As the song says, ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’, made even better by a new addition to the family. But how do you make baby’s first Christmas special? Here are eight ideas to make the festive season memorable for both parent and child.
1) Dress them up! Whether it’s a stylish holiday-themed playsuit, or a full festive-themed Santa outfit, there’s nothing more adorable than a baby in a costume.
2) Take lots of photos! You’ll never get this day again so don’t forget to keep the camera handy. A group family photo is an absolute must for your baby’s photo album.
3) Start a tradition. Whether you mark their growing by taking a photo by the tree each year, or reading a favourite story on Christmas eve, or going for a walk to look at the neighbour’s decorations after lunch, this is a good time to do something that’s unique to your family’s holiday that you can look forward to each year.
4) Buy presents that will become keepsakes. A book such as That’s not my elf… with a personal inscription will not only entertain your baby on Christmas Day, but will be something they can treasure for life.
5) Hang a baby’s first Christmas bauble on the tree. In years to come, they’ll be able to reach up and hang it on the tree themselves and see how much they’ve grown.
6) Stimulate baby’s senses. Encourage them to smell the pine of the Christmas tree, try some new flavours of holiday foods, listen to holiday music and watch the lovely sparkly lights twinkling. Visits to department stores, or garden centres with their colourful and sparkly window displays, will delight your baby’s senses.
7) Don’t overwhelm your baby. It’s so easy to get carried away with festivities, and of course all family members will want to cuddle and play with your baby. Passing the baby from lap-to-lap will be the highlight for your family members, but try not to overstimulate your baby or ignore nap times. Explain to your visitors and family members that baby’s downtime is non-negotiable. Nobody wants a cranky baby, least of all you.
8) Last but by no means least: look after yourself. This is real life – not the movies. Preparing for Christmas is exhausting for anyone. All the rushing around busy shops, cooking, cleaning, decorating and wrapping is exciting but tiring – enormously escalated by having a new baby to look after. If you don’t feel like driving across the country visiting various family members then talk to them – perhaps you can find an alternative arrangement this year. If your family are coming to you then ask for volunteers to do the cooking, and take a break whilst Grandma or Grandad is nursing the baby. Even if you’re a small family unit, spending Christmas on your own – slow down, sit down and give your baby the best gift ever: your time. Your baby won’t remember their first Christmas, so don’t forget it has to be enjoyable for you too.