How to Make Baby’s First Christmas Stress-Free

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 | Comments Off on How to Make Baby’s First Christmas Stress-Free

babys first christmas

Congratulations new parent, you made it to Christmas! If you celebrate Christmas, it’s probably a holiday you’ve been looking forward to spending with your first child for a long time. As you’ve learned by now, things don’t always go the way you expect or want them to now that you have a baby to tote around. There are naps and feedings to consider, your own sleep-deprived need to rest more, and conflicting requests from family about who gets to see baby and when. In order to make your first Christmas with baby as memorable and enjoyable as possible, we’ve provided a few stress-free alternatives to some pain-in-the-butt traditions. Remember—what works or doesn’t work this year doesn’t have to change forever.

Tradition: Visiting Santa
While a photo featuring your little one with the man in the red suit might be hard to resist, skip it—at least for baby’s first Christmas. Babies under 12 months (and sometimes even older toddlers) already feel anxious being held by strangers and family members they aren’t used to. Instead of waiting in a long, sweaty line only to experience a mega-meltdown when it’s finally your turn, wait until your child is older and understands what’s happening.

Stress-Free Alternative: Family photo for Christmas cards
Since a first-Christmas photo for holiday cards and ornaments is a must, spend an afternoon getting professional photos taken of your family and use these. When your child is older, he’ll appreciate the visual memory and seeing how “young” mom and dad looked—you will too! To make it extra fun for baby, choose a setting for your photos that includes a Christmas light display or magical, wintry location.

Tradition: Visiting multiple houses or traveling
While family and friends may have enjoyed your kid-free willingness to travel or visit more than one house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, flying out of state, opening presents all day, squeezing in naps, and visiting multiple families with a new baby in tow is exhausting.

Stress-Free Alternative: Creating your new family’s tradition
Your new family is just as valid and important as the established units in your extended family. To make Christmas day as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, do what feels most comfortable this year—and don’t apologize. If your choice to stay home all day or go on a family vacation that includes just Mom, Dad, and Baby rocks everyone’s boat, you can re-consider next year. But the bottom line is that you have your own family now and can start making your own—enjoyable—family traditions.

Tradition: Cookie making marathon
Most new parents can attest to the fact that doing just about anything with a baby in the house is much tougher than when they were kid-free. Baking can be especially difficult because recipes require attention, measuring, and dealing with a hot oven. While your child will love decorating gingerbread men and sugar cookies in a year or two, she probably won’t appreciate all the time and trouble you take making treats this year, and you’ll end up exhausted with a mountain of sweets.

Stress-Free Alternative: Pre-made
If you can’t live without Christmas cookies, just buy some! There are so many small, local bakeries these days that you’d be hard-pressed not to find delicious, beautiful Christmas cookies to indulge in and share this season. Save yourself the time and trouble and let someone else do the work this year!

Tradition: Going crazy buying gifts
It’s so very tempting to shower your new baby with Christmas gifts, but he’ll probably be more interested in the Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper (and watching everyone else open!) this year than the gifts themselves. Plus, friends and relatives will be buying gifts for your little one, too. Your toddler will have a lot more self-awareness and motor skills next Christmas, so save your big bucks until then. Don’t worry—you’ll have plenty of Christmases as your child grows to splurge on mountains of gifts and big-ticket items.

Stress-Free Alternative: Keep the gifts simple, opt for keepsakes instead
Keepsakes, videos, and photo memories will outlast any toy. Instead of buying mountains of toys this year, invest in a special first-Christmas or customized stocking with your child’s name, photo gifts like ornaments and books, or a professionally edited video of your baby’s first Christmas. These are gifts that your whole family will enjoy year after year.

 

 

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