Holiday time, snow, family, croup… It’s a time to balance between great, festive expectations and the desire to go into hibernation, a time when at least two parents in Brooklyn would really love to just do nothing. But, as I discovered immediately post-partum, doing nothing no longer exists. Ah well, maybe it wasn’t as fun as I’m remembering it.
Keeping your little one healthy at home is hard enough, so what about once you hit the road? “It’s not as tough as a lot of people fear,” says Laura Jana, M.D., an Omaha, Neb.-based pediatrician and author of Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. Healthy babies as young as a few weeks should be fine, but keep these tips in mind for safe travel:
Fend off germs. Frequently wash everyone’s hands, especially after touching airplane armrests or trays. If your baby is due for immunizations, get them before you go.
There I was, innocently sitting on my couch watching a House rerun, enjoying my nightly snack stack, when the phone rang. It was a girlfriend in need of a pep talk. She's got a power job as a communications project manager for a big corporation in my town, and handles contracts with every photographer and ad agency in the region. This makes her a very highly desired party guest this time of year, and since about December 1, her life has turned into a social whirlwind. (I find it taxing to even think about her festivity schedule.)
It wasn't exactly a holly jolly Christmas at the Rousmaniere household this year. There were no chestnuts roasting over an open fire. It was not a silent night. It was less Deck the Halls, more pace the halls with a screaming baby, an overstimulated toddler, and two very tired parents. And, of course it just wouldn't be a holiday without some sort of family drama. Bah, Humbug.
Don't buy lots of junky toys.
Do make special gifts: baby blanket for David, apron for Elise, scrapbook for Julia
Don't be too uptight.
Do buy a few junky toys.
Don't exchange gifts with grownups.
Do prepare a wonderful meal. Have each person bring something delicious.
Don't stress over a group photo for annual Christmas card.
Do upload individual snapshots of the kids and make an online card.
Don't pig out on holiday cookies and eggnog.
Do eat lots of Clementine oranges and pomegranates.
It's been an exciting week for me at Fit Pregnancy. I've got my tickets to fly to Peru with CARE and my itinerary is coming together. As I mentioned in an earlier blog; Fit Pregnancy is sending me to Ayacucho, a rural mountain area near Lima, to visit prenatal clinics and labor and delivery units. Over the past several years, CARE has upgraded obstetric care in that region and reduced maternal mortality by 50 percent.
One of my family's traditions is shared by millions: Every Thanksgiving we go around the table and share the things we're grateful for. This year, there were the usuals: health, family and friends. There were also a few that were more unique and thought-provoking. One daughter was grateful we don't live in a war torn nation; specifically because it's safe to go for a walk—another Thanksgiving tradition. Another was grateful for puppies. She's in college, away from home, frequently exhausted and stressed out. One of her stress-busters is perusing Pet-Finders online.
So maybe you won’t be flaunting your abs at this year’s holiday parties. After all, for most, pregnancy ’tis not the season for midriff-baring fashions. But you can still draw plenty of attention with the combination of your glowing skin, your blooming body and a little beauty know-how.
Even under the best of circumstances, the holidays can be notoriously nerve-wracking. Add pregnancy or new motherhood to the mix, and the activities that are supposed to make the season warm and fun can simply turn into sources of more pressure.
With the holidays looming, now is a good time to review some of our recommended buys as you start thinking about your shopping or wish list. We're sure you can find that special gift for yourself, your baby or family and friends who are expecting from our list of must-haves to luxury pieces to eco-friendly items.
Unless your child has an underlying chronic condition such as asthma that might make the flu rougher for her, I don't think the vaccine is worthwhile. First, if the vaccine isn't formulated for the particular flu strain that appears in any given year, it's likely to be ineffective. It's also a pain in the butt, since it has to be given every year by injection. While this is my personal opinion, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies between 6 and 23 months get a flu shot annually.
Giving up alcohol while you're expecting is one of the first steps to becoming a good parent, write Jackie Rose and Caroline Angel, R.N., Ph.D., in The Newly Non-Drinking Girl's Guide to Pregnancy (Sourcebooks), but you don't want to feel that you're depriving yourself. Your holiday parties will feel more festive if you pay attention to the presentation of your alcohol-free drink, "whether it's a highball glass for a Shirley Temple or a half-pineapple hull for a Virgin Bahama Mama," the authors write. The recipe below, they say, has "shooter" written all over it: