Your Baby First Christmas
02:14 | 07/12/2013

Gymboree Christmas


Having a little elf in the house makes the season even more magical, but before you go overboard with outings, visitors, gifts, and decorating, take a breath. A holiday on steroids will likely lead to less joy and more jangled nerves, for your baby and for you. Here’s why: Babies tend to get overwhelmed by too many changes to their routines and surroundings, and they aren’t shy about letting you know it (with plenty of crying and tons of crankiness). A better plan: Make your baby’s first Christmas memorable instead of stressful with these ideas for the holidays.


  • Rein in the hoopla. Keep your baby’s first holiday experiences relatively intimate and low-key. Avoid bringing her to parties with crowds of relatives and friends (and lots of noise and germs) — especially if she’s still a teeny thing. Of course you want to show off your snow angel, but meeting lots of people at once can upset her — too many new faces, too much hubbub. Instead of hitting every big bash on the circuit, opt for smaller get-togethers this year or consider having just a few people over to your house. And when people do approach your baby, ask them to do so slowly so your sweetie doesn’t get scared.


  • Start your own holiday traditions. Your favorite holiday tradition may be wonderful, but is it baby-friendly? For example, this might not be the year to make that cross-country trip to see your parents or trudge through the snow to pick the perfect tree. But your baby’s first holiday is the perfect time to create new family traditions, like inviting a few friends over for cookie decorating, taking an evening stroll to check out the neighbors’ light displays, or delivering gifts to your local shelter. Keep in mind that it’s okay for traditions to change as your family does, so don’t be afraid to nix (or adapt) a ritual as your child gets older.


  • Slow the flow of gifts. Gearing up with a sleighful of Christmas gifts? Not so fast. At this stage of the game, too many presents will confuse rather than delight your little one. Pare down the gift list to just a few toys for your baby’s first holiday (and the next few seasons to come). Then spread the gift-giving over the course of the day instead of a ten-minute frenzy in the morning. If relatives go overboard with toys for your tot, stash a bunch to take out one by one over the next several months, especially when your cutie’s got a case of the crankies or you’re stuck indoors on an icky day. One more thing: Keep holiday safety in mind, and keep choking hazards such as bows, ribbons, and wrapping paper out of a baby’s reach.


  • Think small. This isn’t the year to host an open house for the entire neighborhood. Instead enjoy the special little moments of the season — like reading “The Night Before Christmas” aloud, playing with the grandparents, or just cuddling on lazy winter mornings. If you slow down and relish your time together as a brand-new family, you’ll be able to make your baby’s first holiday season a beautiful one for everyone.




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  • "Gymboree is a wonderful interactive program. Parents and children will be delighted to spend time together building strong bonds that will last a lifetime."

    - Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine, author: The Happiest Baby on the Block

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