to your signature charcuterie board, with plenty of cookie- and pie-baking in between, the kitchen is often the holiday headquarters. Most tasks can be done with a tiny sous chef in tow, so don’t hesitate to introduce them to your culinary traditions early on. Just note there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind while babywearing in the kitchen, including staying away from hot surfaces or open flames. Keep baby’s arms and legs tucked in, when possible, to avoid any unwelcome kicking or grabbing.
6. Stay cozy in the cold
Whether you’re stringing lights around the bushes or taking a stroll downtown to admire the decorations, you’re likely to be spending more time out in the chilly weather these days. Wearing baby will help keep you both cozy despite the cold. Think of yourselves as each other’s personal space heater! You’ll be able to monitor their temperature more easily when they’re close, and add or subtract layers (focus on extremities, like heads and feet) as needed. Plus, it’s easier to pop in and out of local shops without a stroller to navigate through doors and in between aisles—especially around delicate displays!
Babywearing is your secret to surviving the holidays with a newborn
Babywearing may be the secret to holiday survival success, but even more importantly, it’s also the secret to not missing out on the true magic of the season—experiencing everything through your baby’s eyes. Babywearing allows you to stay close, stay present and soak them up in every moment. Because next year, your holidays will once again look different.