Asian mom carrying baby in front of Christmas tree.

Family gatherings during the holidays seem like the perfect time to introduce your bundle of joy to your other loved ones. However, your little one might not agree. The crowd, colorful decorations, noise, and revelry might be too hard for your baby to handle.

But this is the Philippines. Toting your baby around for family gatherings is a must. We must confess: it’s not going to be easy, Mommy, but it can be manageable. Follow these tips to reduce your new-mom stress during the chaos of holiday outings.

1. Have a Hand in Choosing the Venue

The location of the festivities is crucial. A noisy restaurant might overwhelm your newborn more than usual. On the other hand, a relative’s home might be more comfortable if it has a room for you to separate your child when they become overstimulated or if you’re prepping them for a nap. Even if it’s public, ideally, the place should have a space to help you and your newborn decompress after all the .

While it may seem easier to volunteer your home, don’t. You don’t need the extra stress of entertaining. It’s also not easy to ask your guests to leave when you want them to.

2. Recognize Your Baby’s Signals

Any mom will tell you that when a baby starts bawling, that means you’re too late. Calming an overtired baby can be a challenge, so you must master addressing their needs before they blow up. Does your newborn smack their lips when hungry? Does your infant grizzle when they want to sleep? Is your child turning their head away when a curious cousin peeks at their bouncy seat? They might be on the brink of overstimulation. Knowing these signs can prevent a lot of frustration for both of you.

3. Bring the Necessary Reinforcements.

Packing light is an imaginary term when you have a newborn. Be prepared for everything. Yes, bring extra diapers, clean bottles, infant-safe dishwashing detergent, clothes, and burp cloths. But also, don’t forget soothers, toys, teething rings, loveys, headsets – and pretty much other .

If you’re staying over at your relative’s house, remember to prep everything you need to maintain your home routine. Don’t leave your Baby Dove Rich Moisture Shampoo. It’s a gentle shampoo that not only cares for your baby’s sensitive hair and scalp but also helps soothe and lull them after their busy day.

4. Work on a Schedule

For the first few months, you work around your baby’s schedule, especially while establishing a routine. Wherever you are, stick to your routine and set “viewing hours” for your baby.

If you have help, perhaps you can ask them to bring your baby to the during these specific hours so as not to disrupt their meal or nap times.

5. Put Your Foot Down When Establishing Boundaries

Bringing a newborn to family gatherings is largely about what the aunties will say, but as a mom, your role is to do what’s best for your baby. Pleasing everyone is an admirable goal, but between making the titas happy and keeping your little one comfy, the choice is pretty obvious. It’s okay to tell your doting family members that the baby is ready for a nap. Don’t hesitate to remind them not to kiss the baby’s face.

You can do this beforehand. Point out your rules to your mom. If you’re wary about saying no to your in-laws, ask your partner to inform their side of the family about your boundaries. It’ll make you less anxious during the party.

6. Err on the Side of Safety

Don’t pressure yourself if you’re not ready to expose your newborn to family gatherings. Talk to the lolas and titas about your reservations. Tell them that your baby doesn’t have their complete shots yet. Moreover, explain to them when you yourself are not ready for such a public showcase. After all, you and are now making decisions for another person. Giving birth is a significant life overhaul that requires careful introspection.

To appease your awaiting public, perhaps you can invite family members to your house in smaller batches. Or schedule another get-together for the next month.

Remember, your newborn is not a spectacle for others to ogle at. Use your best judgment when choosing to attend family gatherings during the holidays. Do what makes you feel good, Mom!