By Suzanne Yar Khan
My husband and I were blessed when we become parents in August 2016. Since our son’s birth, we’ve been looking forward to celebrating his first Ramadan and Eid. And that time is finally here.
- Don’t wake the baby during sehri. My husband fasts during Ramadan. And we live in a condo. Those first couple nights when he’d get up for sehri (the meal he eats before sunrise), the noise from going into the kitchen and grabbing plates, utensils and food would wake our baby. The last thing anyone wants to deal with at 4am is a cranky baby. Now to prepare for his early morning meal, he puts most of his food, dishes and utensils outside on the table before retiring to bed that night. This means fewer stops to the fridge and kitchen (which is just outside our baby’s room). Taking the time to prepare for the unpredictability of little ones during this time can make all the difference when you’re running on empty. A great source of inspiration can be found online in posts like this one: zabihahalal.com/livinghalal/suhoor-recipe-roundup-remainder-ramadan/ which can help with meals and simple tips to make your daily planning easier with a baby in tow.
- Teach your baby about Ramadan. It’s never too early to start learning. And even though our son is just 9 months old, it’s important to us that he learns about his religion. So each night we read him either a verse from the Qur’an, or we read him a book about Ramadan and Eid.
- Make Ramadan plans in advance. Going anywhere with a new baby is hard, especially when it’s last minute. It takes time to prep the diaper bag, and make sure your child is changed and fed. So we like to plan for Iftar parties (the lavish dinners that occur at sunset) ahead of time. This ensures my baby has his nap and is fed before we go, and we aren’t rushing out the door with a tired or hungry child.
- If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t have to fast. This fact is something I was curious about. For new Muslim moms who are breastfeeding, know that fasting during the month is not mandatory since it could affect your or your baby’s health. However, if you feel up to it then you can proceed.
- Buy your baby’s new outfit ahead of time. My husband’s family has a tradition where the kids wear new outfits for Eid. So our son will likewise follow. We’ll be buying his new kurta-pajama (traditional clothing) before the rush begins at the stores.
- Don’t be afraid to take a timeout. As new parents, we’re still balancing caring for our baby with our everyday lives and obligations. Add to that all the dinner parties and festivities that come during the month of Ramadan and it can get exhausting. So my husband and I came to an understanding, and we don’t feel guilty if we need to decline a party invitation in exchange for sleep!
- Meal plan in advance. In past years, it was fine if our fridge was empty because when it came time for my husband to break his fast, we would simply get ready quickly and go to a restaurant where he could feast. But this year, going to a restaurant several times a week is out of the question since it’ll be too tiring for our baby. Instead, we meal plan and go grocery shopping at the start of each week. Of course, we do leave one night free for that restaurant meal because it’s still fun to go out once in awhile and let someone else cook for a change. Having a meal plan like this one can make those last days so much simpler when grocery runs can be challenging. Getting only what you need and planning meals with a planner and menus will mean more time for you and your baby and more time for sleep too!
The lessons I’ve learned will surely help me better prepare for future Ramadan festivities. I hope they help you too. Feel free to share other tips below.
Visit zabihahalal.com for your guide to halal eating during Ramadan.
This post is sponsored by ZabihaHalal however opinions are all my own.
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