Wednesday, 19 October 2016

New Parents at Christmas

This time last year I had a belated birthday present when my lifelong friend told me that both his wife and he were expecting a child.
I was thrilled, excited and finally had one of my long existing friends become a parent; something that I was alone for what feels a life time.

This year has flown by.

I watched, supported, laughed and revealed in all the up to date pregnancy and baby news. I jumped for joy at the arrival of the little man and I have sat listening to all the highs, lows and the changes in expectations of what they, as new parents, have been experiencing.

I wanted to make a celebratory splash welcoming them into parenthood and after searching online, crowdsourcing with followers and friends and finally writing a post about it I created a large baby hamper and waited for the time when it was appropriate and I drove the 200 miles to go and see them.
I was over the moon to see the little man and despite my obvious bias he was worth the 6 months wait to see his incredible cute face.

I obviously wanted to spoil my friend, wife and their little guy. He was my best friend at school, my bestman at my wedding as I was at his but equally knew, through having my own children that they needed that time.
That time with a new born is manic, stressful and full of emotions. In fact, often this sense of 'not being in control' in the transitional period to parenthood can seem most disruptive and confusing. Most days are a blur from one to another where you’re learning about a little person with a will of their own and then you are dealing with visitors to celebrate too!

Christmas is going to be no different.
The little man is going to be 9 months old and he already is rolling all over the place so the temptation of sparkly objects, flashing lights and the magic of the big, red, jolly, present giving fellow (Santa, not me) will be a place of pure joy and excitement. With all of this I doubt very much that they are going to have much time for anyone else other than close family and if they are anything like I was for the boys first Christmas’ I wouldn’t even have those members around either.

With this in mind I have come up with 3 pieces of advice for anyone wanting to buy for a new family at Christmas.

1. Communicate
Talk to the family! This is crucial to anyone buying a Christmas present for a new mum, new dad or a new child at Christmas. If you don’t communicate then more mistakes, however meaningful, will be made.

Check what they want or need rather than an assumption. Assumptions are great later on but the first year it is always best to ask. I remember our first year for both of the boys and we ended up with clothes that were too small for them to wear, extravagant gifts that I can’t remember ever using where it wasn’t appropriate and items that we, as new parents, didn’t agree with.

2. Don’t buy the annoying toy!
This is really tempting! You see them advertised and usually in prime purchasing places in shops; the toys flash, play songs and interact and stimulate little minds. Part of me wants to buy this because I know it stimulates, is age appropriate and, sadistically, will torture the parents like those toys did to us but try and hold onto the latter. Unless they ask it is a bit mean for the first Christmas!

3. Be Organised!
Now if you have followed the first 2 points you would have spoken to the family, know what they want, won’t buy something annoying and know if and when they want to see you. If you are sending presents do it early so they don’t get delayed.

Being organised really just means that no one is upset and you know that every member enjoys what is a great and special time.
Brace yourself though as to have an open and honest conversation about those 3 points may mean they may not like your suggestions, that a few ideas might not happen and you might not even see them.

Don’t fret if they don’t want to see you; check out a company like for inexpensive and easy delivery options. It’s a website that creates couriers to bid for your business (similar to eBay bidding and can save you a lot of money)
Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of year and I know that it is even more wonderful when you become a new parent. I want all of them to revel in this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them creating traditions, taking photos and spoiling the little one.

Trying to stick to those three points will just mean that they will ALL appreciate the effort; then next year you can impose, buy annoying presents and be as disorganised as you like! ;)

(This was a collaborative post. My opinions are my own and I am under no obligations to give a positive review. Please see my full disclosure at the bottom of my blog)

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