Help for Holiday Madness

Cut Down

First Thing That's Different: You Have a Baby!

She still needs her naps and feedings, even if you have 16 errands you'd like to run on any given December Saturday. Don't demand too much flexibility from an infant. Come to think of it, don't demand too much from yourself, either. We're often told that babies thrive on routines. But we adults do too, whether it's the order in which you get ready in the morning or how you work your way through the grocery store. You've probably settled into a daily pattern that works for you and your baby, and you don't want to shake it up too much. She has no idea that this is a special time of year; she knows only that being dragged around gets exhausting.

So cut down on all the things you're trying to do. Or, as Kristin Gilchrist, of Iowa City, has learned, plan around the baby. "This year I'll pick one event -- church or a dinner -- where we'll let Ada skip a nap or we'll keep her up late," Gilchrist says of her 18-month-old. "But I'll only do it once! I'm not following anyone else's schedule anymore."

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