Sleeping baby in Christmas clothes

Cleaning Tips,Confessions of a Happy Housewife

How to Christmas with a Baby

6 Dec , 2016  

Maybe, some of you have come across the How to Dad YouTube Channel and his recent sweet video with the baby and the red balloon in the shopping centre. Check it out! It’s endearing and it made me laugh for days. Not only that but it prompted me to share with you some of my and my friends’ with bubs and toddlers how-to tips that may help you avoid the stress while getting everything organised for Christmas. That is if you have a baby, I mean.

Cleaning the House with a Baby for Christmas

Well, being a new mum myself of an adorable two-month-old baby, I have to admit that cleaning has been the last thing on my mind these days. Of course, I try to keep things tidy in his room. And I schedule a specific day and time to switch on the noisy vacuum cleaner only to stop it after a minute, ‘cause the baby decided to fall asleep at this moment. Hmm, new mums can be forgiven for their failed efforts to maintain the overall order in their house. 

But who wants to decorate a house for Christmas if it has not been cleaned spotless, you may ask! I confidently raise my hand and say: “Me!”

With a baby 0-9 months:

So, my advice to you is simple: Don’t agonise over whether you have removed the tiny and invisible cobweb in your bedroom (no one else is going in there but you). Or why worry if you don’t have the time to dust the top of the wardrobe! Just find a quiet moment each day over a space of a week to spot clean particular areas if you are expecting family and friends for dinner at Christmas. Here’s my cleaning list:

  1. Dust and vacuum the guest room, where my husband’s parents will stay for two days.
  2. Wipe clean visible surfaces in the kitchen and degrease the oven and microwave.
  3. Vacuum and dust the dining/living room (where we would sit for lunch) and wipe the French windows quickly with a microfibre cloth.
  4. Tidy up the baby’s room by sticking all the scattered clothes (that I change my baby in to make cute photos every two hours) back in the drawers.
  5. Ask my hubby to cut the lawn.



Image credit: Aqua Mechanical

With a crawler/toddler 9 to 18 months:

Do the above, while the little torpedo is asleep, preferably in the late evening, excluding the vacuuming. The latter can be done quickly when your baby is playing with daddy. Or you can make a play time out of the chore by letting your infant ride the machine for a minute or two. You can also ask your toddler to kindly “help” with the vacuuming (after you have done most of it, of course).

Christmas Shopping with a Baby

My strong advice for you is to do your shopping for Christmas gifts online this year. This is what I am going to do. You can also make some presents if you have a flair for the arts and crafts. Again, it is not hard to order all the stuff you need online and make those pretty stained glass vases or decoupage jewellery boxes. Still, if you need to do a last minute Christmas food shopping, which may involve going out with your baby, don’t do it in a rush but prepare beforehand.

With a baby 0-12 months: 

I’ll throw a few tips, here, from my own experience and from that of my mummy friends.

  1. Applicable for young babies – go shopping just after feeding time when it is most likely that your bundle of joy will fall asleep.
  2. If you have a wiggly baby, don’t stress out and try to put your crying 7-month old princess in that half-snap onesie at the last second, when you are already late for meeting up with your mate to go shopping. Unless you have practised placing an octopus in a pair of tights a hundred times, you will have a little chance to stop the baby from wriggling out of the romper when you last need it. Just switch to something else that is easier to put on your infant and keep making those funny faces.
  3. Prepare some baby essentials for your shopping trip well in advance: nappies, a pacifier, the baby bottle/baby biscuits and take some baby entertainment stuff with you.
  4. Leave the baby behind if you can! Daddy can manage for a couple of hours while you enjoy a well-deserved me-time with a friend.


With a toddler 12 to 24 months:

  1. Again, if you are running late and your toddler is crying out their eyes, because they want the stained blue T-shirt, they got out of the laundry basket and not the clean green one, just offer them a choice between the green and the red one. Kids love to choose…
  2. Do not forget kids’ essentials, of course, and take a snack, some water and a couple of toys.
  3. Apply the How to Dad trick if you like and tie a helium balloon to your toddler, just in case. I do not recommend for you to lose sight of your child at any point, of course, but the trick may help find him/her quickly if they manage to slip off from your hand. Hats with bells, a distinguishable garment or light up shoes are only ideas for easily tracking a baby on the run in a busy supermarket.
  4. Leaving the kiddie at home with daddy is the smart choice many mummies make.

Christmas Decoration with a Baby

The following tips are actually a mix of safety tips and help-by-not-getting-in-the-way tips. We all have different ideas about how we want our home to look at Christmas. Personally, I love the minimalistic look and I would not have my house overly decorated.

With a baby 0-12 months:

If you have a very young baby, there is nothing special to worry about, in terms of getting your place decorated for Christmas. Just find a free moment and indulge in whatever you feel would fit your idea of a Christmasy home. If you have a baby, who is at the crawling, standing or the walking stage, I would skip the Christmas tree this year and put all my decoration out of reach. The luring tinsels are just an unnecessary choking hazard. Let’s not also forget that when you were not looking, a one-year-old can easily pull the tree over themselves if it is in their reach.

With a toddler 12 to 24 months:

Involve the toddler in the festivity by letting them pick and pass you things from the Christmas decoration box. Or you can let them help by not getting in the way. Just assign the task of drawing a picture for Santa to your child, while you get on with the decor. Remember the safety tips from above and put away all the tools, scissors and fasteners that you may have used to make your home pretty for Christmas.



Christmas Dinner with the In-Laws

So, my husband’s parents are coming over for a bite to eat at lunch time on Christmas day. And I’m not going to fret over and stress. We have decided to skip the traditional roast dinner and keep things light and simple.

With a baby 0-9 months:

If you have a young baby, like my Jason, and you expect guests, you may be able to find a few hours and make preparations for a four-course Christmas meal on the day before. You may feel like a traditional dinner with all the trimmings or draw up an unusually fancy menu. Still, I would advise you on having a plan-B, in case it happens to be that baby colic time and you end up enduring a couple of sleepless nights before Christmas day.

During lunch time, your young baby may well decide to have a nap and let you entertain your guests for an hour or two. For older bubs, just embrace the moment and let them join in the celebrations at the table by placing their highchair right between mummy and daddy.

With a crawler/toddler 9 to 18 months:

On the night before, while the little monkey is fast asleep, you and your hubby can stir a couple of salads without any fuss. They will go nicely with a selection of cold meats and cheeses. A cold pasta salad dish, a variety of dips and some crisps can easily please any vegetarian. The plum pudding, of course, is also a must but I doubt that you plan on making one yourself. Seasonal fruits are always a winner, too. They will add to that special feel and will be a great decorative feature on the dinner table.

And as for your toddler, he or she will have so much fun with all the attention from grandma and grandpa and with all those exciting presents.

Happy Christmasing!

Lana Jane Fox

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