This busyness can be exhausting, and the mere idea of doing it all with a baby feels like an uphill struggle. But it's easier than it seems. Simply follow this advice to ensure the youngest members of the family’s well-being and to enjoy the best holidays. Happy Celebrating!
1. Respect their rhythms
We know that Christmas is a special time, but babies don't understand what all the fuss is about. Which is why you need to respect their routines and organise any meetings to avoid clashes with nap-time, which is an opportunity for you to catch up on a little sleep too. Make sure that your destination has a quiet room and try to avoid passing your baby around constantly. Everyone is going to want a cuddle, but the little one’s rest is the most important thing to consider!
2. Avoid over-stimulation
Christmas is full of stimuli: from bright colours to unknown faces and sounds that can disturb or alter sleep patterns. It's best to listen to carols at moderate volume, (which will also help develop senses) and watch out for unexpected noises, like party blowers, which can upset little ones.
3. Don't force them to interact with strangers
It's normal to be excited about meeting Father Christmas or the Three Kings for the first time. But remember that these colourful, bearded figures and crowds can be confusing or even scary. Don't force your little one to approach if they seem uneasy.
4. It's better somewhere else!
If you don't know where you want to celebrate Christmas with your newborn, remember that the best thing is to go somewhere else. Likewise, if you’re pregnant. Visiting friends and family means you won’t be responsible for all the preparations and you’ll be free to leave whenever you like, without having to send your guests home. Leave baby to sleep in a quiet room, away from smokers and the general hubbub, so as not to interrupt their routine.
5. Virus proof
Christmas cold weather makes it vital to dress your baby up warmly, to protect them from the viruses they can be exposed to by all that moving around. Newborns are more vulnerable as their heat regulation system isn’t yet fully operational, meaning they require particular attention. It’s enough to dress them in an extra layer to the grown-ups, as you don’t want to make them too hot. If you’re unsure, feel their neck and forehead to check if they’re too hot or cold.
6. Get the right gifts
When someone asks you what to give your baby for Christmas, you may feel tempted to say they don’t need anything. But you don’t have to be polite. You can always ask for practical gifts like clothes, bottles or dummies, even if they’re too small to enjoy toys. And if your baby is old enough to crawl or explore with their hands, you could ask for something like a play mat or colourful blocks.
7. Keep an eye on foodies
The family table is often piled with the kind of food that’s kept for special occasions. Try to avoid feeding babies anything you’re unsure about, especially things like dried fruit and sea food that can cause allergies or choking. And if you’re breast-feeding, you’ll also need to watch what you eat, to maintain a healthy diet and avoid alcohol. If you do have a drink, wait long enough to ensure you have digested the alcohol before your next feed. This time will depend on your weight and the amount of alcohol consumed.
8. Safety first
Remember that houses are filled with decorations and little things that pose a real threat at Christmas time. Keep your eyes on your children to ensure they don’t burn themselves on candles, play with cradles, swallow nativity figures, eat holly berries or put tiny pieces of older children’s toys in their mouths. Remember to double your efforts in other peoples houses, which probably aren’t as safe as yours. And watch out for traditional Christmas plants! Poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly are very attractive, and very poisonous.
9. Moving around isn’t a problem!
Don’t worry about travelling with your baby over Christmas. It’s easier to move around when they’re little as they often sleep and can be easily distracted with a toy or doll. If you’re driving, use the safest baby seat you can find in the right position to guarantee maximum safety.
Share the joy of Christmas with your baby and don’t forget to immortalize this time with the family. You’re creating memories for life, and enjoying one of the best times of year!