Posted on 06. December 2016 by
If your new baby is arriving around the same time as the Christmas turkey, you’re definitely in for a memorable holiday season! But while a newborn is definitely one of the most special presents Santa could bring, celebrating Christmas with a tiny person in the house can bring its own challenges. Here are some of the best savvy-parent tips we could find on how to make the season merry, even if all you really want for Christmas is eight hours of uninterrupted sleep...
- Keep things SIMPLE. Yes, we know you’re usually right on top of that holiday card list, and your eaves are always gleaming with festive lights by December 1st – but believe us, this is one year you can definitely be forgiven for paring the bells and tinsel back to something much more manageable. For instance, you could cleverly combine a holiday card with a birth announcement – most of the online photo websites offer customisable photo card templates that can be created in seconds. And if you have a relative who goes a bit mad with the holiday décor, why not invite them round to give your place a little cheer, too? Or skip most of it altogether and just hang a wreath on the front door – we’ll never criticise!
- You might want to limit your travel. If your closest relatives are all within shouting distance, this isn’t such an issue – but if Nanna’s a four-hour drive away and Gran and Grandad are even farther, it might be worth brainstorming ways to make it easier. (Believe us, if your little one doesn’t prove to be a good traveller, four hours in the car can seem like an eternity!) If family members are willing to really dive in and help out with shopping, cooking, cleaning and the lot, you might even decide to host the holiday yourself – yes, there will be people around, but on the plus side, there will be plenty of hands free to make you a cup of tea!
- Don’t hesitate to set some boundaries. If your baby is very small during the holidays, all that attention from relatives can also expose them to lots of seasonal germs – so it’s a really sensible idea to insist that everyone wash their hands before having a cuddle, or forgo it altogether if they’ve had the sniffles recently.
- Make time (and space) for feeding. This is especially important if you’re breastfeeding, as many mums prefer a bit of quiet and privacy. It’s perfectly okay to excuse yourself to go and feed (or ask for a quiet spot to do it in if you’re at someone else’s house).
- Take advantage of the pre-labour “nesting” instinct. If your baby is due in the weeks before the holiday, you can direct any of those last-minute domestic urges toward prepping and freezing some holiday meals, or getting your shopping done and wrapped well in advance. Christmas dinner might not be turkey with all the trimmings, but believe us, if you can have a nice hot meal on the big day without having to spend time cooking, it will be special all the same!
- Don’t worry about shopping a lot for the baby. Yes, you’re understandably keen to have a ‘Baby’s First Christmas” ornament on the tree and some presents from Santa for your little one – but keep in mind that a) your baby will be too young to notice or care about these (admittedly lovely) details, and b) you almost certainly have access to a proud grandparent-to-be (or two, or three) who would be totally chuffed to be handed the task of tracking these items down.
- If you’re seeing relatives, build some quiet time into the big day. This goes for both you and the baby. Being passed from adoring relative to adoring relative can wear your little one out quickly – and your own sleep deprivation and hormonal roller-coaster can make you teary and irritable, too. If you need to escape, your baby gives you the perfect excuse... and you’ll probably both appreciate the peace and quiet!
- Give yourself permission to take it easy this year. Even if you usually host the traditional Boxing Day buffet for 20, don’t worry – this year of all years, everyone will understand if you pass the buffet baton to someone else. You and your baby can be the guests of honour instead of the hosts – trust us, no one will mind!
Got any great tips on staying happy (and sane) with a small baby at Christmas time? Share them with the crowd on our Facebook page – you just might save some other parent’s holiday!