Enjoying your first Christmas with baby

Dec 1, 2014

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Helen, 34, is married to Daniel and is a stay at home mum to their two boys; Freddie aged 4 and Henry aged 1. After living in Sweden for nearly 8 years they have recently moved back home to Buckinghamshire. Her interests include ridding their 70’s house of all things brown and retro, photography and sewing.

Her boys were 3 months and 2 months old respectively when they celebrated their first Christmases.

‘May all your Christmases be calm’

Christmas seems to get increasingly more extravagant and demanding every year, with more and more expected of us. Add a small baby into the mix and it all becomes even more stressful! These are my top tips on how to enjoy your baby’s first Christmas with as little stress as possible…

–        Battling with everyone else on the high street to do your Christmas shopping is hard enough at the best of times, but add a bulky pram to steer around busy shops, a baby who wants feeding/changing/cuddles every few hours and it’s next to impossible! The easiest thing is to do all of your present shopping online and have it delivered. Last year all of my Christmas shopping was done online in the middle of the night while breast feeding my baby! Make use of online gift wrapping services or bulk buy some festive gift bags and tissue paper for quick and easy wrapping yourself.

–        Don’t feel as though you have to accept invitations to dozens of Christmas parties and social get togethers in the run up to the big day. Put you and your baby’s needs first and say no if it all gets too much.

–        Don’t bother with extravagant gifts for your baby. He/she won’t notice or remember and will be just as happy playing with an empty box or wrapping paper. Our eldest son spent much of his first Christmas being pushed round the house in an empty cardboard box by his Auntie!

–        A baby’s first Christmas isn’t the time to hand-make all of your own cards/presents/grow your own Brussel sprouts – scale back your festivities as much as possible and just stick to the basics and enjoy your time celebrating as a family. I speak from experience when I say that it’s next to impossible to make salt dough tree decorations from your 7 week old baby’s hand prints!

–        A family tradition that we have introduced since having children is that one of Father Christmas’ elves drops off a little sack of goodies on Christmas Eve for each of us. The sacks contain new pyjamas, a film, some snacks, hot chocolate sachets etc – we then spend Christmas Eve snuggled up on the sofa watching a Christmassy film in our new pjs – the perfect stress free way to get in the festive spirit!

–        The easiest way to avoid the stress of preparing/cooking Christmas dinner is to get someone else to do it! We spent our eldest son’s first Christmas with my parents which made life so much easier! If you can’t wangle an invite elsewhere then buy pre-prepared supermarket vegetables/turkey or start your own new easier tradition of a Chinese takeaway!

–        Try not to worry about your baby’s routine too much over Christmas. It’s not the end of the world if they miss a nap or go to bed a bit later. Try to be flexible and just go with the flow and enjoy yourself. If your baby is finding it hard to nap with all of the excitement going on then head out for a walk to look at the local Christmas lights – the fresh air will hopefully bring about a nice long sleep. If you need to travel home at the end of the day give your baby a bath and put on his/her pyjamas before you set off in the car – with any luck they’ll be fast asleep and easily transferred to their cot when you get home!

–        If you are celebrating Christmas with family then enjoy having the extra pairs of hands to help take care of your baby – Grannies always seem to enjoy taking over nappy changes and bath time! Try and sneak in an afternoon nap yourself and let your baby enjoy the extra cuddles and attention while you catch up on some much needed sleep!

–        Remember to take plenty of photos to remember your baby’s first Christmas by. If possible give your camera to another family member and ask them to be the official photographer so that you actually feature in the photos! Don’t forget to dress them in the obligatory ‘Baby’s first Christmas’ bib/baby-grow!

–        Finally, remember that it won’t be long before your baby will be a toddler/young child and then you can go overboard with your festive preparations in terms of crafty projects, decorations, advent calendars, gingerbread houses, visits/letters to Father Christmas, hanging stockings etc. In the meantime, just enjoy a quieter Christmas together with your new baby when you actually get the chance to sit down and relax!

Merry Christmas xxx

 

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AL/1834/11.14/0.001. Date of prep: Nov 2014.

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