The holidays are an exciting time. And when you become a parent, its pretty joyous to experience the holidays through the eyes of a child. But with all the festivities (and pinterest), its easy to get wrapped up in the expectations and perfect visions of what the holiday might look like. Here's a gentle reminder…you have a baby…and you may want to keep your expectations low.
Don't call me the grinch just yet! This morning we held a special Baby Basics event sponsored by Fisher Price and welcomed lots of mamas and babies to come and play with some of Fisher Price's hottest new toys for babies just in time for holiday shopping. While the Fisher-Price® 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride & Ride Elephant was the biggest hit of the morning, there were lots of options for the little ones to check out including the Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Chair and the Woodland Friends SpaceSaver Jumperoo (this thing folds flat easily!)
And while holiday chatter filled the room, we also chatted about Mommy Moments – those ones that make you tear up (baby's first steps) and the ones that you covet just about everyday (a hot cup of coffee, a shower AND time to blow dry your hair). And here's where my realism comes in, your everyday life with baby, is still going to be the same on Christmas Day – so set your expectations accordingly. Please don't misinterpret my thoughts, baby's first Christmas is special and making keepsakes to mark the event is a must (love this keepsake Santa plate). We're also a fan of getting the holiday outfit and taking the first Santa picture (tears and all) and all those important milestones.
But whether your baby is just a few weeks old or approaching their first birthday, naps and feeding times, diaper blowouts and spit up are still going to be a part of the holidays. So here are our 5 ways to keep it real and give you a chance to really enjoy baby's first Christmas.
1. When thinking presents, think practical. Grandparents, extended family and parents themselves may tend to go overboard (especially if its the first grandchild!) Focus your gift lists and pick out toys that you know will engage your little one and provide longevity. We consistently hear that feedback about Fisher Price toys – they are fabulous for growing with your baby (read more about the Smart Stages toys here) and remain baby's favourite for a long time.
2. Celebrate your new family! Baby's first Christmas is a great time to chat with your partner about how you'd like to mark the holidays as a family. Will you pick a charitable act each year? Do you want to add a new keepsake ornament to the tree or pick a special Christmas morning breakfast to make? Its fun to think about what Christmas will look like as your family grows.
3. Keep it simple. Baby's day will be the same as any other day which means over stimulation, no time for naps and being passed around too much will result in a cranky or fussy baby. While you are sure to get lots of holiday invitations, don't pack too much into the holidays. In the end it won't be fun at all for you or the baby.
4. Don't have a big wish list for yourself? Put 'me time' at the top of the list! Whether its some time alone or time as a couple, this is a perfect gift for those with a baby. If you have family visiting or are going to stay with family, make sure you ask if babysitting is an option. Having some time alone is a great way to enjoy some holiday cheer while celebrating all you've accomplished and whethered since bringing baby home.
5. Don't try too hard. Much like the advice of asking (and accepting help) when you first brought baby home, the same advice applies here. Don't try and do it all – this may not be the year to hand make presents for all your friends, host Christmas dinner for your family and the inlaws, make a DIY advent calendar, make fresh cedar boughs and bake cookies for all your co-workers you miss while on mat leave. While you may think that being on mat leave IS the year to channel Martha Stewart, just relax and enjoy your baby and try and pack in some time for you!
And as your little one gets older, you will start to realize that one year Christmas will start to feel that much more Christmas-y again…it may just take a few years, and that's okay.
Thanks to Fisher Price for sponsoring a special Baby Basics event. Visit their website and follow #fpmommymoments on social media for more information about gear and toys.