How to make baby’s first festive season one to remember
Nothing quite tops the list like baby’s first Christmas. And celebrating it with a new addition can be extra special with these festive and helpful ideas and tips.
DIY Christmas Cards
Style you’re a festive family photo or snap the cutest pic of bub under the tree and you’ll touch everyone’s hearts. Personalising your Christmas cards with an image of your own angel, or a painted hand or footprint is the perfect way to mark the occasion. You’ll want to keep one aside for yourself as a keepsake!
Gift baby an heirloom that they can pass down themselves one day. A Keepsake Box under the tree is the perfect starter gift, or a special ornament, commemorative coin, or a music, money or tooth fairy box are all timeless gifts. Not just a gift for baby, it’s also a gift for you, and a constant reminder of your first Christmas together.
Start New Traditions
Your own parents may have done the same when you were born. New rituals can become just as much a cherished tradition for the next generation. Don’t like Christmas carols? Create your own soundtrack for the festive day. Feeling uneasy about all the present giving? Place an envelope on the tree with a charity donation receipt. Deck your own halls of tradition and set the scenes for Christmases to come.
Hang up a Stocking
Personalised Christmas stockings with baby’s name on it makes us all gush. Stockings and Santa sack become quite the special decoration for years to come so it’s worth buying or making one that will last the distance.
Ditch the Decorations
Do yourself a favour and keep decorations to a minimum this year. Don’t feel you have to make a gingerbread house, leave the nativity scene in its box, and even the tree can have a year off if you’re just not up to it. A simple table decoration can still get you into the spirit of things. Or make the tree decorating and dismantling part of the festive activities when family arrives.
Babies Love Lights
If you are up for decorating add some festive, twinkling bling and watch baby’s eyes focus on the glittery stars and lights. LED fairy lights and decorations add a touch of magic to your décor while captivating baby too.
It’s no secret that small packages bring big surprises. Pretty much every new mum has a story of a “pooplosion” of epic telling. The last thing you want is a photo of you all dressed in Uncle Bill’s emergency t-shirt! Prepare for Christmas with a newborn wardrobe malfunctions by having a spare Christmas outfit on hand for both you and bub.
Hand the Camera Over
Mum is usually the one taking all the photos, and it starts early! Hand that camera over to your partner or relatives and ask them to snap candid pics of you on your First Christmas Day together. To get the best snaps, plan your family pics for when baby first wakes up, straight after a feed, or enjoying fast kicking tummy time. That’s a good time to Skype to relatives too when everyone’s in good spirits!
Or hand baby over and take your own special pictures of grandparents and partners having special time together. The first Christmas memories you make will live on in your pictures
Keep the Gifts Sensible
Your little one’s first Christmas is all about creating memories instead of expenses. You don’t need to spend a fortune. The philosophy of “Something to wear, something to read, something they want and something they need,” seems a pretty reasonable balance for many new parents. Simplifying gifts for everyone else is just as important too. Put some boundaries around the day by setting a price limit, introducing a Kris Kringle or swapping gifts for deeds.
The Reason for the Season
Spare a thought for those who don’t have the means to celebrate. Donate to a charity, light a candle or hang a donation note on your tree. Choose a charity that has some meaning in your life and donate in your baby’s name. Whether its food banks, Christmas gift giving through shopping malls, sponsoring a child through World Vision or even donating nursery items your bub’s grown out of – you’re walking the talk at Christmas. It’s the most magical time to make giving to others meaningful.
Hang a Star in Memory
While holding baby in your arms brings pure joy, it can also bring great sadness at Christmas for those missing in your life. Hang a star on your tree in their memory or light a candle at the table to keep them with you on your special day. As your bub grows up it can encourage you to talk about your own Christmas memories with that special person as well.
Your new arrival should make Christmas extra special and not be extra stressful. You’ve got a lot going on as a new mum, recovering from a birth, managing sleepless nights, breastfeeding and learning a new routine. On Christmas Day you should be doing AS LITTLE as possible. While it’s hard to ask for or accept help, roping in the relatives and giving them helpful tasks will set the scene for Christmases to come. Everyone can share the load from catering to cleaning up. And it’s the perfect time to disappear and snuggle with your bub yourself.
Cater for the Masses
If you’re hosting a houseful of family and guests, a buffet style Christmas meal can be the easiest way to serve festive fare for the masses. Ask them to bring a plate or assign someone the task of Chief Ladler of the plates.
Food comas are the Chrissy Day activity of choice for many families, but you can mix it up. An afternoon post-nap stroll through the neighbourhood, a quiet movie while they sleep, or sending everyone home for family nap time – whatever suits baby’s routine.
Christmas Day Reads
With so much happening it’s easy to overlook just sitting and enjoying interaction with your baby. Spend time together reading. A mix of classics and new titles such as Miffy in the Snow, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Christmas Fairy are must haves for the festive bookcase.
Something for Bubba
Under the tree treats for bub are all about play and development. Toys that encourage baby to explore, learn and progress in front of your eyes adds to your festive bonding fun. Try wooden blocks, mirrors and sensory books, musical toys or textured cloth toys that baby can hold and suck.
Something for Mama
You’re busy taking care of bub, don’t forget to give yourself a gift of self-love. Keep that Christmas Wish List handy and add skin care products to rehydrate, luscious wraps and blankets to snuggle under with your little one, funky bags for your essentials, clothing vouchers to dress your post baby body, or a family portrait session. You could make your mum life easier with baby car mirrors for rear facing car seats, baby bouncers or sling wrap baby carriers as well. Don’t forget to leave that Wish List in an easy to follow spot for your partner to find!
Avoiding the Festive Stress
If you’re worrying your stress levels may soar with well-meaning yet overwhelming advice covering anything from breastfeeding to baby settling – simply step away. Talk to your partner beforehand about your concerns, and plan for the support you’ll need when you’re at your limit. This may be leaving the room, handing baby over for a break, or practising a few conversation pieces that deflect with respect. Don’t be pressured by expectations of others - this is as much a day for team support!
You’ve got plenty of Christmases ahead, and your first one calls for you to be kind to yourself and do it your way. After all, the best gift this Christmas is the one you hold in your arms.
Happiest of Christmas to you and your family,