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.