Managing social occasions and baby’s sleep

My number one tip for managing social occasions through this festive season is to be really freaking choosy and don’t be afraid to say no to events.

The story that comes to mind with this is when I was on a consult once maybe two years ago. Two years ago, I was at a home with this woman and she had this 5-months-old baby who was in actually quite a really good sleep routine and her mother-in-law was really excited for first Christmas with grandchildren.

This woman lived at least 30/40 minutes away from the city. Her mother-in-law wanted her to come to the city for carols. It was at six o’clock at night and her little one was in a pretty good routine, but would only sleep in the bed (which is a good problem to have). The baby would not fall asleep in a carrier or a pram or in someone’s arms.

So this little one was only 5-months-old, in a great sleeping routine and would literally not sleep anywhere else, but this woman was twisting herself into a pretzel trying work out how she was going to get all of this done because she didn’t want to let her mother-in-law down, but at the same time didn’t want to miss the carols. I just said to her “You need to prioritise yourself and your baby’s sleep”.

If your best friend … This is the scenario I use all the time in consults. If your best friend is getting married then yes, you’re going to need to prioritise that social occasion. However, when it’s your mother-in-law saying that she wants to go to carols at forty minutes away, I said to that mom: “Why don’t you just see if there are some carols that are local and see if your mother-in-law compromise and go to those local carols then yes, your baby’s routine might be out by an hour after, later than normal but it’s not a huge one, it’s a bit of a compromise as opposed to driving forty minutes away or half an hour away, finding a park, etc.

My number one tip for managing this festive occasions is to really prioritize them, try to find a compromise when possible, maybe if someone wants to BBQ just say: “Maybe can we make it a little bit earlier or you guys can come here” so that you can try to have that balance between enjoying this season and celebrating it with friends and family but also knowing when it’s just not – when it’s just too much and being okay with that.

It’s not bad to put you and your family first and just say: “You know what, carols a million miles away in freaking South Bank with a 5-months-old who won’t sleep sounds like the seventh circle of hell and I’m not gonna do that”. I hope that helps.


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