Balancing Baby’s Routine During the Holidays

Dec 7, 2012 by

For my husband and I, we have our seven-month-old’s daily schedule down to a science and have luckily been able to do that since she was at a very young age. Part of it is luck and the other part is having a baby who likes a consistent routine. However, with the holidays just a few weeks away, keeping her on a schedule is going to be challenging. I can recall when I was pregnant, I was so firm with having our baby “go with the flow” and adapt to change, but when we’ve tried to do that over the past few months, it doesn’t go so well. She is very cranky if she misses a nap and it’s hard to get her back on schedule. My biggest fear is to have her day thrown off for the holidays and us have to deal with her being crabby and irritable. People have said to me, “Melissa – it’s OK, she will be fine, it’s just for one day,” but my concern is why am I going to throw her day off for the holidays and all she ends up being is frustrated and overtired? Is it really worth it? I do understand where they are coming from, because I do not want us to live our lives around her naps as it becomes frustrating for us too at times.

Nonetheless, this weekend we are getting our Christmas tree and have a large family event on Sunday. Unfortunately, she is sick with a cold this week so that is another concern we have. Do we keep her at my parents while we are getting the tree and attending his family’s event on Sunday, or do we take her with us and just bundle her up? Yet – then we run the risk of getting other people sick or having her get sicker being with a large group of people. Ah, the stress, worry and over-concern that never fades when being a mother.

We haven’t yet decided on what to do, but as a first time mother, I would love to ask others moms: How do you manage your little one’s schedule during the holidays and do you have any tips to share?

I will be sure to let everyone know how this weekend goes, what we decide on doing and how that ends up working out for us.

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Melissa Muszynski

Melissa is the mother to an adventurous toddler born in 2012. She lives in Hartford County with her husband Mike and their German Shepherd Lucy. Melissa has worked in public relations and communications since 2006 and currently works for a global engineering firm in the Hartford area. Her favorite pastimes are spending time with her family and friends, renovating their new house, cooking and of course partaking in some retail therapy.

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  • Jen

    This is a sore subject for me because I get a lot of rolled eyes from my sisters-in-law, whose tween-age children apparently didn’t ever nap. I always try to minimize disruptions to naps, even during holidays when that can raise eyebrows from people who want us to abide by their plans. Even as toddlers/preschoolers they still need their naps and I’m firm on keeping them on that schedule. It’s only for a couple of hours a day for a couple of years and it’s what’s best for my kids’ health and happiness (and for us too since they do better all around well rested). That said, I sometimes look at other moms who could care less about schedules and I see that their kids are in one piece – thriving – and I think maybe I should be more flexible. But whenever I’ve tried to skip/delay naps, the ones who end up miserable are me and the baby and anyone within earshot. So over time I’ve given up trying to please those people. Soon enough these years will be passed and the people who roll their eyes at my insistence on nap time will have forgotten all about it, but I would rather look back on these years with a sense of peace that I did what I thought was best rather than a sense of resentment that I ignored my baby’s needs just for other people’s fleeting approval. In any case good luck with the holidays…I hope it all goes well.

    • melissamuszynski

      Thanks jen for sharing!

  • Jen Seiderer

    Although my boys have always had a schedule that we stuck to most of the time, I refused to have it get in the way of us doing things. Around the holidays, special occasions, whatever, we would move naptime or forego it altogether if necessary. That being said, neither boy ever turned into a total demon without a nap, so it was an easy decision for us. For those whose kids are terrible without a nap, it may not be so easy.

    • melissamuszynski

      Thanks for making me laugh out loud…demon child :)

  • Katie Schunk

    I feel the same way since my son does so well with a set schedule, so we bring a pack in play and his sound machine to where ever we go if it will be longer. This had worked great for us, we set it up somewhere, set the sound machine and let him sleep. He usually does pretty well and it is good for us so we can have a little adult time while he takes a nap. We are doing christmas at our place so this christmas will be fine :-) Can you bring a pack and play. I have the best sound machine ever….as you saw with our rocking holiday party :-)

    • melissamuszynski

      We just came home and she skipped her afternoon nap but hasnt grown horns yet lol

  • bernhardsonbunch

    As a mom who has had one of each (a “must nap” kid and a “naps optional” kid), you have to just do what you know you need to do for your own sanity. Nate could easily survive on a 30 minute nap in his car seat, and Josh needs 2 hours in a bed. Both have their advantages, (as Katie said I love having “adult time” when Josh naps, but now that adult time includes our 4 year old, so huh…), but honestly, if you know she needs a nap, I’d stick to it. Will she sleep in her car seat? We travel out of state for the holidays, and both kids have had to master the art of sleeping in the car. It does mean one of us is stuck with a book on car duty, but it was easier for us than taking the pack and play. If you can bring one, though, and disrupt your fun as little as possible by having her nap someplace else other than home, I’d do it!

    • melissamuszynski

      She will sleep while we r driving

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