The first Christmas with your baby is an enchanting time. It’s filled with the magic of the season and the new creation you’re holding in your arms. Just as the winter solstice heralds the start of lighter days, your baby’s first Christmas is filled with the promise of new beginnings.
Breastfeeding or expressing milk to nourish your baby adds something even more special to the Christmas festivities by deepening the bond that we all enjoy at this time of year.
Sometimes, though, British Christmas traditions can get a bit raucous. So here are my suggestions for tweaking some of our wonderful Christmas customs to suit a baby’s first Christmas. That way, breastfeeding mums and dads can still enjoy the festivities while making sure your baby’s needs are met.
Festive Fun & Seasonal Swaps
Swap Christmas Parties for Advent Adventures
The British love a Christmas party. Whether it’s a work’s Christmas do or a Hogmanay bash, we love a good ol’ knees up. But if this is your first baby then you may want to hang up your dancing shoes, at least for this year. Christmas parties that aren’t family-friendly are all well and good, but they’re not always comfortable when you’re breastfeeding.
Why not swap your Christmas party for some family advent adventures instead? You could do some baking, take a drive around your area to see the lights, or even hold a festive dance party in your home—even if it’s just you and your little one swaying to a classic from Slade.
Of course, if you want some baby-free time, you could leave the baby with a family member and some expressed milk and catch up with colleagues or friends. But remember to take your Momcozy breast pump in case your breasts become uncomfortably full and spoil the fun. If you let your host know that you may need to express during the party, they’re sure to find you somewhere private.
Put Panto on Hold and Have Storytime Instead
Christmas time means Panto time—it’s a great British tradition (oh, yes it is!). But there’s no doubt about it, the Pantomime is no place for a little baby. Flashing light, pyrotechnics and the screaming of all those hyped-up children is enough to scare your baby witless.
If you have older children let someone else take them this year so you can cosy up at home with the newest addition to the family.
Alternatively, you could either get your older kids to act out a Christmas play or Nativity at home or read a Christmas story. Nothing is more soothing to your baby than the gentle hum of your voice. What could be a more enchanting way for your baby to be lulled to sleep than hearing you read The Night Before Christmas for the first time? That sounds much calmer than Panto, right?
Mix it Up with Mince Pies Not Mulled Wine
Many people love a Christmas walk to the pub. And there’s nothing more evocative of the season than the scent of mulled wine being warmed at the bar. While you’re breastfeeding your baby, though, you’ll want to ban the booze.
Most doctors would advise against imbibing alcohol while breastfeeding. Even if you have a single drink the NHS advise waiting at least 2 hours before nursing. I avoided alcohol entirely until my baby was weaned.
So, instead of a walk to the pub, make your baby’s first Christmas a bit different. Take a winter walk to your local bakery or coffee shop and savour some minced pies instead. You still get your spicy hit, and cafés are much more comfortable for breastfeeding or expressing. Momcozy’s M5 Wearable breast pump is discreet, runs silently and when worn with their basic pumping bra is unnoticeable under your winter layers.
Can the Carol Concerts—Go Virtual!
Nothing says Christmas quite like the sacred music performed by a choir or the more lively sing-along carol concert at your local church. The problem is, that carol concerts are usually held in the evenings and in chilly churches or halls.
Stay cosy with your baby for their first Christmas and still listen to the calming sounds of Britain's favourite hymns and seasonal songs. There are several well-known events held around the nation that are streamed so you can tune in live. That way, you can introduce your baby to the delights of Christmas music from the comfort of your own home.
Swap Santa’s Grotto for a Festive Photoshoot
Santa’s Grottos are super cute and can make for a great keepsake photo for your baby’s first Christmas. In my experience, though, little ones are often overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of whichever location is hosting Santa this year. Can I share a little secret with you? My baby was scared by Santa on her first Christmas visit!
However, why not ditch Santa this year and create a Christmas photoshoot to remember on your own terms?
Pick a time that works for you and your nursing schedule, and either set up a seasonal scene at your home or pick a local landmark that would make for a fantastic backdrop. Think snow-capped castles, cosy cottages, or the Christmas tree on the village green. You can even use your baby’s first Christmas photoshoot as your Christmas card—American style!
Celebrate & Cherish
While we love our British Christmas traditions, they can get a bit raucous and … it’s cold outside! No one will judge you if, for your baby’s first Christmas, you do things a bit differently.
Adapt our time-honoured Christmas traditions to suit you and your little one—you won’t get in trouble! And remember, that the spirit of the season is in the love you share, the memories you make and the cherished moments of your baby’s first Christmas that will last a lifetime.