Thanksgiving with a Newborn – 4 Tips to Help


Congratulations! You have a newborn. You also have to plan for the upcoming holiday season, which can be difficult to do when you’ve only had a few hours of sleep since the birth. Hopefully with a few key tips, you can ensure that your Thanksgiving goes as smoothly as possible.

Tip 1: You Can’t Do it All, So Don’t Even Try

Sure, your entire family always gathers at your home for Thanksgiving dinner each year, and you always make everything from scratch. Well forget it; you have better things to do – like take care of your baby and yourself. Feel free to open your home again to your family, but leave all of the cleaning and cooking to someone else.

Tip 2: Leave Time for You and Baby

No matter where Thanksgiving is this year, make sure you have time to rest, and a place to do it. Whether it means crashing in your old twin bed at your parent’s house, or renting a room down the road from your Uncle’s large country gathering. By getting away for a few hours you can rest and recharge.

Tip 3: Be Selfish

There is no other time in your life that is more suited to thinking about yourself and your child than now. In fact, if you’ve had a difficult pregnancy or delivery you may want to consider skipping Thanksgiving all together, and just order some pizza. You need to do what is best for you both, even if it means your family has to wait to meet and greet your bundle.

Tip 4: Keep it Short

A marathon three-day visit with all your extended family may not be in the cards right now, so plan for a short visit, or see the above tips about having somewhere to get away from it all. Don’t exhaust yourself; it won’t do you any favors. And if you are uncomfortable with having a new baby around that many people, by all means say so. Perhaps set yourself up in a bedroom with baby, and have individual visits with family members to keep it from becoming overwhelming.

Tip 5: Know Your Limits

Having a new baby around a bunch of people, no matter how much you love all of them, may just not be in the cards for you this year. If hosting or attending Thanksgiving this year feels overwhelming, by all means skip it. Stay home and get to know your new baby; rest and relax. Remember, there’s always Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas, if you do meet up with your family for Thanksgiving, you may want to discuss a ‘low key’ holiday this year, perhaps a secret Santa so you don’t have to try shopping for gifts with a newborn? Just a suggestion.

Image via Flickr/Lindsey Turner