Surviving baby’s 1st Christmas

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You need more than post natal exercise to get you through your first Christmas with baby. Being able to focus on the joy of your baby’s first Christmas can be tough as you negotiate family, the heat and still adjusting to the baby routine. Luckily, the gang from Body Beyond Birth has put our heads together and come up with some tips for you.

Here’s how you can thrive instead of just survive during baby’s first Christmas!

Work out the sort of Christmas that suits you

baby xmas - post natal exercise
Photo by Noah Hinton

Your family might be keen on seeing the new family addition, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn your whole life upside down to make that happen. As a mother, you are allowed to put the kids first. Even if it’s your first kid!

Assessing your options on how they work for you is best. If you travel to family, will it upset your routine? If you have Christmas at your place, does it work for you? There’s no harm in creating a small Christmas, going to restaurant, not travelling, travelling or whatever you want to do.

The important thing is making sure you and your baby get the opportunity to enjoy this first Christmas. So don’t be afraid to set boundaries. And don’t forget to pack Body Beyond Birth with you so that no matter where you roam, you can still squeeze in some post natal exercise.

Think of 3 things you’d like to enjoy about baby

The first Christmas can go by in a blur. New mother sleep deprivation, the summer heat (if in Australia) and the hectic nature of the end of year can all combine.

This is a time where you want to look back fondly. So spend some time pondering what you would like to enjoy about having a new baby.

Some lovely ideas for baby’s first Christmas tradition might be:

  • Baby’s first photo with Santa
  • Dressing baby up for the holiday season
  • Spending time with older grandparents in the family
  • Taking photos of baby unwrapping presents
  • Having baby’s first Christmas party with your friends
  • Cousin photos or family Christmas portraits
  • A family viewing of favourite Christmas films
  • Sending out family Christmas cards or letters with baby’s photo included
  • Choosing baby’s first Christmas stocking
  • Creating a new family tradition for Christmas time
  • Including a family keepsake ornament for your baby on the tree
  • Passing down family heirlooms as gifts- or starting your own baby heirloom line
  • Starting a family activity for Boxing Day – such as a beach visit or a family walk could be both great for bonding and to sneak in some much needed post natal exercise for you to help de-stress and to get everyone moving after those famous Christmas feasts

Whatever your milestone or old or new tradition, make sure you have the time to create the memories you want to.

Keep gift giving simple

baby first xmas presentWe all know the running joke about baby being more interested in the wrapping paper than the actual Christmas gifts. That joke is grounded in more than a healthy dose of reality!

It can be tempting to go overboard with your new bundle of joy, but remember, baby will grow quickly in the next 12 months. And their taste in toys and activities will change dramatically as well.

When shopping for baby this Christmas, keep a few things in mind:

  • How long will this item last for baby?
  • Can I hand this item down to another child now or in the future?
  • Is this the sort of item that can become a keepsake?
  • What is the quality of the item you are considering?

Also make sure you check the safety ratings. Consumer watchdog Choice regularly post warnings at Christmas time about toys and other items.  Choking hazards, lead paints, unsafe packaging and moving parts that could injure children unfortunately all make the list.

For the adults in the family, it may be a simple case of giving each other some much needed time to rest, sleep or get some ‘me time’. Even a simple thing like half an hour to get a massage or sneak in some post natal exercise can work wonders. The opportunity to stretch, relax and focus on your own selfcare can do wonders for a new parent.

So if extended family is asking what to get you- don’t be afraid to say “half an hour to myself!” with pride.

Make time for post natal exercise

As a new mother, making time for post natal exercise might seem like a far off notion. But exercise can help you reduce stress and create more energy to help you get through Christmas.

Incidental exercise can really help. Things like carrying the shopping, doing squats while decorating the Christmas tree or performing some gift stretches are simple ways to sneak exercise in. You can also try walking with the pram or buggy, a great form of resistance exercise that can also have a soothing effect on bub.

Whatever the case, make sure you sneak in some time for some post natal exercise for the health of your body and mind this Christmas.

Wishing you the best this festive season

Body Beyond Birth would like to thank all our members, existing and new, for making 2016 such a great year. We hope all the new mothers and the mothers with well established broods get everything they wish for this festive season.

Make sure you keep up with that post natal exercise and squeeze in some much needed time for you!

We look forward to having you along for 2017.