2017 is slowly drawing to a close, and it could well have been a massive year for anyone reading this. I’m going to assume you’ve been reeled in by the amazingly catchy title, and that you’ve become a parent for the first time this year. As such, 2017 will forever be a year you remember. It could signal the start of a family for some of you, but it will undoubtedly be a memorable year for every new parent.
Some of you may have been parents for a good 11 months, while others might be parents for 11 days. Either way, you all have one thing in common; it’s going to be your first Christmas with a baby. For me, this is such a special thing. As a parent, Christmas is always the best time of the year because it’s so special to kids. Of course, there’s every chance your baby won’t have a clue what’s going on, but it’s still a very big moment for you. It’s a time you’ll look back on for many years; your baby’s first Christmas.
Consequently, you want to make it as amazing and magical as possible – while also ensuring there are no mishaps. So, I’ve created this guide that draws on some of my own experiences, as well as tips I’ve heard and found elsewhere. It’s split up into sections to make it easier for you to read, but every section provides the best advice on preparing for your first Christmas as a parent. Read on, and get planning for the big day!
Starting Christmas Traditions
Your first Christmas with a baby is the perfect time to start some new Christmas traditions. As your child gets older – and is maybe joined by other kids – you’ll appreciate these traditions even more. They become a core part of your family Christmas, and one of the main things everyone looks forward to every year.
Bearing that in mind, here are some great family traditions you might want to start this year:
Family Christmas Outfits
One of my personal favorite ideas is to get the whole family dressed up in matching Christmas outfits. You can get some super cute ones for your baby that will look just adorable. Then, you and your other half can dress up in Christmas jumpers too, meaning everyone is in the festive spirit. This becomes something you do every year, and it will be so much fun when your child is older.
The Final Tree Decoration
This is a really special little tradition that your child will grow to love as they get older. The idea is that you decorate your tree, and then let the baby put the final decoration on the top. Sure, they’re going to need a fair bit of assistance to do this, and you’ll probably do most of the work! But, it starts a tradition where your child puts the last decoration on the tree. When more come along, they can share this responsibility between them. For now, it’s a really cute way to finish your tree decorations.
A Family Film
The third and final idea is to settle down together and watch a family Christmas film. Ideally, you should pick one and watch it every year. Your baby might not know what they’re watching, and they’ll probably fall asleep too. But, it’s just perfect sitting on the sofa all cuddled up as a family watching a Christmas film. Then, it gets even better as time goes on.
There are plenty of other Christmas traditions out there that can be started this year. However, these are by far my favorite ideas.
Christmas Present Ideas
Even though your baby is small and doesn’t know much about anything, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get them presents. In actuality, some of the gifts you buy will be kept for years on end, and you can reminisce about them when they’re older. In a couple of years time, they could still have a gift, and you can tell them it was one of the first Christmas presents they ever had!
Plus, family members will be keen to give them loads of presents too, so you need to come up with suitable ideas to suggest to them. Here are some great gift ideas that are great for babies:
You can’t really go wrong with buying some baby clothes. Babies often make a fair bit of mess, so you need to have a few outfits lined up at all times. If you shop makaboo.com now, you’ll see examples of cute baby clothes that might suit your child. I like the idea of personalized outfits, as it makes the gift a little bit more special. Also, you could suggest to family and friends that they buy clothes that are a little bigger than your child’s size, just so they can wear them as they get bigger. It’s no use having a wardrobe full of outfits that they’ll grow out of in two months time.
Soft toys are also an exceptional gift idea for babies. They’re completely safe, and give your child something to cuddle. In my experience, it’s always good to get them one soft toy that becomes their special toy. It’ll be something they carry with them around the house, and they have for many years. This is one of those gifts you can give your child and then see it in five years time and tell them they’ve had it since their very first Christmas. It’ll make it even more special, and also provides a soft little friend for your baby to cuddle while they sleep.
I don’t really know how to generalize these gifts, so I’ve just called them activity toys. This is because they often have that word in their title; things like activity jumper or activity gym. Essentially, they’re toys where you can put your baby in or on something, and they’ve got plenty of things to play with. For example, an activity gym is like a little play area full of things that can shake, twist, and enjoy looking at. An activity jumper is similar, only you fit your child into a little seat type thing, so they’re standing upright and can almost mimic jumping. Baby swings are a great way for babies to play with you having to worry about what they’re up to. Here’s a link to the best swing for older babies list. I’m far from good at explaining how much babies enjoy them, so I’ll leave a video below to show you what I’m talking about.
When it comes to gifts, make sure you get things that are useful. There’s no point buying a load of toys as they’ll be too young to use them. Also, don’t spend a fortune! Your child isn’t even 1 yet, they don’t need a lot spent on them. Save money to pay for other things, and rely on friends/family to provide most of the gifts.
Creating and Preserving Memories
When all is said and done, the main thing this Christmas is about is memories. You want to make as many as you can, and keep them for a lifetime. Like I said, your baby’s first Christmas is a really special one, and you want evidence of it forever.
Below, you have the best ways in which you can do this:
Photos & Videos
In this day and age, we’re lucky enough to have cameras on our phones, meaning we never miss a moment. On Christmas Day, and in the build-up to the big event, you should be snapping away with your phone at every opportunity. There’s no such thing as too many photos of your baby at Christmas, just maybe keep some for yourself to avoid bombarding everyone on social media! These photos can be saved and stored in the cloud for safekeeping, or you can print them out. Similarly, you should film as much of it as you can, especially Christmas morning when they’re getting their first presents.
Likewise, I think it’s a good idea to get some professional photos done. Book your baby in for a photoshoot with a pro photographer, and you can create some stunning images. Get involved too, and have some cute family Christmas photos.
Special Christmas Ornament
This idea is so great for creating and preserving a memory of their first Christmas. It’s simple, you get a special ornament made to commemorate the moment. Or, and this is my favorite idea, you decorate an ornament yourself. Get a plain bauble, and help decorate it with your child. Even if this means they throw glitter and loads of random things on it. Make sure you mark it with the date and a message saying it’s their first Christmas. You can get this out every year and hang it on your tree to keep the memory going forever.
On that note, you’ve reached the end of my guide. I hope you’ve found a lot of useful tips and suggestions here, to help your family have the perfect Christmas. Most of all, remember to enjoy the moment. Yes, taking photos and videos is a great idea, but don’t forget to put your phone down and just embrace time with your family. So, here’s to a very special Christmas for anyone celebrating it with their new baby.