Like most holiday seasons, many families are planning on multi-generational get-togethers, particularly if there is a "baby's first Christmas" to celebrate. But having a new baby around at Christmas can be as stressful as it is wonderful. Try to keep things nice, and not naughty by following this tips:
• Prepare to have the baby's schedule changed up just a bit, but try to keep things relatively normal in a chaotic time. Stick to feeding and sleep times, but relaxing "regular" bath times and walks can help when dealing with conflicting demands and family time.
• If you have concerns about other children carrying or holding the baby, make sure you make it clear with the parents of the kids, so that they can help explain why their new niece is too fragile for them. Remind the parents to tell their kids not to feed the five day old infant a turkey leg.
• Take the opportunity of having family around to get out alone and visit friends or have some much needed "me" time. Leaving the baby with a trusted relative is the best gift you can give yourself -- and them.
• If your baby is too young to have completed all their vaccinations, or any, make sure grandparents and other relatives are up to date so that they can cuddle up. Conversely, protect elderly and other young family members from being passed something other than a present, by making sure your family is up to date on vaccinations as well. (Check for information on the pneumococcal vaccine in particular.)
• Don't expect the entire household to quiet down because baby has to nap. Try to find a quiet place with a door that closes, go for a drive, or simply try to get them to sleep amongst the noise (great sleep training!)
• If you have fancy baby wardrobes to pull out, do it now. They will outgrow it by next season.
• Take lots of photos, but remember to treat your digital camera like a traditional film one; use it sparingly or you'll have too many photos to sift through later. Who has the time?
Relax, enjoy, and make it baby's best Christmas as well.
Last Year's Top Toys For Christmas From The Experts
For the kid who loves to think big -- real big. This Barbie dreamhouse has three stories, seven rooms, and an elevator. Recommended Age: 3 years and up Price: $150
For the kid who loves speed. The Air Hogs Hyperactives Pro RC vehicle lets kids defy gravity, attempt crazy climbs and gives them the ability to take full control.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 6 years<br> Price: $45
For the next big jewellery designer. The Bizo TV studio lets children transform over 15, 000 combinations of accessories into collectables. <br> Recommended Age: 6+ years <br> Price: $25
For the kid who wants to get in the driver's seat. Cars 2 fans can bring their favourite Cars characters to life with Air Hog's fully-controlled replicas. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $50
For the creative kid who loves to build and rebuild. Wall Tracks brings stunts, speed and trucks to new heights. Kids can create and build their own tracks -- right on the wall. <br> Recommended Age: 4 to 6 years<br> Price: $45
For the next cheerleader in your household. The Peppy Pom Poms version includes fashion accessories and pet dog. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $35
For the kids who love to be challenged -- and learn. The LeapPad tablet is equipped with over 100 games and includes a built-in camera and voice recorder.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 9 years<br> Price: $110
For the kids with a large imaginations. Lego Ninjago lets kids create their own playground and train an ultimate ninja team. The Set includes a spinner, three mini-figures, four weapons, character cards and four battle cards.<br> Recommended Age: 7 to 14 years <br> Price: $65
For the kid who always wanted to be a rock star. Donning a black tee, tambourine and drum set, Let's Rock! Elmo takes the stage singing and creating music.<br> Age: 18 months and up<br> Price: $75
For the kid who always wanted his or her own squad with an alternative twist. The girls in Monster High include fashion accessories, come with a set of pom poms and a Skullete megaphone. <br> Recommended Age: 6 to 12 years <br> Price: $50
For the kid who always wanted a puppy. This life-like dog wags her tail, moves her head in and makes puppy talk when pet lovers talk to her. Plus, parents won't have any mess to clean up.<br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $65
For the kid who likes to take control. The Nerf Vortex Praxis, with pump-action power and a removable 10-disc clip lets warriors go the distance and take down targets. <br> Recommended Age: 7 to 14 years <br> Price: $30
For the kid who wants to catch them all. This Pokemon carry case allows kids to travel and collect their favourite Pokemons. It also includes three bonus figures. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $35
For the kids who want to create their own monster world. The Moshi Monster virtual village lets kids buy their own furniture, food and toys for their monster. Not to mention the plush versions are super cute. <br> Recommended Age: 5+ years <br> 1 pack: $3 <br> 3 pack: $7 <br> Plush: $13 <br>
For the kid -- and adult --who loves the old-school Power Ranger. The Samurai Megazord consists of five animal vehicles that stand over 10 inches tall. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $35
For the kid who loves to duel. Redakai's starter pack lets gamers start training to become the next master Kairu warrior.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 11 years <br> Price: $16
For the kid who loves little blue men and women. And parents, you may have some nostalgic moments as well. These 23-inch plush toys from the classic show and recent film includes Papa Smurf, Smurfette and Clumsy.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 6 years<br> Price: From $18 to $35
For the kids who wish they could travel to outer space. This Star Wars LEGO sets lets kids build their own ice planet base and prepare for any enemies. <br> Recommended Age: 7 to 14 years <br> Price: $120
For the kid who loves video games. The Skylanders have used their magical powers to protect Skylands but now, an evil tyrant has frozen them and banished them to Earth. Only gamers can bring them back to life and be the heroes. Available for Xbox, Wii and Sony PS3.<br> Recommended Age: 10+ years <br> Price: $70
For the kid who is eager to join the Autobots. Let the battle begin, Optimus Prime's blasting battle sounds, weapon lights and launching missile sounds are the perfect features for this robot. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $90
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