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8 Savvy Tips for Celebrating Baby’s First Thanksgiving

by Vannessa Rhoades 12 Nov 2023
8 Savvy Tips for Celebrating Baby’s First Thanksgiving

It's your baby's first Thanksgiving so you have lots to be thankful for this year! Whether it’s a cute Thanksgiving onesie, fun first Thanksgiving photo ideas, or making first Thanksgiving crafts, there are lots of ways to celebrate the season and start new traditions.

It’s also when many relatives may be seeing you and your baby for the first time. While it’s exciting to introduce your loved ones to the newest member of the family, it can be rather stressful, as older relatives often tend to forget what it was like and may overstep their boundaries. Let’s take a look at a few ways to celebrate your baby’s first Thanksgiving and (hopefully) minimize your holiday anxiety.

1. Choose a cute outfit.

Part of the fun of having a new baby during the holidays is dressing them up in adorable, festive holiday outfits. Some parents opt for a “Baby's First Thanksgiving” onesie, while others go for a comfy set of Thanksgiving pajamas. If your baby is already eating solids, bring along an extra outfit or two and invest in some cute Thanksgiving bibs. Thinking you might go for a walk after the meal? Consider packing a blanket, warm socks, and a festive hat for your little one. Pro tip: take photos before you leave the house while your baby is well-rested, clean, and in a good mood.

8 Savvy Tips for Celebrating Baby’s First Thanksgiving

2. Don’t skip naps.

Letting your baby stay up to play or allowing them to skip a nap can be really tempting during the holidays. The problem is that changes in the routine, along with all the hustle and bustle and nervous energy of the day, can lead to an overstimulated baby. Combine that with introducing lots of new faces and being held by strangers, and you may end up with an overly tired, cranky little one. Try to stick to your baby’s sleep routines when visiting with family members, and help them settle down for a little rest on schedule.

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3. Feed your baby appropriately.

Many a parent has found themselves at holiday dinner facing a well-meaning relative who wants to offer their baby a little cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes right off their plate. Though it’s usually a well-intentioned gesture, guidelines for feeding infants have changed since you were a baby. Plus, introducing too many new foods to a little one who’s not developmentally ready to eat them can wreak havoc on a baby’s immature digestive tract. If you’re not ready to feed your baby a particular food (or solids, in general), let people know. 

4. Create your baby's first thanksgiving craft.

You may be asking yourself, “How in the world can I do Thanksgiving crafts with an infant?” But it’s possible! Put a dab of non-toxic orange paint on your baby’s thumb and make a thumbprint on a mini 2” x 2” canvas. Add a little brown stem and a green leaf and you’ve got a sweet little thumbprint pumpkin keepsake!

8 Savvy Tips for Celebrating Baby’s First Thanksgiving

5. Wear your baby.

Stressing out about having your newborn passed around too much? Wear them in a carrier or a sling. This way you can allow friends and family to still interact with your baby a bit while also sending the message that they (or you) are not quite ready for lots of handling just yet. Plus, your hands will be free so you can still feast to your heart’s content. 

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6. Update the baby book.

Get out your baby’s keepsake book or journal and jot down a few notes about how life has changed since their arrival. Write your baby a love letter and tell them how thankful you are that they’re in your life, what developmental milestones they’ve met, and what you hope will happen next Thanksgiving. Invite visiting family and friends to compose a few short thoughts, as well.

7. Bring your own gear.

You really can’t be over-prepared or over-packed when it comes to traveling with a baby. If you plan to be a guest at someone else’s home, bring wipes, diapers, diaper rash cream, formula, bottles, burp cloths, bibs, disposable bags, extra clothes and pajamas, blankets, and pacifiers. Keep anything bulky you might need in your car, like a high chair, bouncer, or pack-and-play. Plus, bringing your own gear can help avoid hurt feelings and other family issues later in the day (for example, if your host offers you equipment that may be old and no longer considered safe).

8 Savvy Tips for Celebrating Baby’s First Thanksgiving

8. Embrace togetherness…however you’re able.

You may be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your own home or attending a celebration with friends and family for the first time in years. What a wonderful chance to celebrate the arrival of your newest little family member! Even if you can’t be with your loved ones in person, try to connect online. Plan a video call with friends or family who can’t be with you. They’ll be excited to see your new baby, and it will forge beautiful memories for you as well.  

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