Christmas may be over, but the holidays are still in full force. School doesn’t go back for us until Monday which means bedtimes are still a little lax. And while our tree is still trimmed and will be until Epiphany, many a person on my social media streams have already taken theirs down. Still, no one is back to normal yet. Our family has still yet to do our Christmas travels (but we are packing for this weekend!).
With holidays, vacation days, travelling, and visiting comes something every experienced parent fears: schedule disruption. There’s nothing quite like a baby who missed a nap or who is hungry at an inopportune time. Of course, parents of older kids also have to contend with the pitfalls of schedule disruption too, which often appears more subtly but definitely as drastic. As parents, it can be an overwhelming task to try to balance your children’s routines with the holiday expectations of your loved ones. Sometimes saving everyone from an inevitable meltdown can instead be read as catering too much to little dictators.
Here are some tips to take with you to tonight’s New Years’ Eve parties and into the new year, as you balance the needs of your children with the expectations of everyone else during the “happiest” times of the year.
Keep a Schedule
Try to keep your little one’s schedule as close to their regular routine as possible. This doesn’t mean you both need to miss out on all of the holiday fun! Bring your children with you to holiday gatherings, but if the timing will get in the way of strict schedules, consider finding a way to migrate those routines to the party location. You can still put your kids to bed at a normal time even away from home if you bring a portable bed and some favourite bedtime routine items from home. Find a quiet place to let your baby sleep while you continue to enjoy the evening.
The holidays are full of bright colours and sugary treats, but keep a close eye on your littlest ones to make sure they aren’t able to grab anything that would make them sick or that they could choke on. Keep candy bowls up high and small stocking stuffers out of reach.
(He actually did end up eating the leftover Santa’s cookies when he woke up in the morning. Oh well. It was Christmas).
It is my baby’s first Christmas, but at 11 and a half months, Logan is definitely aware when his brothers are eating their Christmas treats and he always wants some too. During holiday gatherings, adults are often very eager to introduce young children to the holiday goodies that the adults are enjoying, whether the baby is ready to indulge or not. As your child’s parent, consider always having age-appropriate snacks for baby to eat at times when everyone else are enjoying their food. This helps your child engage in the social setting while ensuring that he is eating food you approve of. For snack ideas, consider small pieces of fruit, cereal bars, or age-appropriate baby cookies.
They may be young, but they’re still growing and their little systems rely eating healthy food at regular intervals. Even though your schedule may be too hectic to sit down for a family meal, make sure your children are still getting good meals on their regular schedule. For babies, this is a great time to grab a healthy ready-to-serve meal like President’s Choice® Organics Vegetable and Rice Casserole with Chicken which will help you avoid the prep time when you’re super busy.
Deck the Halls
It is so much fun to introduce a baby to Christmas decorations for the very first time. But it is important to keep your home safe for them too. Tinsel is a choking hazard, so if you really love it, save it for later years when your children are a bit older. Many Christmas plants such as mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are beautiful but toxic and should be kept well out of reach of your children to prevent poisoning.
If it is too hard to take kids out to holiday gatherings, be a host instead, so that your kids can keep up their routines while you get to socialize. Or, make plans this holiday with other parents with children who understand that you’ll be anxious to keep up a routine even whilst visiting. Tonight we’re going to a New Year’s Eve gathering where we’ll be counting down to midnight at 8pm and then heading home to get the kiddies in bed. The hosts have young kids too, so this plan worked for everyone involved!
Above all else, allow your children (including the baby) to participate in all aspects of the holiday. Find ways for them to be involved from decorating the tree to visiting Santa to playing with the baby-safe manger scene. Visit friends and family and enjoy this festive time as a family. Take photos and remember that this is the Christmas you’ll always remember as your baby’s first.
This post was sponsored by President’s Choice Organics Baby, which is a great option to help your baby to grow up happy and healthy. While I was compensated for this post, all experiences are true and my own.