Welcome to parenthood! Having a newborn at home can be quite overwhelming. Added to that are the risks of taking your newborn baby outside the house during family gatherings. We understand the apprehensions that come with taking your tiny bundle of joy outside, which is why we’ve put together a guide to family gatherings with a newborn. As NYC postpartum doulas, we’ve compiled some tips to make sure you can still attend family gatherings and enjoy them without compromising your newborn’s health.

Tips for Family Gatherings With Newborns

Safety First: The first and foremost concern for parents with a newborn attending family gatherings is safety. Choose gatherings in venues that are well-ventilated and clean. Confirm with your host to make sure they are following the necessary guidelines regarding social distancing and hygiene. Limit your newborn’s exposure to people and ensure that anyone holding your baby has washed their hands. You can also inform your family beforehand to wear clean clothes to the gathering. Carrying alcohol-based hand sanitizers and masks can also help safeguard your baby.

Schedule: Taking your newborn out for family gatherings can disrupt their sleep routine. Make sure you plan around their sleep schedule. Try scheduling during their nap time or early in the day when your baby is less fussy. You can also simulate their crib environment in a different setting with white noise and dimming the lights.

Pack Accordingly: When heading out for a family gathering with a newborn, packing is essential. Pack enough diapers, wipes, and formula, if you’re not breastfeeding. Don’t forget to carry an extra set of clothes, blankets, and a burp cloth. You can also carry a baby carrier and a nursing cover to ensure privacy during feeding time. Packing a separate bag for your baby can also help keep things organized.

Babywearing: One of the easiest ways to keep your newborn close to you while attending family gatherings is babywearing. It helps keep your hands free, and your baby feels secure, close to their caregiver. It also helps avoid overstimulation by limiting the number of people that come into contact with your baby. You can choose from a variety of baby carriers that suit your needs, such as wraps, slings, and structured carriers.

Take Breaks: Sometimes, family gatherings can get overwhelming for you and your baby. It’s okay to take breaks and step back to a quieter area if needed. You can use this time to soothe your baby or feed them in privacy. Taking a break can calm your baby and help you regroup and continue enjoying the gathering.

Memorable Experiences with Proper Planning and Precautions

Attending family gatherings with a newborn can raise some concerns, but with proper planning and precautions, you can make it a memorable experience. Remember to prioritize your baby’s safety and comfort by choosing safe venues, scheduling appropriately, packing adequately, babywearing, and taking breaks whenever necessary. With these tips, you can still enjoy family gatherings and create memories that will last a lifetime. As NYC postpartum doulas, we are here to help you navigate this new experience with ease.