A blog by Dr Lin Day

GUEST POST - Baby’s first Christmas – Tinsel, teething and tears!

Baby’s first Christmas – Tinsel, teething and tears! 


I’m a huge fan of Christmas. You know, one of those people who are itching to bake Christmas goodies and tuck into a tin of Roses once the BBQ has been put away. So it’s safe to say I couldn’t have been more excited about our baby girl’s first Crimbo 

I even had all the ‘My First Christmas’ signs ready, and bought her very own Christmas jumper before she was born!  

But what no-one told me was babies don’t stop being challenging just because it’s Christmas Day – something we found out the hard way.   

Awake at 5am – for the wrong reasons 

The Christmas before last I was heavily pregnant, and I couldn’t enjoy an afternoon glass of sherry, a mulled wine, or a cheeky Amaretto with my cheese – I couldn’t even enjoy cheese! – so I was really looking forward to being able to eat and drink what I wanted at Moo’s* first Christmas.  

And while I certainly tucked into pate, soft cheeses, and boozy puddings, unfortunately I couldn’t appreciate late nights or too many drinks because my little angel was still keeping me awake at all hours. 

At 11 months old, Moo had been sleeping through for a while, but we were struck down with the most trying of afflictions – teething! 

That’s right, with sky-high temperatures, incessant screaming and endless syringes of Calpol, we were in a full-blown teething nightmare.  

So, I kissed goodbye to late nights watching Christmas films and evenings out with friends, as I knew I would be up with my poor baby whose gums were red raw. And comforting her with a mulled wine hangover didn’t appeal, strangely enough 

Days in = cosy or cramped? 

Her teething only escalated on Christmas Eve, which is usually my favourite day of the year. I love the anticipation of the next day, and even if you don’t do anything, it’s great to simply see family and friends and spend the day baking, cooking and wrapping. Right? 

Well, since I’ve had a baby, I’ve quickly learnt staying in the house is far harder than leaving it – especially with a poorly baby. Even if I wanted to have fun preparing for the next day, it’s near impossible to do anything with a child permanently attached to your hip. Try wrapping while bopping them on your knee, desperately keeping the scissors out of their way. Or chopping vegetables as they’re pulling on your tights. Or chatting to loved ones with a mince pie and a cup of tea when they’re forever reaching for the scalding drinks.  

Of course, there is always the respite of naptimes. But the teething nightmare put paid to Moo’s naps, which meant we were all knackered by the time Santa was meant to be making his rounds. In fact, as she spent all Christmas Eve crying, any festive-themed activity we had planned simply fell by the wayside.  

What Christmas traditions? 

This included introducing her to our new family traditions – from leaving out mince pies for Santa to giving her a gift to open on Christmas Eve and tracking the sleigh around the world – which I had spent months looking forward to.  

But what with the teething drama and the fact you still have the normal routine to stick to, we totally forgot to do anything of it. 

It was only once she was tucked up in her cot sleeping soundly after a day of upset and pain that we realised we hadn’t given her the present or left out treats for Rudolph and his pals 

Despite how much I had looked forward to Christmas Eve, it was just another day for Moo, complete with dinner times, milk feeds, naps, bath and bed. She had no idea what the fuss was about and didn’t have a clue what the next day was to bring.  

All better for Christmas Day! 

And neither did we, for this year we got everything we wanted for Christmas. Two beautiful pearly white teeth. And a happy, cheery baby.  

In spite of the stress of the previous day, Moo was back to her old self once her teeth had broken through, and loved all the excitement of Christmas Day – the unwrapping, the toys, the crazy hats and the delicious foods. She had no idea what was going on, but enjoyed every minute of it. 

I had built up Moo’s first Christmas so much in my head it was hard to realise it may take years for it to be the all-singing, all-dancing occasion I longed for. We hadn’t gone to a carol concert, watched a Christmas movie or baked mince pies together. She didn’t appreciate the advent calendar I stitched when I was pregnant, seeing Santa Claus reduced her to tears, and it took days to open her presents, as it was all so overwhelming.  

But it was still hands down the best Christmas ever – even with all the tears, pain and sleepless nights. We may not have done all the lovely festive things we had planned, but the best part is knowing we have all that to come.  

And I, for one, can’t wait for December 25th to roll around so we can create some fab memories of her second Christmas together 

*Moo is the affectionate name for our baby daughter.

Christmas Bow

 And when she snuggles close to me,

Her nose against my cheek,

 The world she means to me,

 Far more than words can speak.


At 8 weeks-old, Bow bounced into my life and I fell in love with her. But she wasn’t meant for me. Bow was to be Howard’s new friend and companion.


Howard has always had dogs downsizing from elegant Great Danes to a fun-loving family Labrador, and intelligent, working collies. And then Katie had her own dog, ‘Tug the terrier’, who simply bulged with character. After we lost Tug, work took us away from home and we decided to wait a few years before bringing another dog into our lives. Four years later, Howard found Bow. But as she nestled into my arms on the homeward journey from Manchester to Salisbury, we bonded forever.


The puppy stage doesn’t last very long so we made the most if it. During Bow’s critical learning period (8 to 19 weeks), we went to puppy school together. Bow learned good manners, how to play with adults, children and other dogs, and how to respond to commands. Only patience and kind techniques were used to train her. I am sure this is why Bow is so gentle and loving and likes nothing more than being part of our family.

Bow is capable of intense feelings. Although I rarely leave her, our reunion lasts 20 minutes and she cries with emotion. Right now, she is curled up on my lap knowing that I am writing her blog. Her waggly tail gives everything away. She is also licking my hand furiously.


We have celebrated 2 Bow birthdays and each year, she has a new red collar. The one that Bow is wearing now is decorated with sparkly bows and her name. To celebrate Christmas this year, Bow has a new red and gold starred bow!


Bow’s résumé:

•Age: 2 years, 10 months (next birthday: 12 February).

•Mother: Jack Russell (white, tan and black).

•Father: Border terrier (tan).

•Distinguishing characteristics: tricolour with white chest, white right paw, silky soft ears and liquid eyes.

•Command words: over 100 including ‘Go play’, ‘Wait’, ‘Leave’, ‘Drop’ and ‘Stop’ (useful), plus the names of her favourite toys.

•Best friends: Charlie, Owen, Stanley, Dan, Ellie, Lyla, Eva, Leo and Arthur.

•Best doggy friend: Buster.

•Favourite toys: ball, Bear and Fox (soft toys).

•Favourite games: playing hide-and-seek with Charlie, Dan and Owen, and tug-of-war with Snake (soft toy) and Ellie.

•Responsibilities: looking after my grandchildren - Arthur (18 months) and Stanley (23 months). Checking they are entertained and happy.

•Interests: walking along grassy tracks, sitting in my bike basket, swimming (river or sea), and watching Paul O’ Grady: For the Love of Dogs.

•Special talents: sniffing out lost toys, and waiting patiently for ‘Mr. Taupe’ to appear from his French molehill.

•Places travelled: all over the UK and France.

•Fears: loud bangs (fireworks), and objects that are out of context. For example, a man carrying a fishing rod or an empty car seat sitting on the pavement.


The love and fear of losing Bow makes me think that she should have puppies. One I shall keep, but then there’s the worry of finding loving homes for the others. I already have names for her puppy - Bear or maybe Fox?


When I asked our 9 year-old granddaughter Ellie to sum up Bow, she said:


“I love Bow so much because she is very pretty, has silky, floppy ears, loves kissing and she is very cute. She is a joy to have in our family!”


Bow means the world to me and I wanted her to look her best for the photograph. It was well worth the three hour trip to see our expert Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense photographer, Mark Fletcher, who was very sensitive, caring and kind. You can contact Mark at mark@photo-sensory.com  or 07714 797730 or www.photo-sensory.com


Bow’s red and gold starred Christmas bow arrived in a beautiful box from Tracy at the Distinguished Dog Co (www.theddcompany.com). Bow loves it and so do I!


By Dr. Lin Day (www.babysensory.com)


Happy Christmas Bow!



Merry Christmas from Around the World

We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year.



Christmas is celebrated in many countries, although each one has its own traditions that have passed from generation to generation or have just evolved naturally over the festive season. For many cultures, Christmas is a religious festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

Traditions such as the Christmas tree, decorations and lights, the sending of cards, a special meal with family and friends, and the giving and receiving of gifts are common to most cultures.


In the UK and USA, the Christmas season starts in early November, when the lights are switched on in the major cities. In anticipation of Christmas, children may open the 24 doors of the advent calendar; one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Eve.

As Christmas approaches, children may post letters to Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas) and participate in a Nativity play. They may see Santa at a preschool party or look forward to his arrival on Christmas Eve, when their stockings will be filled with gifts while they sleep.

Other traditions include the exchange of presents and a Christmas Day meal that may consist of turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies. During the meal, crackers may be pulled, jokes told and paper hats worn. Party games and television are traditional activities, followed by evening tea, which may include Christmas cake and other treats for the whole family.

Australia, New Zealand

In the Southern hemisphere, Christmas occurs during the height of the summer. Snow-covered cards, decorations, Christmas trees, mince pies, Christmas pudding and crackers are a traditional part of the celebrations. Santa arrives on Christmas Eve in much the same way as the UK.


Preparations may begin in November when decorations appear in the shops. After the meal on Christmas Eve, the family may sing and dance around the Christmas tree, followed by present giving. Santa (‘The Yule Man’) is said to arrive on a reindeer-driven sleigh with presents for the children.


Christmas is a religious festival for many families, who decorate their homes with Nativity scenes and attend Midnight Mass. Father Christmas (Père Noël) may bring gifts and sweets for the children on December 6th, the feast day of Saint Nicholas. The children place their shoes by the hearth to find them filled with gifts on Christmas Day.


On 6th December, Saint Nicholas may visit preschools (kindergartens) and schools. On Christmas Eve, Saint Nicholas or a sprite-like child (known as ‘Christkindl’), places the children’s presents under the tree. Carols may be sung around the tree before the presents are opened.



Nativity plays are staged in many schools, followed by the appearance of Father Christmas (‘Christmas Baba' in Hindi), who may distribute presents from a horse and cart. Days before babda din (the big day), the shops and markets will be decorated with Christmas trees, images of Santa Claus and colourful balloons.



Christmas is celebrated in much the same way as other Western European countries, but with a strong emphasis on religion. Gifts may be placed under the Christmas tree, either by Santa or Baby Jesus, to be opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.



Although 25th December is not a religious holiday, the occasion is celebrated with parties, Christmas trees and Christmas cake. On Christmas Eve, presents are left on the children’s pillows and adults exchange gifts.

Mainland China

In mainland China, 25 December is not an official holiday, although it may be privately celebrated with presents, cards and stockings. During the month of December, Christmas trees and other Western practices are found in many homes.




In Poland, children participate in Nativity plays and religious services. On Christmas Day, everyone exchanges a wafer of religious significance before eating traditional foods such as beetroot soup (borscht), carp and fruit. The children give out the presents and they may dress up as characters from the Nativity and go carol singing.



Christmas Day is a religious event celebrated on 7th January. In the home, there may be a Christmas tree and presents for the children from ‘Grandfather Frost’, who represents Peter the Great, and his granddaughter the ‘Snow Maiden’.

South America

Religion dominates the Christmas period, with particular emphasis placed on the Nativity and the family, although Western traditions have also been adopted in some countries. Christmas Eve is an important time for the religious element of Christmas and children may stay up until midnight to open their presents. In Venezuela, the Wise Men (known as the ‘Magi’) leave gifts by the children’s beds.


‘Merry Christmas’ from around the world!

China (Cantonese): Seng Dan Fai Lok; (Mandarin): shèng dàn kuài lè

Denmark: Glædelig Jul

France: Joyeux Noel
Germany: Fröhliche Weihnachten
India (Hindi): Bade Din ki Mubarak

Italy: Buon Natale
Japan: Merri Kurisumasu
Poland: Boże Narodzenie

Russia: Novym Godom

Wherever you are, Baby Sensory wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


By Dr. Lin Day (www.babysensory.com)