Lifestyle Wellbeing

10 Ways To Make Christmas With Babies or Toddlers Easier!

11th December 2014
When daddy dresses up as Father Christmas and your toddler has no idea it's him!

 

  1. Expectations – Keep plans and expectations low key and just go with the flow. Just because it’s your baby’s first (second or third!) Christmas, doesn’t mean it will necessary be magical (i.e. more sleep filled and less demanding than usual!).
  2. Decorations – if your little one is on the move then you will need to think carefully about decorations! Don’t put anything out that you don’t mind being touched, moved around 7,658 times and, alas, broken. We’ve been putting off getting our tree this year as Imogen is at the prime age (18 months old) for destruction! We’re going to get one that we can put on a table instead of the floor too as damage limitation.
  3. Father Christmas – it is not unusual for small children to be terrified of Santa. A strange man, in a bizarre costume with a beard, it’s easy to see why they are wary. Something to think about before you spend £££ on a visit to see him.
  4. Traditions – I’ve never been so aware of what traditions other people have for Christmas (stockings or not, where are they left, when are presents opened, leaving a mince pie for Father Christmas etc) than talking with Andy about what traditions we wanted our kids to have. It’s been lots of fun to agree on traditions for our kids and see them evolve.
  5. Travelling – keep it simple! Don’t feel like you need to travel to see everyone just because it’s Christmas. Small children aren’t always happy travellers, my youngest HATES long car journeys, which makes it stressful for us all. If you’re staying with relatives (or others!), think about how you can reassure your little ones when they sleep away from home. We often take their own sheets and pillows (that have just been on their own beds) so the feel and smell of them are familiar. Both kids don’t always sleep well away from home, so we’re prepared for that now.
  6. Presents – less is more! We learnt this the hard (expensive) way when Seren took a week to open her presents on her second Christmas. She opened a few each day as wanted to play with new toys right away (as she should!) and got bored of opening presents really quickly. I also wrapped her presents for her 1st Christmas (she was 3 months old) and guess who had to open them? Yes, me – and she wasn’t really that interested.
  7. Routines – little ones tend to like routines to help them make sense of their world. If they usually have porridge for breakfast, lunch at 12pm followed by a nap then watch In The Night Garden before bedtime then they will probably want to do that even on Christmas Day.
  8. Meal times – before I had kids, I had visions of a happy family sat around the dinner table, especially at times like Christmas. Expecting your little person to eat a meal of unfamiliar food at an unusual time, in a different place with different people … may not result in a dream family meal! When my girls were babies, the ideal would be for us to eat our meal whilst they napped. Now, I don’t expect my toddler to remain seated for the duration of a family meal and will have quiet toys on standby for her to play with near by. I do expect my 4 year old to make more effort to stay at the table though I appreciate she can help entertain the toddler! And I can eat.
  9. Cuddles – relatives love to hold babies and cuddle small children but most babies are happiest with their parents (and especially mummy in our house!). So don’t be afraid to limit cuddles with others if your little ones are unsettled by it. It’s not selfish to put your baby’s needs above others’ feelings.
  10. Get outside – plenty of fresh air is good for us all, especially with the sensory overload of Christmas. So make sure you get out for a walk to recharge,  even if it’s just around the neighbourhood.

This post was first published in December 2015. 

7 Comments

  • Reply Mummy's Blog 11th December 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I agree with all of these. We haven’t gone too overboard this year as my daughter will be 21 months and as much as I’d like it to be magical, the reality is there’s no point putting too much pressure on myself to make it perfect, as she still doesn’t really understand any of it!
    #thelist
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    • Reply Sian 14th December 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Absolutely! Go easy on yourself whilst you can. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Alice 11th December 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Lovely tips – I love the idea of taking their sheets with you if you are staying overnight 🙂 We are having Christmas at ours this year – so much easier than taking the entire contents of your house to someone else’s house for a few days!
    Have a great one,
    Alice x
    #thelist
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    • Reply Sian 14th December 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Sounds like a good plan – we are staying at home too! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Kate Tunstall 12th December 2015 at 11:05 am

    Fab piece. I feel a bit of a scrooge for being so rigid EVEN on xmas day, but it’s so necessary for my daughter.

    I hope putting these into practice enables all us mums – and our babies – to have a lovely Christmas! X

    • Reply Sian 14th December 2015 at 3:03 pm

      You have to do what works for you and your little one! And for lots of them breaking routine just isn’t worth the fall out! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply You Baby Me Mummy 17th December 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Great tips. Getting outside is good for everyone’s sanity. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…My Baby’s JourneyMy Profile

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