Being a new parent during the holidays is one of the most exciting experiences! But there can be some stressful aspects as well. Use this guide for everything you need for holidays with a baby, from how to coordinate seeing family to what you should do to commemorate your child’s first holiday season.
Your baby’s first Christmas is always a big one. While they might not remember being showered with gifts, you sure will! With family and friends also excited for your little one’s first holiday, expect to receive gifts for both you and your baby, especially if you have a wish list. As far as giving gifts, don’t sweat making the Christmas tree be filled with presents under it. Having some nicely wrapped gifts for photo opportunities is nice, but save the intense decorating for when your child will remember the decorations and Santa’s visits. It’ll save you time wrapping gifts and give you more quality time to spend with your family.
Document the Memories
Of course, one of the most important things to remember is documenting the memories! You don’t necessarily have to do the Santa photo, but take pictures of the moments happening all throughout the holiday season. There’s a chance this is the first time your baby is meeting family members, or perhaps it’s their first snow. These will be memories that you will fondly look back on. You can upload the files to the cloud, or you can use them to create custom scrapbooks or ornaments for future holidays. Either way, you’ll be happy to have these reminders of your baby’s first Christmas.
Take Extra Precautions with Health
If we’ve learned anything from the last year and a half, it’s that health is a precious thing. For your baby’s first holiday season, keep an eye on their health. Cold temperatures and large gatherings can make catching a cold easier, so try to take extra precautions. These precautions can include washing your hands frequently, minimizing time spent outdoors in the cold, wearing a mask, dressing appropriately, limiting large group interactions, and eating a healthy diet. If you are breastfeeding, your diet impacts the nutrition your baby is receiving, so be cautious about what you are eating as well! Also, keep hazards like Christmas lights and ornaments out of reach.
Be Cautious of Food
The holidays are all about food, so be sure that what you’re around is safe for your baby if they are near. Peanuts are the leading trigger of food allergies in children, but other common allergies include cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Many of those ingredients are present in holiday cooking. If your baby is too young to have been tested for allergies, it is best to avoid certain foods, especially if you do not know all the ingredients. Additionally, some treats can cause choking hazards as well. If your baby is in the grabby phase, keep them away from tiny foods like appetizers.
Spending time with your family and friends for the holidays is always a joy, but don’t be afraid to say no or set some boundaries. Being a new parent is hectic enough, and throwing holiday plans on top of that can be overwhelming. Take the days one at a time, and be honest in your answers. If you can’t make it to a holiday party, kindly decline. Or if you have to cancel plans, the host will be understanding as long as you’re upfront. Boundaries also apply to visitors. If you don’t have the bandwidth to have someone over, that is totally okay. Most people are understanding of the time and limits that happen when someone is a new parent.
Make Time to Rest
Along the same lines of setting boundaries with others, you should also set boundaries with yourself! A hectic holiday season mixed with having a baby can prove to be stressful. Make time for yourself to rest and relax. Enjoy the slow moments and be okay with not being fully booked. Spending the holidays with a baby in your life is a sweet time to appreciate the little things in life. If you are feeling worn out, it affects both you and your baby. Plan a movie night with your partner at home, order in some delivery, and draw yourself a hot bath for some alone time to take a step back. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Hire a babysitter or ask a friend to watch your little one if need be.
This holiday season, it’s all about spending time with those you love and having an amazing first holiday with your baby! The key things to remember are to enjoy the small moments and make memories that last a lifetime. Though your baby might not remember their first Christmas, they are sure to love hearing about it as they grow up. Happy holidays from the team at Red Rock Fertility Center!