Although Christmas is a happy and exciting time with a young family it can also mean over excitement, strain on relationships and lack of routine. That’s why the Pampers Village Parenting Panel experts have compiled their ultimate tips for an enjoyable festive season with baby – so everyone can treasure those wonderful Christmas memories.
Baby Development advice from Dr Maggie Redshaw:
· The first Christmas stocking is really exciting – bubbles to blow, finger puppets and small picture books are great for babies and parents. Interacting through play helps to facilitate conversation through facial expression, sounds and movement.
· Babies really enjoy wrapping paper and boxes at Christmas, and play with them as they would expensive toys so there is no need to spend a lot, but just take care about items that might not be so good to put in the mouth. A box can be a boat, car or den so use your imagination to bring games to life – this will help baby develop through social and make-believe play.
· Christmas is usually a time for lots of indoor play, but make the most of it when it’s bright and crisp to get out to the park to try a kick around with a ball or play in the leaves/snow – this will help baby to develop physically while having fun.
Sleep advice from Wendy Dean:
Christmas can be a disruptive time when you are trying to establish or stick to a baby sleep routine. Here are some tips to ensure that your baby will be asleep when Father Christmas arrives:
· Try and keep your bedtime routine consistent whether you are at home or at a relative’s house. Your baby will then be prepared for sleep, despite the excitement going on around them.
· If you do take your baby out in the evening to enjoy a Christmas festivity, do the bedtime routine at home, put them in pyjamas under their coat, feed at the normal times whilst you are out and then when you get home, your baby will be ready to be put directly to bed.
· Do a wind down routine in a quiet room before daytime naps so that your baby takes a break from the excitement and throngs of people to prepare for sleep.
Skin health advice from Dr David Atherton:
Winter is tough on everyone's skin, but especially in the case of babies with naturally sensitive or dry skin. Consider the following:
· You can use a humidifier in baby’s bedroom – if you can, make sure it incorporates a hygrometer to shut it down when the humidity is optimal to prevent dampness.
· Apply a protective moisturiser to baby’s face and hands before leaving the house, and re-apply on your return (this one can apply to mum too!)
· Cover the skin when outside. Use gloves, a scarf and a hat to help keep baby’s skin protected and warm.
· Make sure your home isn't too hot and dry, especially in baby’s bedroom. Turn down the boiler setting, make sure it is off at night and, if you can, get some house plants to help increase the humidity.
Health and fitness advice from Laura Williams:
· Try and resist the temptation to buy too many Christmas treats in the run up to the big day. Reduced price tins of chocolates, packets of mince pies and tubs of peanuts will be calling you after a long hard day and if you’re cold and tired, willpower alone might not do it. Put off stockpiling them for as long as you can, or stash treats in the car or even in the garden shed – this will make them trickier to access when cravings come calling.
· Have some sort of Christmas fitness plan. Pledge to just 15 minutes a day over the holidays to get your heartbeat raised. You don’t even need to lace up your trainers – a game of Hide & Seek could burn quite a few calories in a relatively short space of time with your toddler, while a long(ish) post-lunch walk (45-60 mins) with the family will burn off a small helping of Christmas pud.
· Try and curb your big eating days to just two or three over the Christmas period. For example, give yourself a green light to eat what you like on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and for the other days, try and practise moderation, e.g. say no to a mince pie and have a satsuma instead or swap a handful of peanuts for a handful of olives.
Pregnancy advice from Midwife, Mary Steen-Greaves:
· Take a relaxing bath with some lavender drops added to help you de-stress and a warm milky drink to help you have a good night’s sleep.
· Try not to over eat, especially late at night. Eat small meals frequently to help your digestion and keep spicy and fatty foods to a minimum.
· You will still need to wrap up to keep warm when outdoors even though you will feel warmer than usual due to your increased blood. Wear comfortable, sensible footwear to help you maintain a good posture and reduce the risk of slipping in the cold (possibly icy) weather.
Relationship advice from Denise Knowles:
· Involve toddlers in making presents and wrapping them. Taking time to make cards and gifts together helps build the bond between parents and child...it is fun too!
· Delegate as much as possible and ask family to provide elements of the festivities; they'll feel part of your family and useful – and you won't feel so stressed. Share the 'chores' too. And if you are pregnant, don't feel guilty about relaxing and putting your feet up; you need to be a little self-indulgent.
· Discuss and stick to a budget for all of the Christmas festivities, presents, food and outings to avoid any disagreements in January when the bills start rolling in.
· Make some time just for you, it's not selfish to take some time out and sit with a cuppa.
And don’t forget that for more than 40 years, Pampers has been helping to improve the lives of babies, toddlers, and the parents who care for them with a range of products - comprising nappies and wipes, specifically designed for every stage of a baby’s development. As well as all the expert advice Pampers has to offer, its product range will help keep baby dry, comfortable and playing for longer over the festive season:
Pampers New Baby:
Pampers New Baby with Dry Max and its unique Dual-Absorb System provides your newborn with Pampers best protection. They help protect his delicate skin from wetness, and support him to experience a soft and protected start in his new life.
Pampers Active Fit:
And when your baby outgrows New Baby, it’s time to switch to Pampers Active Fit which is Pampers driest, best fitting nappy, helping baby play without interruption and explore the world around him.
Pampers Easy Ups:
Easy Up nappies absorbs like a nappy, works like a Pampers – great for fast and easy nappy changes.
Pampers Wipes and Mats:
Pampers Sensitive wipes, Baby Fresh wipes and Pampers Changing Mats all offer additional support, helping to make mum’s life easier.
For more information visit the Pampers Village, www.pampers.co.uk or connect with other mums and log onto the new Pampers UK & Ireland Facebook page.
Christmas only comes once a year, so enjoy!