Remembering a baby's first Christmas

Baby wears first christmas hat

It's the most wonderful time of the year – especially if you're sharing it with a child for the first time. Mumsnetters recall their babies' first Christmases and share tips for avoiding stress and making wonderful memories

Make like Mary and Joseph and herald the arrival of a new king baby
Baby wears crown

“I had my first baby on Christmas Day, at 4am. I have vivid memories of looking down at the midwife, who was wearing reindeer antlers, while the other midwife's Christmas earrings played Jingle Bells. They were very keen for me to call her Holly, but we resisted.”

…and don't forget to share the good news
Excited man on the phone

“Our daughter was born in the early hours of Christmas morning. My husband, daughter and I were left alone for an hour or so to spend a little time together as a new family. It was so magical. My husband then went home and phoned our friends and family to wish them a Happy Christmas and tell them our news… people still remember receiving those phone calls!”

Play dress-up (and take photos)
Baby in santa hat

“My son was three months old. He wore an elf costume and looked incredibly cute if slightly ridiculous! We stayed at my sister-in-law's house which was lovely as it meant no prep for us to do. My top tips are: get someone else to do all the hard work – and get a silly costume for the baby!”

Don't stress
Woman tries to calm down

“If everyone is in pyjamas until lunch, so be it. If the food takes longer than expected to cook, so what? If the kids want festive pants and a stack of cardboard boxes for Christmas, then that's okay!”

Simplicity is key
Pink tree

“Keep things as simple as possible, don't create extra stress for yourself by thinking everything has to be perfect – the baby doesn't know it's Christmas.”

Don't write off the chance of a Christmas miracle
Drunk baby

“I remember a Christmas miracle: my non-napping six-month-old had a massive sleep so I could get all the food prepped on Christmas Eve.”

Embrace the opportunity to be a homebody
Woman lounges on sofa

“I was really keen on creating our own traditions once my first was born and insisted we have that first Christmas at our home. It is so much easier when they are tiny to stay home and let other people do the travelling!”

At all costs – protect the tree!
Father and daughter touch tree

“My sister's twins were just at the pulling themselves up stage for Christmas. She ended up putting the tree in the play pen.”

Accept all offers of help
help me scream

“Don't worry about routines for one day. Let all the grandparents have a cuddle and try to relax and maybe have a cheeky glass of champagne while there are lots of eager baby helpers around.”

Savour the moment
Mum holds newborn in the snow

“My (Australian-born) daughter's first Christmas was spent in the UK. We'd returned from Oz, hoping that our decision to come back was the right one. The evening I stood with her in my arms next to the twinkling Christmas tree, looked out of the window and showed her the soft, falling snow, was the moment I knew that everything was going to be right.”

…and the magic
newborn christmas hat

“My son was five weeks old for his first Christmas. I remember taking him to the Christmas Eve service at church in a sling and crying at the line 'bless all the dear children' in Away in a Manger.”

“Our daughter spent her first Christmas in hospital. At 4am on Christmas morning, a midwife gently woke me up and said NICU had called to say she was awake and would I like to go and try and feed her? Despite having just had a c-section and being attached to a drip I pretty much ran there! She'd fallen back asleep – but in her little incubator was a Christmas card the staff had made for me and my husband with a photo of her and her hand and foot print, plus a little Christmas stocking with presents in it for her.

“It was really dim in the room apart from twinkling lights from the corridor and very quiet except for the beeping of all the machines and the soft sound of Christmas songs from the radio at the nurses' station. I sat and watched her for an hour – then she woke up and the nurses helped me give her a cuddle and breastfeed her. It was amazing.”

… because it truly is a once in a lifetime experience
Baby smiles at camera

“I remember a Mumsnetter telling me there's nothing more magical than the reflection of Christmas lights in a newborn's eyes. It was very true.”