christmas with a baby

How can you 'survive' Christmas with a baby? Many parents ask themselves that question when the holidays knock on the door.

Those days when you only had to worry about those extra pounds that you could put on or who was going to drive you home while being tipsy are over. When a baby comes into your life, the whole Christmas experience changes along with him, as your munchkin doesn't have 'days off'. He or she has the same needs, which have to be attended regardless of such a festivity. 

That said, let's agree on the fact that facing Christmas with a baby requires some planning and preparation in order to keep his routine unaltered, along with adopting safety measures to prevent him from accidents during such hectic days. Do you need some guidance on the matter? If so, have a look at the following tips!

1- Stick to your munchkin's schedule 

Although it may not be easy, try to adjust to the baby's routine as much as you can, no matter the celebration you join. Meal times are sacred, and so is his sleeping time, so don't let your baby down just because of the festive spirit. Plan ahead depending on, for example, the place where the party is going to take place: if it's going to be at home or you'll have to travel instead, which can make a big difference in relation to the baby's routine. The party place aside, you should stick a copy of your baby's daily needs on the fridge, so that you don't forget about the timing and, also, so that the rest of the people are aware of it. Ah, and don't let others make you feel guilty if you can't get that involved in the celebration!

2- Baby you can ride my car 

Many families hit the road during Christmas, and yours may be one of them. Visiting those relatives that live far away from you with a baby on board can disrupt your child's schedule, so pay attention to certain details. For example, pack enough nappies for the trip, along with your baby's favourite toys, which can help you settle him if he gets cranky. Stop en route whenever it's necessary and, of course, don't skip any meal. Make sure the baby's car seat is well set up and don't forget that, during these holidays, roads tend to be busy and there may be bad weather conditions to watch for along the way. Anyway, if you can avoid taking a long trip, do it.

3- Check carefully the place you are staying at

Going to somebody else's house and start checking every corner may not be the politest thing to do. However, this time it's for good reasons. Even before your baby was born, you and Dad probably worked on your own place to make it suitable for your child by, for example, covering sharp edges with fluffy materials, locking windows and installing safety guards across balconies or entries, among others. If your child is already a toddler, talk to the owners of the house and ask them about potential hazards that there may be in their place, so that you can keep your child safe.

4- Don't play with fire

When considering Christmas with a baby, keep the 'fire component' in mind. Almost everybody enjoys gathering with family and friends to sit by the fireplace, especially after having a feast and when it's cold outside. This sets the perfect environment for playing games, chit-chatting and dozing off, which is fine as long as your child isn't unattended. You don't want him crawling around flames or experiencing how a shiny candle feels to the touch!

5- Oh Christmas tree, how steadfast are your branches (really?)

Always present, the Christmas tree can arouse the baby's curiosity, and that's nothing you should be taken aback by. However, such an interest in this sparkly Christmas essential can lead your child to pull its branches, taking it down and causing an accident. That's why you should be ahead of that possibility by putting a smaller tree up in a place where your little one has no access. Another thing you can do is put a fence around the tree.

6- Christmas with a baby… And with yourself!

Getting ready for Christmas, with a baby or not, is usually pretty stressful, since there are plenty of things to do: making Christmas cards, decorating, cooking and shopping a lot. You may need somebody, besides Dad, to give you a hand these days, so that you can have some time for yourself to work on such details. Ask your relatives and friends to babysit your child, even if it's just to take a two-hour break!

Christmas means presents, and that's very exciting when it comes to your baby's. Your house will get full of toys, games and clothes for your little one, but keep an eye on them. Be sure the stuff he gets, either from you or your family, isn't hazardous according to his age. For example, pay special attention to those toys that contain small parts, as he could choke on them, and they could have some toxic chemicals. The same rule must apply for Christmas decorations, including little figures with glitter, which can damage babies' eyes.

In short, Christmas with a baby doesn't have to be a matter of survival. Obviously, it requires some planning and making efforts for the baby's wellbeing, like deciding when the party is over even if you are having fun and up for more. But rather than that, having Christmas with a baby adds a magical feeling that will take you back to your early days, and that's priceless indeed!