• Wed, Dec 11 - 3:00 pm ET

10 Reasons It Sucks To Have A Baby Right Before The Holidays

453241631Our first son just turned five last week, and even though it’s been five years I can vividly remember his first Christmas. Nothing particularly traumatic happened, but it wasn’t exactly enjoyable either. I have to assume that it was in part to being new parents combined with the craziness of the holidays. I hardly remember anything about our second son’s first Christmas. I’m going to say that’s because we were more experienced, and traveling wasn’t as difficult with our second. (And not, you know, that I’m a bad mother for not remembering even though it was only two years ago.)

1. Trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn is stressful enough without having holidays to deal with.

There’s normally a lot going on around the holidays, and learning how to care for a newborn can be quite stressful. People might be willing to cut you a bit of slack in the holiday preparations, but you most likely won’t be able to get out of obligations completely.

2. Threat of bad weather.

 

Having a baby at the end of the fall months or beginning of the winter months means a much higher chance of encountering bad weather. It was snowing the night we brought our son home from the hospital, and even though my husband was being super careful our car still slid sideways in the snow. We were all fine, but it was scary. Also, while lugging an infant seat around anytime is a pain, it’s especially difficult in snowy or icy conditions.

3. Your family will expect to see you and the baby.

Everyone will want to see the baby, and most likely you will want to show your baby off, even if that means traveling long distances to do so.

4. Traveling long distances with a newborn is not fun.

 

When our son was born we lived more than a 7 hour drive away from the majority of my family. Dealing with diaper blowout in the bathroom of a roadside rest area is an interesting experience.

5. Some babies (mine) refuse to eat (breastfeed or bottle) in public or even in the car.

For me, the thing that made traveling the worst was that our son refused to nurse or take a bottle while we were on the road. He hadn’t taken to nursing right away as it was, and his doctors had been concerned that he wasn’t gaining enough weight. So for him to refuse to eat for the entirety of the seven plus hour drive was maddening and enormously stressful for me.

6. Your body is still going through unexpected hormonal changes.

Severe constipation while staying with family? Thanks hormones!

7. Everyone will want to touch your baby.

This wasn’t a thing I normally worried about, but after dozens of family members wanted to touch him and hold him even I got a bit nervous. Especially family members who don’t know how to hold a baby or apparently forgot.

8. Stores are nightmares, and you WILL need something for the baby.

There will end up being some item that you need for your baby that can’t wait, and you will have to go shopping. You will curse the holiday shoppers because you just want to get the thing your baby needs and get out.

9. You might miss family meals or other activities.

Other family members might have a particular timetable for holiday meals or activities, especially to accommodate older relatives or children, and you might not get to join them if you’re busy nursing, feeding, or putting the baby down for a nap. Try not to be mad at everyone for apparently forgetting that you exist or would like to eat/do things as well.

10. No alcohol.

This doesn’t apply to everyone, but for new breastfeeding moms alcohol is not usually recommended when you’re trying to get your milk supply established. I was having so many problems with breastfeeding as it was that I wasn’t willing to risk anything else messing it up. There are many times when I could have really used a drink though.

This is a reader submission. 

(Image: getty images)

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  • Bethany Ramos

    #9!!! I felt really left out last year on the holidays when I had to feed the baby up in his room before nap time. I was pregnant too, which effed up my whole heavy drinking plan.

    • LadyClodia

      My little guy was a super slow nurser, so I missed out on a lot that first Christmas. I completely missed a meal, and no one set anything aside for me, so by the time I got to eat there was hardly anything left. I learned after that to ask my husband to get me a plate even if I couldn’t eat it right away.

    • Amber Starr

      That just sucks! I’m sorry to hear that no one thought to put some food aside for you. I’ll save ya a plate this year ;)

  • Boots

    Around here, Christmas is a period of extreme heat, humidity & raging summer storms (oh, Australia – you so crazy!). With baby #2 due on NYE, I have become an (air-con) shut in. I don’t feel like moving, let alone preparing a feast that everyone will be too hot & sticky to eat.

    • LadyClodia

      Ugh, that sounds pretty brutal. I hadn’t even thought of how the holidays must be in Australia. Good luck with everything!

    • Aussiemum

      Mr 7 was born on the 3rd of December, ’06. It was disgustingly hot here (perth) and everyone decided it would be a good idea to cram into our brand new house, with a newborn, a 4 yr old, 7 yr old and a 9 yr old, 8 adults and no air con. Mother bitched because it was too hot and refused to give a fan or help out in anyway. I have been preggers over summer and it damn near killed me! I don’t envy you at all Boots!
      Ps this year we are going to mothers house for Chrissy. 9 kids 12 adults……. And I’m not giving up the air con or lifting a finger to help. I’m just going to sit in the cool and drink my vodka. Maybe I’ll get a bell for refills ha!
      Merry Christmas fellow Aussie!

    • Kim

      On the plus side, as a late December Australian baby myself, most of my birthdays were filled with awesome super soakers and water bombs and there was ice cream cake and pool parties.

      Sucks to my June baby brother whose party always got rained/hailed on so they were always stuck inside playing pass the parcel.

  • http://carrie-murphy.com/ Carrie Murphy

    My mom scheduled her 2nd C-section for the day after my 3rd birthday (my bday is December 12th) so she didn’t have to deal with a newborn and a toddler even closer to Christmas. Personally I feel like, hey, maybe she could have waited A DAY longer so my sister and I didn’t have back-to-back birthdays that are already freaking lame December birthdays, but oh well.

    • LadyClodia

      I’m sorry, that does suck. My mom was born on my aunt’s 9th birthday, so they share a Dec. 15th birthday. Understandably, my aunt was not pleased, although my grandmother hadn’t planned it.

  • Amber Starr

    I just had Baby Princess MonsterTruck on 11/26 and I’m dreading Christmas. It’ll mean an hour drive with the baby and then several more hours of sneezy, sniffly folks wanting to kiss her all over her (as of now) unvaccinated, little face. But, on the other hand, my family is pretty cool and they make REALLY good food…. Good God, I’m so tired.

    Merry Christmas to all………………………………….and stuff.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I hope you can draaaaank.

    • Amber Starr

      Girl, that egg nog is callin’ my NAME!

    • Jallun-Keatres

      OMG that was my due date! Mini Keatres slid into December 1st just 7 minutes before midnight though so she is a December girl :P

      Gratz on your little one! :-)

    • Amber Starr

      AWW! Congrats to you as well! My due date was supposed to be 12/5, but apparently, she is as impatient as I am, and she wanted to be born in time or Thanksgiving. Hope you and Miss December are doing well!!

    • LadyClodia

      Congratulations on having Baby Princess MonsterTruck!
      Don’t worry, you’ll get through it! You’ll probably have some lasting memories of it, but it will be OK! And it might not be that bad. We did pretty much the same thing for our second son’s first Christmas (although he was almost 2 months old instead of 3 weeks old,) and it went much more smoothly with him. He traveled much easier and didn’t have the feeding problems that my first did.
      I hope everything goes well for you! Merry Christmas!

    • Amber Starr

      Thank you! She is actually REALLY good in the car. She pretty much falls asleep the second I buckle her into her car seat. The only thing that I am nervous about is her getting sick. I got my flu shot and whopping cough vaccine in my 3rd trimester, but I still worry about her getting sick before she can get all of her own vaccines. (Not trying to start a flame war, but the anti-vax movement has me all kinds of paranoid for my newborn). I am excited to dress her up in her tiny christmas dress and show her off to the rest of my extended family :)

      Very merry Christmas to you and your family as well!!

  • Jo Nicholson

    My first child is a December baby.My main priority when I left hospital was to get her first Santa photo (isn’t that tragic). Unfortunately for her, 16 years on I still get my kids to have an annual photo with Santa. I’ve written about it today http://truthaboutparenting.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/the-santa-photo-tradition/

  • Jallun-Keatres

    Mini Keatres was born on December 1st and although she is the first December baby/birthday on my side of the family, she joins her paternal grandpa, grandma, and two of her uncles (twins) for December births.

    WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH A HOLIDAY BABY??!

    Fun fact: her grandma was born on NYE and with Mini Keatres just making it 7 minutes to midnight we now have both ends of December capped with birthdays. lol

    • LadyClodia

      Congratulations!

      As they get older the birthday and Christmas presents thing is difficult to deal with. When my 5 year old was younger we could reign in the presents, but this year was ridiculous. Especially because he had a birthday party with his preschool friends, and he got a ton of presents from them. He actually told my mother that we would have to get a bigger house so he’d have room for his toys. That’s not good…it’s not even Christmas yet! Our playroom is going to look like an episode of Hoarders but with toys. I’ll have to figure something else out for next year.

    • JLH1986

      My mom had a one toy in one toy out rule and donated those. If I didn’t choose she did. Of course she chose toys I never played with but I initially didn’t want to part with. But by 5/6 before getting dressed for my grandma’s house I hauled my bag of donated toys out for mom. It worked well. Even my pain in the ass brother did it. Of course with bday and Christmas so close together that might be an issue but…it’s an idea!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    I was supposed to give birth just before Easter and had to insist to my family I would not be travelling to see them for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. Then I went overdue and still didn’t travel because like hell I was leaving town at that point.

    • LadyClodia

      I had felt guilty at the time because that year my dad had turned 50 the week of Thanksgiving and my 10th year high school reunion was the day after Thanksgiving, but there was no way I was going to be able to drive for over 7 hours at 38/39 weeks pregnant.

  • noelle 02

    I loved having a baby 12 days before Christmas, actually. I got to take a pre-dinner nap upstairs with the baby at my in-laws when I was tired of playing pass the baby. At my house with my family, I nursed through presents and had an excuse not to do much in the kitchen, leaving it to my parents and husband. Win all around!

  • ChelseaBFH

    My twins are a month old and I hate having to deal with getting them Christmas presents. See, just writing that makes me feel like a terrible person, but they haven’t touched the toys and clothes I got at my showers yet (much less developed likes and dislikes), and I’m already supposed to get them more? But I know everyone will be asking “What did Santa bring?!” Diapers. Santa is bringing a giant case of diapers.

    • ktbay

      All you need is to just wrap something to stick them next to for a picture. Who cares what’s in it? They babies sure don’t.

    • Meg13

      My twins were born in November and we’ve barely gotten them anything the last two Christmases since the first one they were only two months old and didn’t need anything and the second they got a TON of stuff for their first birthday and were still opening new gifts well after Christmas from that. I felt a little bad about it and got them a few things last Christmas but seriously, they got SO MUCH for their birthday it was a waste of money. Put some of the toys from your showers under the tree for them, that’s what I did with bday presents last year.

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      Yup, my kid was born at the end of October, so what the heck did she need at Christmas? I think she got some books, some outfits, and a toy or two. I do remember trying to open presents while I was nursing her, that was fun. Pretty sure my husband opened most of my gifts for me.

    • Janok Place

      Pffft, wrap up boxes of diapers/wipes/cream whatever and put their names on it. Take a photo, send it out, stick them in some cute Christmas onsies and get yourself something nice :)

  • Pooja Malhotra

    These Reason are very useful before Holiday .

    http://dhoom3online.wordpress.com/

  • LiteBrite

    My son was born two weeks before T-giving. Even today, my MIL uses our son as an excuse why she wants us to attend every event under the holiday sun. “But everyone wants to see the boy!” No, they don’t. They want to eat bacon-wrapped chestnuts,slam a bottle of wine, and watch Rudolph and Frosty, just like I do.

  • mrs.pigglewiggle

    My little monster decided to come a week early thank jeebus, because he was actually do on x-mas. The worst, worst, worst, thing was being in the filled to overfilling maternity ward because everyone that was going to be induced was scheduled the week before their obgyn was taking vacay. The very best thing in the whole wide world though is having the perfect excuse to bow out of every single Xmas family event, perhaps I’m the grinch, or maybe I’m just lazy. I’m using the have baby can’t travel excuse until he’s 12 regardless :-p

  • http://himanivakarian.tumblr.com/ Himani

    You missed the “Everyone comparing your baby to baby Jesus”, regardless of the parents’ religion or lack thereof. I would come home to creeeeepy ass Jesus pictures taped on our apartment door from creepy neighbors and relatives. That shit was torn down and thrown down the garbage chute by an ornery post-partum me.

    And my kid was born in September. Not even near Turkey Day or Christmas.