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Whether you’re at home or away visiting friends and family, here are a few tips to help with weaning and looking after little ones over Christmas:

Try to stick to their routine (both eating and sleeping) as much as possible

Christmas can be stressful and chaotic enough without adding a cranky baby to the mix!  It’s a fine balance – not being too strict / regimented so your baby takes over, but keeping to a routine so they are happy – allowing you to relax and enjoy Christmas too.

Plan mealtimes

If you’re cooking the Christmas meal, make sure you have other people on hand to look after your little one whilst you are cooking.  Preparing the Christmas meal is stressful enough, without having to do it one handed.

If you’re visiting, have a chat with the hosts about timings so you can plan for your little one.  Could your Christmas meal be over afternoon nap time or  in the evening so you can put your little one to bed beforehand, allowing you to relax and enjoy the meal more?  If your little one is around at mealtimes, have some snacks / toys to hand so hopefully they’ll sit more happily in their high chair…

Babyproof your feeding area

If you’re away visiting, it’s worth babyproofing the area before starting mealtimes.  There’s enough to do, without worrying about food splashes on carpets / lovely tables. Cover the floor underneath the high chair to protect against spills and splashes.  Our splash mats are great for protecting the floor from mealtime mess, but an old sheet / pieces of newspaper could also be used.

Have some wipes or a damp flannel close to hand to wipe up mess if needed.

Encourage your little one to try new foods / textures over the Christmas period.

Many of the vegetables served at this time of year (parsnips, carrots, broccoli, sprouts, swede) are great for BLW – assuming they don’t have rich sauces or too much salt added.  Set some of the vegetables aside before adding sauces or extra flavouring.

For little ones still on purees, mix some of these veggies with a little milk or mashed potato for a delicious puree.

Turkey, chicken and potatoes in bite size chunks are great for BLW, but make sure there’s no gravy which can be high in salt (and not too much roast potato – the fat used to cook roast potatoes can be very rich for little tummies)

Ask for help

Get other people involved – looking after and feeding your little one.  Grandparents, daddies, older cousins –  now’s the time to get them doing some work – allowing you time to catch up on any outstanding tasks / prep for the next meal or just relax and catch up with friends or family.

Relax and keep things simple 

Relax and take the pressure off.  If you’re hosting and there are little ones around, things often won’t go to plan, but that’s half the fun!  Explain to guests in advance that Christmas this year might be a bit different if they’re not used to babies / toddlers being around…Set realistic expectations for their time with you.

Christmas with little ones is very different – it’s about spending time with friends and family and creating new traditions and routines which fit with your growing family.  Keep things simple, ask for help, buy some ready prepared food to take the pressure off lots of cooking all the time – anything really which allows you to relax and enjoy yourself too.

Happy Christmas!

Helen x