With the holidays quickly approaching, many people are busy making plans for family gatherings and special traditions. These events can be a lot of fun, but as a caregiver of young children, they can also cause a great deal of stress. Large crowds, busy days, and wrangling kids can lead to more stress than fun during the holidays. Luckily, if you have little ones, your baby carrier can be a tool that turns your holidays around!
Attending holiday parties with young children adds many new challenges. Whether it is your only child or you have several in tow, they can be tricky to navigate. Many caregivers worry about attending large parties where strangers and family alike will want to touch their baby. Parents always have the right to say, “no thanks” to passing their baby around and babywearing can help with that. Put baby in a carrier at the beginning of the party, before you even get inside! You can try, “Baby is going to stay in the carrier this time. He loves getting smiles from family!” and other excuses such as: baby is napping, baby is feeling under the weather, it’s time to feed, etc. You can always say, “no” but babywearing provides just the buffer you need from germy hands and unwanted kisses!
Not only can babywearing help protect from yucky winter germs, but it can also give your baby a break during the chaos and disrupted schedules of holiday parties. When the schedule is off and there are a lot of people around, often a baby or toddler can become overwhelmed and/or overstimulated. Being cozy on their caregiver gives the child a chance to take a break from the hubbub where they feel the most safe.
Whether you are cutting down your Christmas tree, visiting a holiday market in a busy city, or checking out lights at the zoo, dragging little ones along for those adventures can feel like a major undertaking. Many times bringing a stroller to these activities can be more cumbersome than helpful, especially if it involves large crowds or uneven outdoor terrain. Babywearing (or toddlerwearing) can be a lifesaver during long walks, using public transportation, or navigating crowds. If you are walking for a long distance, cutting down a Christmas tree or walking to a special location in the city, babywearing can be much easier than trying to encourage a little one to keep up. Especially after a long day of fun, little ones often want to be held and our arms can only take so much. Babywearing is comfortable for the child and much easier on the back and arms of the caregiver! In large crowds, pushing a stroller can be difficult and with so many strangers around, little ones can become overwhelmed. When babywearing, your child is attached to you and it is much easier to move through the crowd and get to where you need to be. When enjoying later than usual activities such as Zoo Lights, tired little ones can struggle with enjoying the activity. When they are being worn in a baby carrier they get a break from their tired legs and they may even decide to take a snooze while everyone else enjoys the sights!
Consider your holiday traditions and if babywearing can be a tool to help you ease the worry of managing them with little ones in tow. Even with babywearing as an option, however, please always consider your right to say, “no thanks” to an activity that isn’t going to work for you or your child. Babywearing can make it much smoother, but as the caregiver, you are the one who knows your child best. Sometimes it is best to throw them up in a carrier and enjoy the festivities and sometimes you just need to snuggle at home in order to be right on time for bedtime.