At phil&teds we’re parents too, so we understand the challenges in the parenting day. With the Christmas season just around the corner, we thought we’d give you some pointers from a Dad that’s been through it all before
You’ve made it to your first Christmas with a baby. It’s time to let the festivities begin!
Now that it’s Christmas time you might feel like there are many challenges compounded. These could include:
- Family visiting from all around the globe
- Old friends popping in from out of town
- Christmas shopping extending the credit card
- Many other pressures that are making your parenting day infinitesimally more demanding
Christmas with a baby doesn’t have to be a high pressure furnace of expectation vs. reality. There are tools, methods, hacks and products that can alleviate pressure and make it a festive experience.
On reflection I like to think about it as the first really big collaboration of all the new skills I learnt as a fledgling father. Here are some hacks to help a new parent over the Christmas period.
Christmas with a baby hack #1: Be grateful for friends and family
The Christmas period is all about togetherness and enjoying the company of friends and family. And unsurprisingly, most of them will be coping with the same or similar challenges as you are. I find the best way to alleviate any added pressure is to be a good host. Relax, feel the vibe and appreciate that everyone that is there has taken the effort to turn up! Be grateful for your friends.
Christmas with a baby hack #2: Use the extra man power to your advantage
Remember that old adage ‘many hands make light work’? Yeah. Even if you’ve got extra kids in the house you could be spending cumulatively less time with the children. How does this work? Divvy out responsibility to 1 or 2 of the other grown up humans to take care of the 4 children. In my case, this literally makes the situation more efficient. 2 adults looking after 4 children at a time frees up the resource of 4 adults. Easy peasy.
Now as a complete flip turn, you have more resource and time at your fingertips to either:
- Return the house to its former pristine glory
- Enjoy the company of your family and friends for the short moment in time they’re there
What would you choose?
Christmas with a baby hack #3: Carby foods are your friend
We all know that carbohydrates make us doze, so as a cheeky parenting hack, try filling their diet with starchy deliciousness. Carbs are great for plumping them up and what’s best is that most children love the chance to chow down on chips and mash potato type dishes.
Great carb loaded dishes include:
- Hash browns
- Potato salads
- Mac & cheese
- Fried rice
When they’re done, watch them as they slowly slip into a docile lump of mushiness.
Christmas with a baby hack #4: Own baby gear that will help, not hinder
Good baby gear gives you a distinct advantage when people come around.
This will allow you eat where ever you like without making the situation any more challenging than it needs to be. Traditional highchairs are unwieldy and outright difficult to move from room to room. Exasperating the problem is their inability to cope with grass and softer surfaces.
A portable highchair is going to grip onto most surfaces with an overhang or a lip like breakfast bars and picnic tables.
A portacot will be the best item you own if you and your company are getting rowdy close to baby’s room. You know, one of those nights when the guitars come out and things get a little bit noisier than you expected. It’s as easy as setting up the portacot in a room a bit farther away from the excitement. Make sure you have the baby monitor hooked up to keep an eye on their activity.
Christmas with a baby hack #5: Try to relax a little bit
You’ve got this. Your partner may be a little bit stressed out, but you don’t need to be. You’ve practiced it day in and out for months. The only difference now is that you have an audience. The key to this situation is the expectation you place on yourself. Go easy, it’s ok to relax a little bit.
Laugh at the slightly dry cake, be present for your kids and visitors for when dinner is late and try to help out your partner whenever is appropriate. Keep calm and carry on!
My final thoughts on your first Christmas with a baby
If you can, try to relax. If you’re relaxed then the entire Christmas with a baby experience is going to be like every other day of the year: a routine that is easily worked around.
Enjoy the people that are around you. Christmas is more about being together than the presents that you bring. As they say: presence, not presents.