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How to handle the holidays with children

>> Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your first holiday as a family with children can be quite a bit different than your childless holidays.  From family gatherings to your typical traditions, your experiences may be very different with an infant or toddler.  Here are some general guidelines that may help you and your family through your first holiday season together.

- You may have to skip things, or spend less time at gatherings.  With a new baby, most times you will suffer the consequences of throwing them off their routine for days after the actual event you attend.  If you're willing to accept that fact, then go right on ahead and do everything like you did the year before.  If you're not, then chances are you'll have to plan your holiday get together's around your baby's schedule.  That may mean skipping later parties or only coming and staying for an hour or skipping the sit-down meal.

- Keep extra sets of clothes in your car or diaper bag.  Chances are either you or your babe are going to end up with some sort of explosion on you, whatever kind that may be, and it always ends up happening when you're already dressed for the event.  Keep an extra set of clothes handy for both you and baby!

- Try Santa pictures with your babe, but be prepared for it to not work.  Most parents who celebrate Christmas look forward to their child's first picture with Santa, but it can go from a fun experience to a meltdown in record time.  Plan ahead to have one parent close to your child and one parent taking extra pictures, because you are going to need to double team this one in case of a scary Santa encounter.

- Make your own new holiday traditions.  Sure, it's easy to focus on how different the holidays will be from now on initially, but there are plenty of new traditions you can develop for your own family.  Have a cranky little one?  Try putting them in their car seat for a drive while you and your significant other or spouse looks at holiday lights.  Calming for the baby, fun for mom & dad.

What are some ways your holidays have changed since having a child?

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