Last year, my baby was truly a newborn at Christmas. There was something extra magical about the twinkle of the Christmas lights and the crisp air the morning after a snowfall. Maybe it's because the cold encourages the cuddles newborns need and produces feel-good hormones. Or, maybe it's this season of gift-giving and -receiving that makes you feel particularly rosy about having a newborn. My son, on the hand, was almost a year old at his first Christmas. Unwrapping presents was a real treat for him! At any age, kids can find the magic of Christmas in the simplest things - no matter if they're fresh and new, or almost a "big kid". How can parents ignite that spark of Christmas joy for their kids?
Christmas Lights Make Great Visual Stimulation
From their very first days, babies are drawn to high-contrast objects and moving lights. It's a developmental trainer, to expose your little one to all the sights and sounds of Christmas! Of course, the youngest babies might decide it's all too much and take a long nap through your festivities. As kids get older, they get more interactive with all the glittery lights against the night sky. Magic Touch: Get baby pictures with Christmas lights and turn some into a keepsake ornament.
Cold Weather Is Perfect For Cozy Babywearing
Tiny babies make great cozy walking buddies in baby carriers! In warmer weather, babies (and caregivers) can get quite sweaty when babywearing. But in the cooler months, a baby carrier is a great way to keep babies safe and warm! Some mothers use their maternity coats to zip over the baby in the carrier. Others use a special insert that expands their coat to accommodate a snuggly newborn. No matter how you stay warm, keep your little one cozy with safe babywearing. Magic Touch: Cuddle hormones make Christmas an extra special bonding time with babies.
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Wrapping Paper Makes A Fantastic Sensory Play Session
Luckily, we have a video of our son's very first Christmas. He was a crawler and loved to find and eat (yes, eat) paper. Any type of paper he could get his hands on. Our pediatrician wasn't concerned with the weird paper phase; still, it was noteworthy. When it came time to open his presents, he was enthralled by the gift wrap! One toy plopped out with some parental help, and Shep immediately brushed past it to crawl straight for one rogue scrap of wrapping paper. Magic Touch: Wrap toys they already love so they have more excuses to play with the paper.
Wear Matching Family Pajamas
Who couldn't use a set of cozy Christmas jammies? Some families I know have a family tradition of opening a specific gift on Christmas Eve. Inside, they each find a pair of pajamas, slippers, and a treat. Everyone would change into their pajamas and take a family photo! Seeing everyone grow and change but still remain in that photo is so heartwarming. Magic Touch: Create family traditions that remain through the years - unify your people.
Create Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments Every Year
The days are long but the years are short! Our babies grow up so quickly, it can be hard to remember them exactly as they were when they were still brand new. One of the best keepsakes that I've found costs next to nothing and makes a wonderful grandparents' gift! Salt dough handprint ornaments are made from...well, salt dough. It's a mix of flour, salt, and water that hardens as it dries. Each year, we get footprints and handprints of our little kids pressed into some salt dough. Sometimes we frame them - other times we turn them into Christmas ornaments or refrigerator magnets. Magic Touch: These salt dough crafts can become a snapshot timeline of your children as they grow up.
It's never too young to get babies in the thick of your holiday cheer! Even the youngest newborns appreciate a good cuddle and pretty lights. While they might not understand it fully for a few more years, the magic of baby's very first Christmas is real! And it's magic meant to restore parents. Enjoy your holidays and build Christmas traditions with your babies from their very first day - then you'll be the magical one!
What ways do you keep the Christmas Magic alive for your children? Was their first Christmas particularly magical? Spill your Christmas secrets on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #ChristmasMagic.