10 Special Holiday Traditions You Can Start with Your Baby
New parents sometimes forget that once you start your own family, you can start your own traditions too! The Christmas season is filled with child-friendly activities like decorating a Gingerbread House, trimming a Christmas tree, and putting together lots of seasonal crafts to display around the house. Though these activities are most appropriate for older children, there are still plenty of new holiday traditions you can start, even with a baby.
Try out these infant-friendly activities and make sweet memories as you celebrate your baby’s first Christmas!
- Attend a tree lighting ceremony. Check with your local city hall, big shopping centers, and nearby communities for tree lighting ceremonies. This year, many of them may take place online instead but you can always stop by after the fact to admire the newly lit tree. Babies love all those twinkling lights!
- Enjoy the neighborhood decorations. You likely won’t need to go too far to enjoy the sight of giant decorative inflatables on lawns, lights strung up on houses, and oversized ornaments hanging from the landscaping. Drive or take a stroll around the block to view your neighbor’s decorated homes and let your baby take it all in!
- Listen to Christmas music. Put on a Christmas CD, turn the radio to one of several stations playing Christmas music exclusively, or just tell Alexa to play Christmas music and she’ll let you know that “there’s a station you might like called Holiday Favorites.” Music has been said to boost a baby’s cognitive skills so not only do you get to enjoy cheerful music with your little one, you’ll also be helping them get a head start!
- Take a photo in front of the Christmas tree. Once your tree is filled with ornaments, grab that baby and have someone take a family picture. Maybe you don’t have a tree but you have wreaths hanging outside the door. Go ahead and snap a shot with the baby in front of the house. You might event want to make it a tradition to recreate the same photo every year. You can always pick a beautifully decorated, festive spot that’s not outside of the house for these photos as well!
- Bring out and read Christmas/Holiday books. Save Christmas, holiday, and winter-themed books for December. When Thanksgiving is over, bring out these books and read them all month long. Start your collection during your baby’s first Christmas and soon enough, you’ll have lots of great stories to read all season long. This tradition will change over time; in the early years you’ll be the one reading the books to your baby and then one day, they will be the ones reading them to you!
- Dress in festive clothes. Nothing says Christmas holiday traditions like dressing in red, green, sparkly, plaid, and all the other jovial fashions of the season. Don your littlest member of the family in traditional Sunday best or Christmas pajamas to celebrate this jolly season.
- Hang the baby’s first stocking. If you haven’t gotten the baby a stocking yet, make sure you add one to the mantelpiece this year. The newest member of the family should also have a place for someone (Santa, perhaps?) to stuff small gifts and treats.
- Get that classic Santa photo. Since Santa visits are probably virtual this year, your traditional Santa photo might just be hoisting a baby up to a screen to talk to a white-bearded stranger. But in years going forward, make sure you capture that moment when the baby sits on Santa’s knee!
- Make a Christmas gift for grandparents. A baby can’t quite make a gift on their own for their doting grandparents yet but there are lots of adorable ways you can use a baby’s handprint or footprint as part of a holiday gift. One popular craft is to trace a baby’s handprint on green paper and cut out enough hands to shape and glue down into a circle to make a wreath. Fasten some red circles around the design to finish off and voila! A lovely gift for someone special “made by the baby”. Search online for more ideas.
- Give to the needy. Although your baby can’t technically participate in this activity, you can start a tradition of involving your children in acts of charity by purchasing and donating a duplicate of your baby’s favorite toy, teething ring, blanket or the like. A local women’s and children’s shelter would be happy to receive your donation. You’ll have the joy of knowing that another child is going to get to enjoy the very same things that your baby currently can’t live without.