baby’s first Christmas

Celebrating Baby’s first Christmas

Baby in Santa suit for Christmas

Not every baby dresses as Santa for Christmas, but you can mark their first Christmas as something special in various ways…

Does your family do something special or different when there is a new baby experiencing Christmas for the first time?

It has become commonplace for retailers to offer stockings and baubles with ‘baby’s first Christmas’ on them, but there are many other ways to make the first Christmas special for the new parents and everyone’s memories.

Maybe start a family tradition of Christmas photos (thanks for the idea Bronwyn) or the youngest person gets the first gift. Or perhaps rethink the venue and format of your Christmas celebrations to be more baby and child friendly. Get everyone to sign a Christmas card or scrapbook page (like a 21st key or wedding guest book) or record a video message.

So, what does your family do for first Christmases? Or is another Christmas experience considered more important in your family?

Gifts for new parents

Having 5 kids, I know about babies and how to care for them 🙂 I also know how tiring a new baby can be – especially for people who are learning who to do the practical things as well as coping with the physical and emotional aspects of new parenthood.

baby in santa suit and hat holding a gift under a Christmas tree

As cute as babies are, remember their parents at Christmas time, too!

So after reading Marissa’s story of loving the babysitting voucher, I thought I would share some gift ideas for new parents as family and friends often want to help but have no idea how…

There are 2 concepts – one is to give them some pampering to refresh them and remind them they are people beyond parents – but I’m just going to give ideas for helping them as parents.

    • a bag of nappies – most cloth using parents will still use disposables for holidays or big outings
    • a subscription to a nappy wash service
    • a basket of items such as baby wipes, baby shampoo, laundry detergent, clothes pegs, baby socks/tights and cleaning cloths
    • vouchers – think of babysitting, cooking a meal, cleaning the house, doing some clothes washing, buying groceries, mowing the lawn and weeding. For an even bigger gift, give them a collection of vouchers…
    • photo frames and albums are always good – but modern alternatives may be gift vouchers from a printing service or spending some time putting their photos into folders (on their computer or an online service)
    • look ahead and give the baby gifts for winter  – not only does it save them going out in the cold, I always found that I got so many summer clothes many weren’t used much and winter was expensive

computer, tablet, mobile phone beside a row of Christmas gift boxes

  • find a way to help them communicate with the outside world – top up their prepaid phone credit, pay for membership at an online parenting site or a play group, teach them how to use Facebook, advice on a good phone plan, etc li>
  • for very new parents, maybe get with some others and buy a high chair or booster seat (like a high chair for when they’re out) – or give them money/voucher towards it
  • ask what they need! Radical idea really to ask but it’s better to ask before giving more singlets (despite what many say, you can have too many singlets!), grosuits and bottles. If they have everything practical they want, look to the child’s next stage and maybe give some infant/child cutlery and crockery, car organisers or training pants
  • money or store vouchers may not seem an exciting gift but it is a practical way to help new parents who may be struggling with the extra expenses and less income
  • give some music – it can make life easier (such as music that calms a baby), provide enjoyment for parents and child (and music is good for baby’s development), and it’s something that is often left off new parents’ shopping list musical notes beside a Christmas tree and Christmas gift

First Christmas stockings

I don’t remember such a fuss being made about a baby’s first Christmas when I was younger – I never saw baubles and stockings declaring ‘baby’s first christmas’ until my own kids were at least teenagers! And I’m not sure anyone benefits from this change – well, no one other than the retailers that is.

For starters, the baby can’t read and doesn’t really care – sorry to disappoint you but it’s true. If the baby is old enough to sit up and watch Christmas around them, they’ll be more interested in the wrapping paper, people and decorations than a stocking (especially as many are insipid pastel things for some silly gender bias).

I prefer the ideas from Santa’s Elf on items that are at least reusable – put the year of the first Christmas on the stocking they’ll use for the next decade or so or get a beautiful photo you can display. Much better use of money than a stocking that is too small to hold anything and looks silly if used for baby’s second or third Christmas.

But even better is to just enjoy Christmas with that baby – they don’t stay babies for long so treasure it by playing together rather than buying mementos you’ll just have to store and never look at again.

A special note for grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on – it’s cute to acknowledge someone’s first Christmas with a baby but think about if they really want a cheap stocking or a genuine keepsake. My daughter was inundated last year with cutesy stockings and baubles – she feels guilty throwing them out but hates the idea of storing such nonsense. The friend who took a lovely photo of each parent holding the baby and framed them put in a little more effort and his gift is proudly on the wall for all to see.

My daughter was also happy with her brother’s ‘first Christmas’ idea of starting a family album where a photo of my grandchildren (I assume more will come!) will be placed each Christmas as a record of the family growing.

So I just think people should put a little thought into first Christmases rather than those commercialised ideas retailers want us to follow. I don’t mean to offend, just to get people thinking…

Remembering baby’s first Christmas

As parents and families, we often get excited by a baby’s first experience of things – and Christmas is no exception to this.Baby in a first Christmas bib

Of course, what happens for the baby on Christmas can be very different as it could be one day or 364 days since their birthday. A newborn will have no idea Christmas Day is special but an older baby will notice things are happening.

Many of the things done to show it is a special day for the new family form mementos (keepsakes) that can be saved or even reused, such as:

  • a Love Santa letter that is added to a scrapbooking album or frame after Christmas
  • a toy Santa or reindeer labelled for the baby or ‘first Christmas’ can be used as an annual decoration or plaything for a limited time each year
  • giving a (full size) Christmas stocking with the child’s name and year on it – this can be used at subsequent Christmases
  • Christmas tree decorations with the name and year or ‘first Christmas’ on the decoration – again, this can be used each  year as a reminder and given to the child for their own home when they are an adult
  • mini Christmas stocking with ‘baby’s first Christmas’ printed on it
  • a top or suit with ‘baby’s first Christmas’ printed on it – if given early enough, this can be worn at various December events, too!
  • a special photo (such as a photo with Santa) can be framed or highlighted in an album
  • a personally written letter, poem or story can be displayed that Christmas then stored in a scrapbooking album or treasures box
What special items has your family got stored away from a baby’s first Christmas? Do they ever get looked at or reused?
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