How to Survive the Holidays When You’re Nursing

The crazy holiday season can be super stressful for a nursing mom

By: Amanda Mushro


A young curly-haired mother in a gray sweater is breast-feeding her daughter on a trendy pink background in the Christmas and New Year's interior. Holiday. Family concept. (A young curly-haired mother in a gray sweater is breast-feeding her daughter o

Photo by: iStock


Your baby’s first holiday season is exciting for everyone, but all of the traveling, holiday parties, late nights and early mornings can turn a nursing mom from feeling festive to feeling like the Grinch. However, with some extra planning and giving yourself space and time to nurse, you and your baby can happily be a part of every holiday celebration.

  • Add Travel Time- If you are driving or flying with your baby, give yourself extra time to get to your holiday destination. When driving, plan for a few extra stops to nurse and change your baby, and be sure to leave everything you’ll need for feeding time close to you. When flying with a nursing baby, try feeding your little one during take-off and landing to reduce fussiness due to pressure in their ears.
  • Make Yourself Comfortable- If you are spending the holidays at a family member’s home, designate an area just for nursing. This could be a bedroom or just a quiet room away from everyone else. Leave everything you will need during your nursing session to help you and your baby relax—a blanket, phone charger, bottle of water. When you need to feed your baby, give yourself a break in your quiet and comfy space. You may end up liking this space so much, you and your baby go there just to escape the chaos.
  • Don’t Skip a Feeding- Your baby will probably spend a lot of the holidays in the arms of friends and family. Finally Mamma gets a little break! However, all of that family snuggle time can lead to you missing a feeding or your baby’s feeding cues. To prevent you from feeling too full or having a fussy baby, try setting alarms on your phone as reminders of when your baby needs to eat. Also, wearing your little one while you socialize lets you be hands-free, but you’ll have a better sense of when your baby is getting hungry.
  • None for Baby- Your family will love getting baby snuggles during the holidays, but you won’t love your family giving your baby “just a taste” of food. So make it clear no one is to feed the baby anything from the table. Let’s be honest, you may need to repeat this a few times. Get your partner to help you pass on the word so you feel like you have someone on your side.
  • Ask for Help- We know you are Supermom, but during the holidays—ask for help! If your baby gets hungry when it’s time for adults to eat, ask your partner to make a plate for you. If you are spending the night at your in-laws home and the room isn’t a great place to nurse- ask for things you’ll need—a comfy chair, extra pillows or even a warmer temperature in the room.