The holidays are just around the corner and there can be so much to look forward to.  There will be all kinds of “firsts” if you have a new baby or maybe you are now getting to re-experience the magic through the eyes of your child.   Although the holidays can be a fun and relaxing time it is fair to say that there can be some added stress and anxiety.  Whether you’re navigating this time of year as a first time or somewhat seasoned parent, we’ve got some tips on handling the holidays with your little ones.


Find it easier to be at home where all your “things” are?

Our solution – offer to host!  However, hosting doesn’t have to mean doing all of the cooking (or even any of it!).  A family potluck is a great way to take some of the stress out of hosting and more often than not, people are happy to contribute.   Another option – let a restaurant do it.  A few Christmas’ ago I suggested take-out to my family and though I come from a long line of cook-everything-from-scratch family we found we spent more of the holidays visiting that year and it was a welcome change.

If hosting isn’t an option, don’t be afraid to cart the necessities.  For a new mom a nursing pillow or baby seat can be a game-changer – so bring it along.

Bedtime, nap time, what do I do?

Not every solution is going to work for every family, but there are a couple of ways to try to keep the sleep schedule going.

  1. See above solution re: hosting.
  2. Bring sleep solutions with you.  For infants and toddlers still in a crib you can travel to relatives’ houses with a pack and play or bassinet.  For older kids consider bringing a pillow, stuffie or blanket from home and having them lie down to sleep or rest in a quiet room.  White noise machines are great for blocking out sounds of crowds.
  3. Forget about schedules for a couple of days.  Have babies and tots nap in carriers, car seats or in your arms and work back towards your normal schedule following the holidays.

For children that will remain awake throughout the evening gathering, I also highly recommend changing them into jammies and any nighttime diapers before departing.  After all the chaos, they are likely to fall asleep as soon as the car pulls away so this easy hack can help with a smoother transition to bed once you get home.


People and germs. All. Of. The. Germs.

Again – not a one size fits all solution on this one.  You and your immediate family need to decide what is going to work for you at larger gatherings.  That could mean making a rule about no kissing or face touching, hand wash before holding or perhaps even wearing a mask when snuggling with your little one.  Being respectful and upfront is going to be key here. 


I’m really not comfortable with “pass the baby” how can I avoid this without hurting people’s feelings?

Of course – some parents look forward to a chance for someone else to finally hold the baby for a while, but not everyone.  One trick I used to keep my babies close to me in large gatherings was babywearing.  Not only was this a great way for them to nap as needed, it also kept my hands free for snacking! 


Toddlers and older kiddos - sugar, snacks and meal times. 

Before you leave for an outing, give your child a decent snack including grains, a protein and fruits/vegetables.  This way, they aren’t showing up “hangry” and it will hopefully keep them tied over until dinner.  Make sure you let other adults know what your preferences are – “please no more treats Uncle Jimmy”.

Once at the dinner table, try to allow the child to choose what goes on their plate – and don’t overdo it (full plates can be overwhelming).  This may mean a small piece of turkey, a carrot and a bun - but that is OK.  It is really normal for kids to hardly eat anything at a big, busy table, so just try to roll with it and take any pressure off of them eating.

Gifts – people are asking but we already have enough of everything!

In case you missed it, we have a list of all our favourite gift ideas here



Part of being a parent is being flexible and adapting to the situation.  Give you (and your child) grace during this busy time of year.  Be sure to take quiet time for yourself if you start to feel overwhelmed, stay hydrated and get in some exercise and/or outside time most days. 

If you’re looking for an uplifting outing with your little one, consider coming out to one of our special events:

Holiday Cheer Party- a baby friendly outing to celebrate the holiday season and put together a gift for the Christmas Cheer Board.

Tiny Yogis for the Cure- a fun class for kids age 2-6 (plus siblings) in support of CancerCare Foundation of Manitoba.

Best of the season to all of you,

Ashley, Aileen and the Fit Together Team.