When you have a newborn in the house, your entire world can get turned upside down. Sometimes it takes awhile to get into a new routine with your new baby. With the added stress that comes with the holiday season, you can start to feel like you’re just barely getting by.

If you have a newborn in tow this holiday season, I’m going to share with you my secrets to surviving, and dare I say thriving, the holidays with a new baby.

Avoid peak travel times whenever possible

Holiday travel is an inevitable part of the holiday season for many people. Whether you are heading out of town to visit family or just making a trip to the store, you will want to avoid peak travel times.

Busy times might be manageable during the rest of the year, but during the holiday season, you can expect MUCH heavier crowds, which are not ideal for moms with newborns onboard. Instead, look for off-peak days and times to avoid traffic - both in the car and in store aisles.

Simplify the holiday with your newborn

You can’t do it all, and that’s the harsh truth. If you're not a Pinterest mom, don't choose now to start. You can’t always bake everybody cookies from scratch, chop down a fresh Christmas tree, host the perfect holiday party, while taking care of your newborn and yourself.

Don’t be afraid to simplify your holidays to help give yourself a break! Newborns are going to mean sleepless nights and a lack of sleep will often make the holidays more stressful. If your newborn has a big sibling, I'm sure Santa will still love store-bought cookies, and you can get a lot of your Christmas shopping done from the couch through Amazon. Target has a great store pick-up service, too. (I use it all the time, even without a new baby.)

Pack extra baby supplies in the diaper bag

When visiting friends and family during the holidays you may find yourself staying longer than intended. Conversations go longer than expected, and the last thing you want is to run out of the things your baby needs! Make sure to pack lots of extras for both yourself and your baby. You never know when you’re going to need an extra diaper or a spare change of clothes.

I know the first time I was out with my first baby, I found myself having to make a run to Walmart for baby clothes. Don't be me. Be prepared.

Consider hosting this year, with a little extra help

If you're the only person bringing a young child, it can make sense to host the holidays. That way, you know you have everything your little one needs on hand, and if you have an older baby or toddler, the environment will be baby-proofed already.

Thanksgiving or Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful, even if you’re the one hosting it! Ask everybody to chip in to make the whole ordeal way more manageable. Have your guests bring a side or dessert, that way you can focus on the main dish instead of the entire meal. This will cut down the amount of time you need to spend on your feet cooking, so you can focus more on your baby.

Throw perfection out the window

Striving for perfection is one of the most stressful things you can do over the holidays! With limited sleep and a newborn continually asking for your attention, it’s expected that your home won't be straight out of Better Homes and Gardens! It’s okay if you need to use paper plates on Thanksgiving Day, or if your pie is from Meijer. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don’t let Pinterest or Instagram make you feel bad about your holiday plans.

Having a newborn during the holiday season can be a massive source of stress. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can help keep everything under control, even with a new baby in tow.

want to connect with like-minded parents?

check out our supportive community on Facebook