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21 Fun Christmas Traditions to Start with a Baby

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What are the best traditions to start with a new baby?

Oh, it’s that wonderful time of year when the air turns colder and we can’t help but think of the holiday season ahead of us.

While I still believe that Thanksgiving is the best holiday, that first Christmas with a new baby is something to be treasured. If you’re looking to make the holiday even more special, then try these Christmas traditions to start with a baby.

Depending on the age of your little one when Christmas rolls around, some traditions may be easier than others to pull off this year.

But don’t stress momma! Do what you can this year, and include more traditions in the years to come. Or invite other family members to join in with the traditions with you (to make memories and also give you a hand).

Get a copy of the Christmas traditions to start with a baby, so you can cross ideas off as you go!

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How do you make Christmas magical?

mother and baby sitting on floor in front of tree

I think it has something to do with a combination of Christmas lights and snow on the ground that makes Christmas more magical than any other holiday.

But what if you need to make your own magic? That’s where Christmas traditions come in!

Christmas traditions are a way of saying: it’s that special time of year that I will always remember because my family celebrated in this unique way. And that is the magical part, momma. It’s however you wish to celebrate this holiday with your own little family that makes the Christmas magic.

So where do you start? With baby’s first Christmas, of course!

But don’t think it ends there. As your kiddos grow and change, the Christmas traditions to start with a baby can grow and change as well.

What do you do for baby’s first Christmas?

baby on tummy in red shirt and green overalls in front of lights
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Baby’s first Christmas is such a big deal! There’s presents and pictures and family to visit. It can be quite chaotic actually.

So take some time as just a family and decide what Christmas traditions to start with a baby.

Think about how old your baby will be at Christmastime. My yearly tradition is to bake Christmas cookies. But there was no way I was doing that while breastfeeding, and it wasn’t something that my son could do with me.

But something like hanging stockings or reading Christmas books was something he could easily do along with us.

Don’t worry: just because you didn’t start the tradition the year they were born, doesn’t mean you can’t start a new tradition when they’re a little older.

What are traditional Christmas traditions?

couple sitting on floor with baby and Christmas lights
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

1. Decorate the tree together

This was one of my favorite traditions for my baby’s first Christmas. However, depending on how old your baby is at Christmas, you might need some way to contain your baby while you decorate.

I used the Infantino 3-in-1 Spin & Stand Entertainer. It’s perfect once your baby can hold up his own head. To get your smaller baby in on the decorating fun, use a baby swing or the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker. My son wasn’t a fan of his swing, but I can definitely recommend the rocker.

2. Take a family photo

Whether it’s a photo with Santa, one at your home, a professional photo, or a photo on Christmas day, make sure you capture all the joy of this season the first year, and every year after, with a family Christmas photo.

3. Send Christmas cards

If you haven’t sent Christmas cards before you had the baby, now is the perfect time to start. It’s a great way to use that family photo that you took together. Family and friends will enjoy getting updates every year and watching your family grow.

4. Hang stockings

This is the best year to get stockings for the whole family, if you don’t already have them. Check out this adorable baby’s first Christmas stocking, which you can personalize with your baby’s name. Personally, I like a personalized stocking that does not have baby’s first Christmas, so it can grow with your child.

Related: 21 Perfect Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers

5. Watch Christmas movies

I’m sure there’s a favorite movie or two you enjoy every Christmas. Or maybe you’re a fan of the Hallmark Christmas movies. Whatever your go-to movie is this time of year, take this first year with your baby to enjoy your movie. The next years the Christmas movies will be all about your kiddo. You could even gift a copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas to enjoy year after year. It’s one of my favorites!

What are some Christmas Eve traditions?

packages in green wrapping paper sitting on table with red candles
Photo by Alex Fu from Pexels

6. Gift matching pajamas

Matching pajamas are a great Christmas tradition to start with a baby. The whole family will look super cute for those Christmas morning pictures. As your family grows, you can choose whether the whole family gets new pajamas or just the kiddos.

7. Fill a Christmas Eve box

A Christmas Eve box is a small box filled with some Christmas Eve goodies, like those pajamas we just talked about. And maybe a Christmas book, movie, or ornament. Just something small that is a preview of what’s to come the next day and something your kids look forward to every Christmas Eve.

8. Prepare Christmas Eve dinner

Ok, so this one may add more prep work to your already busy holiday schedule, but hear me out. Christmas Eve dinner is a meal for just you, your spouse and your new baby. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although that’s ok too). It’s just an evening to sit down and enjoy the time with your family and reflect on the past year.

9. Set out treats for Santa and his reindeer

Put out some cookies (store bought are perfectly fine) and milk for Santa. And some carrots for the reindeer. You could even get Santa his own plate and cup personalized with your family name, so he knows those are his special treats.

Christmas traditions to start with a baby: Santa's hand with cookie and cocoa

What religious traditions are common during Christmas?

people in church with choir singing
Photo by Blue Ox Studio from Pexels

10. Set up a nativity

have a porcelain nativity set that I’ve had since I was a kid, and I was super excited to use it at Christmas with my son. Except it’s porcelain, and he’s a baby. (What was I thinking?) So, I got him his own Little People Nativity Set that we can set up each year, and he can actually play with it.

Related: 23 Adorable Baby’s First Christmas Gifts

11. Read the Christmas story

Read Luke Chapters 1 through 24 throughout December (one chapter an evening) to get the whole account of the life of Jesus. For a version babies will love, check out The First Christmas.

12. Attend a worship service

Most churches offer a Christmas Eve service. Some even offer a Christmas morning service. If you’re not affiliated with a church, you could even look for a church in your area that might be holding a candlelight service some time in the month of December. Some churches put on a Christmas play and sing carols during this service.

What are examples of secular Christmas traditions?

couple reading to baby in front on Christmas tree
Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels

13. Take a photo with Santa

We’ve all seen the pictures of terrified kids on Santa’s lap. And I don’t think kids should be subjected to that. So instead, take a family photo with Santa. (You could even use it for your Christmas card picture.) It might even make it easier to overhear what your kids ask Santa for one day.

14. Read Christmas books

There are so many fun Christmas books out there to get your baby ready for this holiday. Christmas traditions to start with a baby could include gifting Christmas books throughout the month of December. A good one to start with is Babies Love Christmas.

Related: 35 Cheerful Christmas Books for Toddlers

15. Take a drive to see the neighborhood lights

Christmas traditions to start with a baby don’t have to be elaborate, and this one just involves you getting in the car and taking a drive. (Be sure to have the Christmas music playing.) There are sure to be some beautiful Christmas lights on display in your neighborhood. Get bundled up, take the drive, and have some hot chocolate once you’re back home.

16. Visit a park with a light display

If you just can’t get enough of those light displays, check out a local park or resort. Many offer a beautiful winter light show throughout the month of December.

What are some unique Christmas traditions?

person placing rocking horse ornament on tree
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

17. Get a tree for baby

Your little one might not yet be big enough to start taking ornaments off of your tree. Don’t worry the time is coming. Get the Evenflo Play Space to protect your baby from the tree or the tree from your baby.

In the meantime, get your little one his own tree. Get a felt tree with removable ornaments that your kiddo can decorate and redecorate throughout the Christmas season. This one even comes with a countdown to Christmas snowman.

18. Create a Christmas countdown

I don’t recommend an advent calendar for Christmas traditions to start with a baby. Maybe once your kiddo is a little older, he can enjoy the sweet treats or toys that come with the advent calendar. For now, I recommend a do-it-yourself countdown to Christmas. (Or use the snowman that comes with the felt tree above.)

You can either create a Christmas tree from craft foam or construction paper. Then cut out ornaments and number them 1-24 and create a star for 25. Each day add another ornament to the tree. Or check out the Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar. It’s just like I described, but the work is already done for you!

Another alternative is creating paper chain. Add another link to the chain each day. Or start with 25 links in your chain and take one link away each day. Once the links are gone, the presents show up. (This is a decoration that cleans up after itself!)

19. Make a donation

Christmas traditions to start with a baby should include making a donation. Whether you want to donate money, clothes, or toys, you can show your kiddos the importance of helping others in need. This is also a great way to purge unused clothes or toys as your kiddos grow.

20. Purchase a new ornament

This makes a great stocking stuffer or an item for your Christmas Eve box. Either way, get your little one his very own Christmas ornament. A baby’s first Christmas ornament is great for Christmas traditions to start with a baby. As the tradition continues, you can get ornaments based on things that your little one is interested in: like ballet or karate.

21. Write a letter to your baby

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions to start with a baby. Christmas is the perfect time of year to sit and reflect on your life with your new bundle of joy. You could either get a Letters to You memory book where your memories are kept all in one place. Or write a letter each year and save it in a plastic ornament decorated with some Christmas ribbon.


There you have it: 21 of the best Christmas traditions to start with a baby. From religious to secular traditions and traditional to unique traditions and traditions to start on Christmas Eve, I’m sure there’s something that will be perfect for your family to try this year.

And don’t try to do all the Christmas traditions with a new baby. Enjoy this time while they are little to make some really great memories and have a stress free less holiday.

What Christmas tradition will you be starting with your baby this year? Let us know in the comments.

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