First, what is holiday weaning? According to a Le Leche League article, "Holiday weaning is when a baby weans due to the distraction and celebration of a holiday or other special event." Oftentimes baby and mom will be separated due to work parties or shopping while baby is with a sitter, getting passed around to different friends/family, wrapping presents or decorating the house, etc. With all of the distractions baby can nurse less often or for a shorter duration. It's very important to keep mom's supply up by breastfeeding or pumping milk for baby.
|Tyler - Christmas 2009|
•Babywearing: Use a sling or carrier to keep baby close. If you aren't separated, there's a better chance that you'll pick up on your baby's feeding cues.
•Ask for help: Depending on your normal holiday traditions, you may need help with shopping, decorating, or hosting a party. Instead of passing the baby to someone so you can do these things, ask for help with other things so you can nurse your baby.
•Plan your shopping/decorating for nap time: By doing these things during naps you'll avoid missing feedings.
•Set aside time during travel for nursing breaks: So many of us travel during the holidays and we just want to get where we're going fast so we can relax when we get there, but it's important to plan in breaks to feed and change baby.
•Make sure your friends and family know you're nursing: If your family and friends are aware that you're nursing they'll be more likely to let you know that your baby is getting crabby and needs some mama time. It's nice when you hand baby over to someone else to let them know, "He/she might be getting hungry soon so let me know if she's getting crabby so I can nurse him/her." This way there's no question about how baby is being fed and no one will ask to give the baby a bottle.
•Set a timer: I feed Devon on demand, when the doctor asks how often he breastfeeds I never know exactly but if you know that your baby eats every 2-3 hours it doesn't hurt to have a reminder. Set an alarm for 2 hours and check in to see how baby is doing. You don't have to feed on a schedule, just use it as a reminder to start watching for feeding cues.
•Think about how you'll feed your baby at events: Are you comfortable feeding in a group setting? If not, make sure you ask the host if there's a quiet room that you can use to feed your baby. Will you need to pump while you're separated? Remember to pump as often and as much as your baby normally eats so your supply doesn't drop. Don't take stored milk from the freezer without replacing it!
Good luck and Merry Christmas!