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How to make the most of your first Christmas as a new parent

(Updated for 2023)

Merry Christmas, and a happy new… baby! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for new parents, the stress of planning Christmas dinner, decorating the house, wrapping presents and changing nappies can sometimes be overwhelming.

For others, the excitement of their child’s first Christmas makes it all the more magical. Here at the Good Play Guide, we have come up with some suggestions for how to make the most out of your first Christmas as a new parent and ensure that the spirit of Christmas is felt by all.


Be realistic with the presents

As much as we want to make our baby’s first Christmas be as magical as possible, the reality is, a baby will not understand whether they have been brought two presents or two hundred presents.

There is little point in financially pressuring yourself to buy your baby the latest and the best toys, because the reality is, they won’t know. Of course age-appropriate, developmental toys are always good to have but think practically about the presents that you are buying or that you have asked others to buy.

Gifts such as the next size up in clothes, or teething rings and chew toys are more beneficial to you and your baby than another singing, light-up toy.

Think about what you need for the next 6 months ahead and wrap these up as presents. New baby bath products or even nappies in bulk are a great way of that picture-perfect moment of the presents under the tree, but without the price tag and financial strain that comes with it.    


Start new traditions

Some people have traditions that have been passed down to them from when they were children and these are fine to continue.

However, don’t be afraid of creating your own traditions for yourself and your new family. Whether it is wearing matching Christmas pyjamas and watching a Christmas movie the night before the big day, or creating a new handmade decoration for the tree each year, make your Christmas unique to you and your family.

Yes, your new baby is unlikely to remember the first year of the new tradition, but you will. The first Christmas with your baby is not just about your baby. It is about you and your partner as well and it is important to remember this. 

Do Christmas your way and enjoy making those memories with your new family. 


Keeping your baby safe

A new baby plus Christmas equals lots and lots of presents from friends and family!

Play is a key part of how children learn to thrive in the world and if toys are brought as gifts, it is vital that they are age appropriate.

The age guidelines that are issued to toys are not just based on the developmental levels of the child, but factor in concerns around the size of removable parts that could be choking hazards to certain aged children.

For more advice on how to make sure you’re buying and checking your child’s toys are safe this Christmas, check out our expert article here.


Avoid comparing yourself to new parents

For your own mental well-being, it is important to avoid comparing yourself to other new parents, and what they are doing for their first Christmas.

With the invasive nature of social media, everyone’s lives are now on show for all to see. But quite often, people only post picture-perfect moments that aren’t necessarily an accurate depiction of their lives. 

It is important to remember this when using social media.

Just because they are saying their child is sleeping 12 hours a night, it does not mean this is entirely accurate. A beaming smile may be masking the feelings of sadness and in that sense, the saying ‘the camera never lies’ cannot be further from the truth.

The most important thing is that you focus on yourself and your family and ensure you make the memories that you want to make. What is right for one family may not be right for yours so focus inwards and take little notice of what other families are doing.

Babies are unpredictable, so don’t feel disheartened if you can’t manage to get the perfect family picture in front of the fireplace like others are doing. Focus on you and your family and make sure that you have the Christmas that is right for your family.




Managing your expectations of what your first Christmas as a parent will look like is important. Although you may feel the pressure to do it all, the first Christmas with your new baby will be memorable no matter what.

A relaxed parent makes for a relaxed baby, so sit back, open a few presents and enjoy your first Christmas together as a family.