There’s no two ways about it – the festive season can be a chaotic time, especially when you have some very excited little ones running around the house. Normal routines go out the window and suddenly your house is packed full to the rafters. Take a deep breath… These top tips will ensure a very merry Christmas!
Make a list (and check it twice!)
Get ahead of the game with some serious organisation, from Christmas shopping early to a plan for exactly what’s happening on the day. You can never have too many lists…
Routine is the magic key
Overtired tots make rather grumpy Christmas guests so stick to your regular routine as much as you can over the festive season, parenting expert Fi Star-Stone advises. ‘Routine really is the magic key to a happy sleeper and a few nights out of routine can really mess things up in the sleep department!’ Fi says. You want to enjoy this special time together - so avoid late nights or skipping naps if you can.
Avoid sugar overload
It's the time of year where we all eat way more naughtiness than we should, but with little ones who are perhaps not used to sugar overload, be careful! ‘To avoid messy mishaps, tummy aches or indeed hyperactive toddler times, limit treats and keep the fruit and veg in good supply,’ Fi advises. ‘It's especially important to avoid anything super sugary before bed.’ Best to keep the bedtime mince pies for Santa then…
Beat bedtime blues
Try to keep the bedtime routine as calm as normal as possible to help your little one settle down-particularly if staying away from home, baby sleep expert Lisa Clegg says. ‘Expect them to need extra reassurance if they are in a different environment and go with the flow and be prepared to be flexible in how much extra comfort they will need when settling to sleep,’ she adds.
You may as well make the most of the extra people around you at Christmas. Accept help from friends and family – whether it’s giving you a hand with the wrapping or helping to peel spuds. It’s a family time after all – and you want to avoid Christmas burnout.
Child-friendly Christmas jobs
Get your little ones involved in the prepping (or keep them occupied!) with child-friendly tasks, such as helping to make decorations for the tree, giving you a hand with the mince pies or signing cards and addressing envelopes. They’ll love being a part of the festive fun.
When it comes to the main event – Christmas dinner – sometimes too many cooks can spoil the broth – especially when everyone from your mum-in-law to your Granddad is offering up their top tips. If everyone does want to get involved, pre-plan who is in charge of which course or side dish to ensure everyone has their own separate responsibility. You’ll be thankful for the help on the day!
Simplify the Christmas dinner
There are plenty of ways to simplify the Christmas dinner too, from freezing your roast potatoes to pre-making your stuffing. Check out our tips here!
Avoid festive family politics
Christmas comes only once a year and when a baby comes into the picture, there’s even more extended family that want to pay a visit over the festive period, but don’t stress about pleasing everyone. Whatever family arrangement you end up making for the day, your little one is your main priority so plan whatever works best for you.
Post Christmas slump
After all the excitement of Christmas Day, avoid the festive slump by keeping some fun activities for the next few days, from a treasure hunt to fun in the park.
Don't forget ‘me time’
Feel like you end up doing everything over Christmas? Make sure to enjoy some me time and accept any help that’s offered. That glass of mulled wine in front of the fire is calling!
The festive season is well and truly upon us and all eyes have been on the show-stopping Christmas window displays across the capital. From a surreal take on classic children's fairytales by Selfridges to John Lewis' Monty The Penguin theme, we’ve rounded up the best Christmas window displays of 2014.