This Christmas is my baby’s first, and as such, I’ve been as “excited as a kid at Christmas” looking forward to it. Well, we had our first Christmas gathering over the weekend, and I definitely learned a thing or two about babies and Christmas. There are some things I would do differently if I had a “do-over”, so I thought I’d share them with you in the hopes that it will help your baby’s first Christmas go a bit more smoothly.
1. Lower your expectations
I hyped up Christmas a lot in my head, and while it had its fun and memorable moments, the fact is that even at 11 months old, Fern is still too little to truly appreciate all of the Christmas hoopla. It’s likely you may feel a bit of disappointment after attempting to open presents and make the experience special for your tiny one, so go into it with realistic expectations, and you won’t be disappointed.
2. Dress baby in comfy clothes
Of course you want to dress baby in something cute, but make sure it’s comfortable too, because they will likely be getting passed around a lot and be participating in a lot of activities throughout the day, and you don’t want them to be uncomfortable and restricted. If you have something fancy and frilly, leave it on for photos and then switch baby into something more cozy — or just stick with a cute outfit in comfortable cotton fabrics like I did.
3. Space out gift opening
Generally at Christmas, gift opening takes place in one great big production. The problem with this is that babies tend to only be able to focus on one thing at a time. When we opened our gifts, Fern was totally excited about gift number one, but after that, she could’ve cared less. She just wanted to play with her first present. If I was doing it again, I would space out the opening of gifts so she got to open one and play with it for awhile before moving on to the next. It would’ve made the experience more fun for everyone.
4. Plan for naps
If you’ll be at someone else’s house for holiday festivities, make sure to bring along a portable play yard for your babe and maybe a white noise machine as well, to drown out all the loud voices and activities. A baby who is well-rested will make for a much happier Christmas experience.
There might be too much going on for your baby to focus on eating at one set meal time, so make sure to take frequent snack breaks throughout the day.
6. Appoint a historian
We barely got any photos of Fern opening up presents, because I am usually the “picture-taker” and I was busy helping her unwrap, so make sure you appoint someone to take pictures and record video before you get started, or you’ll end up with zero documentation.
7. Just go with it
Things aren’t going to go exactly as you had imagined them in your mind. Try to be okay with that and just go with it. The unplanned moments are usually the most memorable anyway.
Hope you enjoy your baby’s first Christmas!