HOW TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS WITH A TODDLER
By Nichola Ludlam-Raine, Registered Dietitian
For many, Christmas is a time for celebration, delicious food, presents and for spending time with family. However, if there’s anything this year has taught us, it is that it can be challenging and tiring for us parents to spend 24/7 with our little ones (we all need a break from time to time!).
With Christmas round the corner, it can feel like even more chaos may ensue and it’s not uncommon for us to feel a lot of pressure to create a special day for everyone. So how should we prepare for the festive season with a toddler, whilst staying sane at the same time? Keeping reading to find out my top tips!
Ensuring your LO is involved in the Christmas preparations is a great way to keep them entertained, AND you have extra help too! Some of my favourite activities are making footprint mistletoes for hand-made cards and festive decorations with salt dough (the opportunities are endless and they love painting their own!). If your toddler is confident in the kitchen too, try using some Christmas shaped cookie cutters for Christmas biscuits!
Host (if you can!)
With the difficulties of this year, it’s likely Christmas may be a smaller affair for a lot of us, however this may not be such a bad thing for your toddler. They’ll be in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by their own toys and places of comfort if they need a nap or a bit of quiet time. It also means you don’t have to spend time packing and preparing a bag for the day in advance!
Ask for help!
Make sure you have a plan in place and ensure you have some set ‘to do’s’ for the day between you and any other adults in the home. Whether that’s entertaining your toddler for an hour, setting the table, or doing the drinks. Don’t leave it all to chance! Tell your toddler the plan for the day, who will be looking after them and what they’ll be doing.
Don’t forget about some fresh air
It can be easy to get swept up in everything that’s going on during the day with time feeling like it’s flying by! However, do try to make time for a walk – whether that’s first thing after opening some pressies, or whilst the potatoes are roasting. If you, or your little one are feeling a little stressed, sometimes a brisk walk is just what we need for a bit of a re-set.
Remember what matters
If things aren’t going quite to plan, remember what really matters.. not the presents or the food, but you & your little family. Cherish every moment (the good & the bad!!) as they’re only little once, and each Christmas will be different and unique. Remember that you can either make the best of it or the worst of it!