Your baby’s first Chinese New Year is sure to be an exciting time for you and the family. On one hand, you will probably go all out to get that perfect Chinese New Year outfit – or perhaps a few of those outfits, one for each day that you are out visiting relatives and friends.
Ah yes, and then there’s the whole bringing your baby out during Chinese New Year that gets you worked up. It’s common to do back-to-back house visiting during the festival, but how will you survive this with a baby in tow?
Since the day your baby is born, your outings usually last for just a few hours. Will you be able to cope with being out with baby the whole day? That, plus the fact that there will be many new and eager faces that baby will come up close to.
Relax mama, and fret not! Check out these tips to help you navigate your way through the Chinese New Year visiting and enjoy the festivities like you always did before baby came into the picture.
How to survive bringing baby out during Chinese New Year
Have a game plan ready
You know that when it comes to your baby, planning ahead really pays off.
Map out your visiting schedule, which includes the order of the houses that you will be visiting. Take into account the travelling time between the houses and how much time to spend in each home. If needed, shift the timings around so that your baby’s usual daily routine (e.g. nap time and feeding) won’t be affected.
If your baby naps well in the car seat or in the stroller or baby carrier, do schedule your travel times so that they fall around your baby’s nap times. This helps your little one to be well rested and be all ready to play and socialise at your next destination.
Pack the essentials
Visiting during Chinese New Year with baby is almost like how you’d go out with baby on weekends. You’ll need to feed, nap and change baby’s diapers and clothes on the go. Thus, always get ready everything you’d ever need in your trusty diaper bag.
Pack a set (or two) of extra clothes for both baby and yourself, together with extra diapers, tissues and wet wipes. If your baby is eating solids already, decide if you will cook his/her meal and bring it out with you in a thermal jar, or rely on food pouches. You might also want to throw in baby’s favourite toys or books to entertain him/her when he/she starts fussing.
Prepare “model answers” to well-meaning advice
Just like how your relatives made comments on when will you ever settle down and have kids back in the good old days before you got married, they will now up the ante and offer advice on your baby and parenting choices.
“Let him skip nap time today, it’s Chinese New Year after all!”
“Don’t spoil him by carrying him all the time. You are only giving more problems to yourself.”
“Are you still breastfeeding? Isn’t he eating well already?!”
Yes, prepare to get frustrated, irritated or just plain annoyed at these comments, which thankfully, you’ll only get to hear during Chinese New Year. To maintain your sanity, it is best to prepare some “model answers” to these questions and comments by well-meaning and probably uninformed relatives and friends. This helps you to control your feelings and answer graciously without letting things get awkward.
Go easy on your expectations
Since Chinese New Year comes once a year and it is not just any ordinary day, let go of some ‘rules’ just for that day.
Your baby might not nap as much as he/she does on normal days, but that’s ok – there’s too much excitement going on and he/she wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun too!
And don’t worry too much if baby didn’t get to finish his/her usual amount of porridge. You can make up for it later by letting him/her drink more milk.
Most importantly, you too should try to enjoy the day and savour these precious family bonding moments amidst taking care of your baby’s needs every once in a while.
Have a great time visiting this Chinese New Year!
Read also: Chinese New Year Traditions You Need To Know