A baby's very first Christmas day is something every mother can't wait to experience. Whilst not every family will celebrate or treat the holidays the same, it possesses a unifying quality that helps families of all stars and stripes feel like, well, a family. In terms of how to get the most of Christmas with your newborn, the best answer is oddly not to make too big a fuss. Being so young and in their most formative of years, it'll be Mum who gets more out of the festive traditions, yet that's no reason to skip out on anything. Here's a little titbit of tips to help both of you have a wonderful Christmas, without any unnecessary fuss.
What to buy them?
This is always and initial question that comes up from parents. Presents, for better or worse, are the most prevalent aspect of the winter period, but what should you buy a tiny, still learning person?
If there's any essential items for your little one that you've had on your list or eyed up in a shop, now's the best time to gather them all, or put them together in a wishlist for your friends or relatives. Anything beyond clothes, carriers, travel goods and accessories, such as toys and fun-filled gifts should be stuff designed to excite, entertain and stimulate their behaviour and learning responses. Anything with mirrors, lights and sounds are a safe bet, plus teethers or a soft teddy bear for them to grow with will keep them happy and entertained, so you can hopefully get a moment to yourself during the festivities.
As a money-saving alternative, a sentimental gift to commemorate the occasion (especially one hand made like a tree decoration or cross stitch sampler) can largely be a present for Mum and/or Dad too, helping both remember this moment in time and keeping those fond memories alive for years to come.
What to feed them?After going through weeks or even months to nail down your baby's preferences and routines, this is an area you want to acknowledge, but not over exploit. In terms of getting them familiar with the established Christmas flavours, some baby food companies (like HiPP Organic) do offer special products with all the trimmings of a delicious Sunday lunch, including turkey, potatoes and roast vegetables, but you can always try and make your own if so inclined (we recommend preparing as much of it as possible before the big day).
If your household is cooking up a big roast dinner, it's perfectly OK to have your little darling try out some of the tastes the grown-ups are experiencing, but never more than a few mouth fulls, best mixed in with their pre-planned meal and certainly not outside of their regular feeding time. As long as its mixed, mashed and cooked well, it's a nice way to bring them in to the feast.
What to do together?
If you're used to ginormous gatherings, wild Christmas do's and more relatives than you can recognize, this will have to be one Yuletide scaled down for comfort. If you know any event is going to make you uncomfortable, with or without child, it's best to keep things quiet. Definitely see family; in fact grab all those willing to help out with the looking after - there's no better time to have so many of them round!
Ultimately you don't want to deviate from the norm too much. Keep their bedtime consistent whether in or out the house, set aside enough time to calm and quiet them down if it's been a day with lots of people fussing over them, and use any nap-time to open and enjoy your much deserved presents.
How to entertain them?
This is probably the easiest and best thing offered by the holidays. The over-abundance of lights and colours might get annoying when they start showing up as early as September, but for growing babies they're simply mesmerizing. Do take them out to anywhere that's been festively hyped up, and ensure there's a little bit of holiday cheer to brighten their eyes in your own home.
Wearing a Santa suit, snowman costume or any other kind of outfit may not be something they will remember doing, but they will love the amount of attention people pay them (don't forget to take LOTS of photos!).
Is this to be your baby's first Christmas? If so would love to know what plans or gift ideas you have in mind in the comments. If you have any darling festive photos to share, you can do so at our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages. We hope you and your child have a fantastic time together!