Here are some ideas and tips for a Happy, magical and safe Christmas!

By Katherine Whitby - 10th December 2016

 

After a rather strange 2016 filled with some wonderful memories but also far too much bad news, I have welcomed the festive season with open arms embracing every spec of sparkle!

My children, now 7 and 4 years old are relishing every moment and so am I. We had a magical time seeing Father Christmas. We went to the Wetlands Centre in Barnes and although a long wait, I cannot recommend it enough – I really did believe! We’ve had fun Christmas parties, Christmas shows, and we still have the big day to come. A gorgeous Elf from the North Pole called Elvis has come to join our family (Elf on the Shelf!) and I have been amazed at how the children have completely been swept up by the excitement of seeing where he is each day.

 

Christmas magic

There’s no doubt sharing Christmas with young children adds an extra large sprinkle of magic, as you enjoy it through their eyes. Christmas can also bring a whole host of stress and evoke emotions from past or present creating a very difficult time too. However you spend your Christmas I hope you enjoy some time with those you hold close and feel a warm contented glow.

 

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So here are my Baby Steps top tips for Christmas… 

Take a few minutes to jot down some memories of your little one’s Christmas to mark the stage they are at now.  Things they have loved, or said, or funny things they have done and record it somewhere that in a few years time you can look back on.  You will be so glad you did as things change so quickly.  Even send a quick email to yourself or write them a Christmas card to keep.

I really recommend the NSPCC’s letters to Santa. I do them each year. They are a lovely idea, which the children love and supports an important cause.

As well as the merriment make sure you have some nice quiet time too; a Christmas movie, time for the children to enjoy their new toys and just be at home as it can be overwhelming and exhausting for them as well as us! I can’t wait to have some cosy family days at home in the holidays.

I would love to hear your Christmas family traditions, and tips and ideas you would like to share. 

 

Wishing you a safe and healthy Christmas

As far as safety goes remember if you are staying with relatives who either don’t have children or have children of different ages to do a sweep for any hazards. For example long blind cords, medications in bedside cabinets, bleach by the loo, coffee tables with sharp corners.  Likewise if they are coming to stay with you be wary of hot drinks that they aren’t used to putting out of reach.

Make sure you know where to get help should you need it when you are away e.g. nearest Paediatric A&E, Pharmacy.  If you know you are very unlikely to ever need them!  NHS 111 for emergencies that do not need 999 remains the same.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents advises these 12 safety tips to help prevent your festivities being cut short by a trip to casualty:

  • Make sure you buy children's gifts for the correct age group and from reputable sources that comply with standards (e.g. The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011)

  • Remember to buy batteries for toys that need them - that way you won't be tempted to remove batteries from smoke alarms

  • Look out for small items that could pose a choking hazard to young children, including parts that have fallen off toys or from Christmas trees, button batteries and burst balloons

  • Don't leave burning candles unattended, make sure you put them out before going to bed and do not put candles on Christmas trees

  • If you have old Christmas lights, seriously consider buying new ones, which will meet much higher safety standards, keep the lights switched off until the Christmas tree is decorated, don't let children play with lights (some have swallowed the bulbs), and remember to switch off the lights when going out of the house or going to bed

  • Remember, Christmas novelties are not toys, even if they resemble them, and they do not have to comply with toy safety regulations. Give careful thought to where you display them, for example, place them high up on Christmas trees where they are out of the reach of young hands

  • *Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing, and keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen. Wipe up any spills quickly

  • Have scissors handy to open packaging, so you're not tempted to use a knife, and have screwdrivers at the ready to assemble toys

  • Beware of trailing cables and wires in the rush to connect new gadgets and appliances, and always read instructions

  • Falls are the most common accidents so try to keep clutter to a minimum. Make sure stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles, especially if you have guests

  • Plan New Year fireworks parties well in advance and follow the Firework Safety Code

  • Do not drink and drive, and plan long journeys so you won't be driving tired

RoSPA www.rospa.com Also see the Child Accident Prevention Trust www.capt.org.uk

I have celebrated 10 years of Baby Steps this year and started a new chapter with both my children now in school.  It has exceeded all my expectations.  It has been incredibly rewarding and enjoyable to meet lovely families and see how both the First Aid and Weaning advice brings so much reassurance and confidence to parents = happy babies!

Thank you for all your support.  Here is to a healthy and happy New Year.

Katherine x

If you need any extra support over Christmas remember this is available to you online via the Young Minds parents guide.

 

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