Surviving Isolation During the Holidays

December 7, 2015


Tucker's first Christmas in isolation.

Tucker’s first Christmas in isolation.

It’s RSV season, and COVID-19 is still a major concern, and it’s possible you and your family have settled into isolation with your NICU baby. Limited trips in public, shoes off at the door, 2 minute hand scrubs, Lysol sweeps every few days and radar ears for any cough or sneeze within a 30 foot radius of your earshot.

You probably just roasted the smallest turkey ever because you didn’t want to brave the big family Thanksgiving gathering. And now? It’s the holidays.

Holidays are usually associated with crowds: festive parties with friends and co-workers, gift shopping in crowded malls, cookie swaps and gift exchanges. All things that now, you only see through the internal calculation in your mind of “how many germs does that equal?”

Despite the change in plans, a holiday season in isolation can still be a good one!

Some of these suggestions may work for your family and some may not. Just know that whether it’s your first or last isolation holiday, there are lots of families out there who are going through it with you.

Tips for Making it Through Holidays in Isolation

  1. Thankful Cards: This is a great time to reflect on some of the thoughtful things that friends and family did for you while you were in the NICU or after you came home. Take time, while you’re in isolation this season, to write personal notes of thanks for the meals prepared, or lawns mowed, or cards sent or kids watched while you were at the hospital with your baby. Let people know that you are thankful for their gestures and can’t wait for them to meet your little one some day.
  2. Embrace online shopping: These days, you can do almost all of your holiday shopping online. Bonus: When you shop through Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate a percentage of your total to Hand to Hold! 
  3. Holiday Drop and Run: Spread some baking cheer with friends and family even though you can’t see them in person. Bundle up, load the goody packs and your equipment, and set out for a delivery adventure.
  4. Hold Your Ground: It’s important to hold your boundaries about visitors. You know your situation best and if you don’t feel comfortable with something, hold your ground. Isolation is not easy for anyone.
  5. FaceTime Caroling: Since you can’t be there in person, set up some FaceTime sessions with your family while they are all together for holiday gatherings. How off the baby AND your singing skills. If you have other kids, it could be a really fun way for them to learn about caroling and you can dress them up in some holiday gear.
  6. Holiday Movie Marathon: All those Christmas movies you love but never have time to watch? Make it happen this year. Hot cocoa, cuddling with your sweet little baby, It’s a Wonderful Life. It doesn’t get more perfect.
  7. Celebrate: No doubt about it, isolation during the holidays is hard for you, your spouse, your other children and for all the people who want to see your family in person. But don’t dwell on the few things that are missing this season. Celebrate the gift of life and embrace the opportunity to spend intimate time as a small family. Celebrate how far you’ve all come in this year.