If this is your first Christmas with a new baby, then first of all a big Congratulations from all of us! Your baby's first Christmas will be a big event for you, even if your little one has no clue what is happening around them. If you are stressing out, or others are piling on the pressure, we have a few tips and ideas that we hope might help make the day as enjoyable as possible for all of you.
- Keep to baby's routine - Your baby is going to be the youngest one at this family Christmas, but for everyone's sake let the day be organised around them if at all possible. If you always have Christmas dinner at 1pm but baby is due to be napping then, could you have the meal earlier or later? A rested baby with a full tummy is going to make the day a lot less stressful than a tired and hungry one.
- Don't get too many presents - you will want to spoil your new baby at Christmas, but they have no idea what's happening. To them it's lots of lights, noise, people and extra stimulation. Although it's a cliché they really will spend more time playing with the box and wrapping paper than the gift itself, and if they get bored or stressed then put some presents aside for the evening, or even Boxing Day. Using coloured tissue paper rather than wrapping paper will also make it easier for baby to unwrap their own presents and join in the fun
- Take a rest - if you are going to be with family over Christmas then let them do the cuddling, rocking to sleep, playing and so on. It's sometimes hard to take a back seat but the chances are they would love to spend a bit of time with the baby, and it gives you a chance to take a bit of a rest.
- Choose a practical Christmas outfit for baby - There are so many beautiful and cute festive clothes for babies, but if you can then make it practical as well as pretty. If you have a very young baby who is going to be asleep much of Christmas day then you need them to be comfortable, as well as making nappy changes easy.
- Take lots of photos - Really, take loads, and remember to get some with you in them as well!
- Make your own traditions - My husband and I grew up with very different traditions about where the presents would be, when they were opened, what time dinner was and so on. Well now that you have started your own family it's your chance to start again and pick what are going to be your family traditions.
- Enjoy it! - Whatever you do try and enjoy the day. Don't spend it in the kitchen cooking up a feast, you have enough to do looking after a newborn. Keep it simple and have fun.
Do you have any tips for new parents at Christmas? We'd love to hear what you think.
Whatever you do for your baby's first Christmas have a wonderful time.