In my last post I mentioned that young couples, particularly young mothers, should not give up their pre-infant lives. While it is important to maintain a baby’s schedule, it is equally possible to have some kind of a social life. In India especially in this season of festivity, young mothers are often invited to family dos or other social events. Very often , unsure of how the baby will react , many mothers prefer not to go or to go without the baby if possible. So does it mean that you should lead a secluded life for the first six months of your infant’s life? Of course not. But also it is equally important to remember that large social gatherings are also good breeding grounds for infections like coughs and colds that are doing the rounds these days. Plus an infant attracts attention like no other and there are many hands that are willing to grab him and pass him around like a parcel and it becomes difficult to say NO without seeming like a stuck up B*****.
While it makes sense to stay away from crowds and indoors in the first forty days after your delivery, a time comes when you need to get out : mainly to maintain your own sanity. But you should take care while going out that :
- the best way to entertain or go out when nursing the child is to keep the child at home. Express enough milk for a feed ( with an extra bag incase baby feels more hungry!!!) and leave the feeding to the caretaker. This is actually the best way for you to enjoy your own outing without worrying about baby and baby’s feed times and fussiness.
But it is not always possible for baby to be left at home unless you have a regular ayah or nurse to look after the child. So what do you do then?
- your infant is well protected in terms of swaddling etc
- avoid passing the infant like a parcel and make sure that adoring aunts and uncles do get a good look at the infant but in your arms or in the care taker’s arms only
- if possible, it is best to express your milk and keep it in the freezer and keep the infant at home
To entertain or not that is the question that many a young couple faces these days.
- If you are staying with your in-laws or in a joint family, entertaining is much easier because the household functions with or without you in its own way. So perhaps this would be the first tip – entertain only when you have a large family to help with the entertainment.
- Entertain in small numbers. Babies get intimidated by strangers especially when they are out of that sleep all day stage and you would do well to remember this . So even if you have to have several small parties, it is well worth it to go through the trouble of many small dos rather than one large do.
- Home or out? Depending on where your out is – for instance if you can hire a secluded section of a restaurant then entertaining outside is great because you are saved the hassle of seeing to the catering as well. Ideally a child friendly Club is the best place to entertain with an infant in tow.
- Lunches or Brunches. Somehow I feel babies are better managed in the day and I would recommend a lunch or a brunch rather than a dinner or late night dessert and coffee kind of entertainment. While this restricts your entertainment to weekends or just lunches with friends who are not working, this is really a good option.
- Keep it informal. It is not a good idea to entertain people whom you want to impress while you have a small baby in tow. Babies don’t know how important your guests are to you and are likely to wail or play up at the worst time so if you have to entertain your boss, make sure your baby is well cared for by a baby sitter and won’t be around when you entertain. Otherwise, it is best to keep the entertainment informal.
- Keep it in the family – Perhaps the only people who will enjoy the wails of your infant and be indulgent about his playing up will be family so if you really need entertaining or need to entertain, call them.