Monday, November 20, 2017

Preparing Your Home For Baby's First Christmas ♥

There’s something undeniably magical about Christmas. From Bing Crosby to Tim Minchin, many have rhapsodised about the season’s ability to bring out the best in everyone and help us to appreciate the people who are the most special to us. Christmas is the time for family, friends, food, fun and frivolity. It’s a time when we take a look around us, hold the ones we love close to us and feel that maybe, just maybe all might be right with the world.

For new parents, the season becomes yet more magical. The birth of a child has an odd tendency to cast everything familiar to you in a new light. While it’s a lot of hard work, it’s utterly exhausting and it can make us feel like we’re constantly on the verge of madness, it also coats our mundane old world with fairy dust and helps us see the magic of everyday life that much clearer.

While your baby’s first Christmas will be a wonderful time, whatever it may bring, there are a few ways in which you can make sure that your home is ready to make your baby’s first Christmas extra magical (and extra safe).

Keeping them happy and healthy

We all know just how many nasty viral infections are proliferate at this time of year. Because of their under developed immune systems, new babies are particularly vulnerable to infection. Your baby’s first Christmas shouldn’t be sullied by ill health (nor should yours). Looking after sick kids can be incredibly stressful and draining, especially when combined with the logistical plate spinning exercise that is Christmas.

With this in mind, it’s important to limit their risk of infection prior to the big day. Making sure that your hands are kept clean and sanitary is a must, especially before changing nappies, preparing meals or wiping a runny nose. It’s also important to make sure that baby’s hands are kept clean, too especially prior to eating.

Get your Christmas on in the kitchen

When most of us think of the festive season, our thoughts turn to delicious foods and merriment with friends and family in and around the kitchen. The lead into Christmas is the perfect time to give your kitchen a spruce, whether you intend to make a few cosmetic changes here and there, invest in a new appliance or rebuild your entire kitchen from the ground up.

Of course you don’t need to start rethinking your kitchen surfaces or making undermount sink choices to reinvigorate your kitchen to make it feel more cosmetically homely and functional for the unique demands of the season. At the very least you should aim to de-clutter your surfaces and deck the cupboards with wreaths, garlands or red and white candy canes (although try to keep tinsel out of the equation-nobody wants to spend their Christmas dinner picking it out of their food).

Baby proof your Christmas tree

If your baby is going through that crawling, grabby phase, you may well worry about how this may clash with the physics of your average Christmas tree. After all, the yuletide staple seems as though it were designed to be a risk to babies. With so many colourful shiny objects just outside of the reach of tiny grabby hands, the potential risk of burying your little one under an avalanche of pine needles, baubles and gaudily wrapped presents. It may not be enormously harmful for your baby, but they probably won’t thank you for the experience.

Fortunately, here are steps you can take to make your tree more baby safe. If you don’t already have a tree, it’s recommended that you buy an artificial one as pine needles can become dislodged and scooped up by baby who will respond by putting them in his or her mouth. One or two will likely be fairly harmless, but big handfuls may get stuck. Furthermore, a real tree’s bark can contain particles of mould and pollen grains which may provoke the allergic reaction known as Christmas Tree Syndrome.

Your best bet is to invest in an artificial tree that’s small enough to keep out of baby’s reach. If it simply isn’t Christmas without a real tree or a large tree, your best bet is to fence the tree off with a playpen or position it a little further away from the main living area than usual.

Start knitting baby’s first Christmas stocking

As well as being great Instagram bait, your baby’s first Christmas stocking can stay with you forever as a memento of this special day. If you’re skilled with a set of needles, you can knit your own or embroider your baby’s names onto a store bought stocking. Babies stocking can be jam packed with goodies like;

  • Board books
  • Soft toys
  • Snacks
  • Dummies
  • Clothes and socks

Don’t be shy with the decorations

Christmas is a delight for the senses, with pungent aromas, bright and vivid colours and pretty shapes and lights everywhere, there’s so much to stimulate a curious young mind. Christmas decorations can be completely delightful for a baby, so don’t be afraid to apply them to your home liberally for your baby’s first Christmas. Of course, it’s important to keep choking hazards like baubles out of reach and delicate trails of fairy lights out of grabbing reach (otherwise your whole setup could come tumbling down), but with a little care and attention there’s no reason why your home can’t be a sensorial delight for baby. For both of my boys I had a special 'Baby's 1st Christmas' tree on display on a shelf in their rooms. It was decorated with blue decorations and special 'Baby's 1st Christmas' adorned decorations too. Any new baby in our family will always have their own, special tree for their first Christmas. If they need something tangible, make sure that they have a Christmas themed teddy to cuddle.

Take lots of pictures

You’ll never get this moment again, so feel free to unleash your inner shutterbug. These are the images you’ll treasure for years (and embarrass your kids with when they bring home their prom date), so don’t be shy. But at the same time make sure that you take the time to be in the moment and enjoy the day through your own eyes and not through a lens.

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