Five Tips For Your Baby’s First Christmasby Dr. Amanda Gummer
The first Christmas with your new bundle of joy is an exciting experience and this year, in particular, families will be keen to get together and make up for the lost time. While you may be keen to make this the perfect Christmas for your little one, remember that any time spent with you is the best gift you can give them. So try your best to prioritise yourself and your needs, so you can be calm and happy for your baby. Here are five tips to help you have a great first Christmas together:
1. Go easy on yourself
Caring for a baby takes a lot of work; as does planning for Christmas. While you might want to provide your little one with the perfect festive fun, remember that your first Christmas together will be memorable no matter what. Babies are unpredictable, so don’t feel disheartened if you don’t manage to get the perfect family picture in front of the fireplace.
2. Choose just one or two festive activities
There are all sorts of wonderful Christmas traditions you can do together, from getting a real Christmas tree to visiting Father Christmas. In the interest of making life a little less stressful, consider which traditions are the most important to you this year and focus on enjoying those. There’s always next year to try other things.
3. Manage visitor’s expectations
Well-meaning family and friends may want to share the joy of your baby’s first Christmas. Do your best to plan out when people can visit so you aren’t overwhelmed, and encourage them to bring food along, so you don’t have to cook for everyone. It’s okay to say no to visitors - this can be difficult, but remember that it’s not selfish to want a quiet Christmas.
4. Ask your partner to take photos
We’ve all seen the picture-perfect photos on social media. These are lovely, but sometimes a little too polished - family life simply isn’t like that. And quite often, you end up with lots of gorgeous photos of your baby - and none of you! Your little one will cherish these in years to come, so be sure to get a few of yourself as well as your partner.
5. Budget your gift buying
Babies don’t need loads of things and will quickly grow out of many toys and clothes anyway. So sticking to a few carefully selected gifts will give your child the magic of Christmas while managing expectations as they get older. The Four Gift Rule can help with this - something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. For example, a toy that’s just for fun; a blanket; a new coat; and a cloth book. Remember that your baby may also get lots of gifts from family and friends, so he or she will have more than enough to enjoy.
A relaxed parent makes for a relaxed baby, so sit back, open a few presents and enjoy your first Christmas together as a family. Follow the tips above and be prepared to ask for help from your partner, family, and friends when you need it. It takes a (Christmas) village, after all!