After the birth of your new baby and the baby shower, probably the next big thing you’ll look forward to is celebrating your child’s first winter. Whatever occasions you celebrate – Christmas, Hanukah, first time seeing snow, or New Year’s Eve, the winter provides plenty of opportunities for great memories. However, the stress of all that planning can start to enter the arena if your celebrations include holiday travel or having your home full of visitors. Here are tips on getting your festive season organised so you can focus on enjoying all those special moments.
Incorporate Spills into Your Plans
Festivities can be a stressful time, particularly if they are spent at someone else’s home. This stress is multiplied if you’ll be traveling with a small child. The truth is, spills will happen. Your best approach is to plan ahead to make the spills part of the event rather than a disruption.
At any event, be sure to have a stockpile of baby bibs to clean up any messes. By purchasing themed accessories like Christmas baby bibs you’ll add decorative flare while being prepared for quick spill absorption. Have cleaning wipes and other materials on standby.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of changes of clothes for your child so you can quickly swap out anything stained. If your child tends toward a larger splatter zone, bring a drop cloth to surround the area. You can also stick to neater, finger foods while your child is visiting others.
One of the best ways to prepare for festival occasion is to establish routines and to stick with them while the celebrations are underway. Often there is a tendency to disregard routines once festivities begin. This is a mistake as disrupted sleep and eating patterns can quickly lead to a grumpy baby and sleepless nights. By being mindful of your child’s schedule now, it will be easier for you to try to maintain this schedule during winter celebrations.
As much as possible, maintain the same schedule for eating and sleeping during the celebrations. Keep in mind that babies and toddlers won’t have any understanding of memories of these celebrations. They won’t have any special associations with the traditional holiday foods. You can give them a taste and take a few pictures and keep the rest of their meals the same as usual.
If you’re flying longer distances, try booking an overnight flight that would allow your child to eat and sleep at his or her normal times. Travel with a few favourite toys and familiar objects to make your child feel more at home. Bring food with you when you travel so that food is one less variable that might cause problems.
In preparing for your baby’s first holiday celebrations, you’ve probably given plenty of thought about the special memories and photographs you expect. But remember that magical times should be magical, and working too hard to make everything perfect or to trying to do too much could lead to unnecessary pressure. You should enjoy the occasions and children will enjoy events more when they are surround by adults who are having a good time.
The perfect pictures with Father Christmas may turn out to be pictures of your crying child. Rather than pictures of your child enjoying perfect presents, you’ll probably have entertaining pictures of them ignoring the gifts and playing with the wrapping paper. Rather than be disappointed or wasting time at the event trying to get the “perfect” picture, realise ahead of time that those perfect pictures probably won’t happen. Frankly, in the years to come you’ll spend more time cherishing the spontaneous pictures of mishaps and crying children than you will the staged pictures you were originally seeking. Just sit back, enjoy it, and treasure the memories.