It’s an exciting time of year for little ones. Most of them are looking forward to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or, depending on family your background, Chriskwanzukah.
Even the littlest ones have an inkling that’s something’s up. There’s apt to be talk of Santa coming or a celebration in the offing. Certainly, for a lot of families, the holiday season means visits with friends and relatives, special outings, household guests, festive meals and treats, plus plenty of changes in routine.
All the hoopla can be challenging for tots to cope with, especially when naptimes are disrupted and mealtimes are more variable.
There is plenty you can do, though, to make the season safe and jolly good fun for the kidlets. In the process, you’ll be making life easier for everybody, especially yourself.
- When purchasing toys, make sure they’re age-appropriate. The recommendations on the packaging are there for safety’s sake.
- Keep your older children’s new toys out of the reach. The small parts, sharp edges and batteries pose real hazards.
- Teach your little one not to touch decorations, lights, the menorah or the Christmas tree.
- Put breakable ornaments on higher branches.
- Consider securing the tree to a wall so it won’t tip over. At least, ensure it’s set in a sturdy base.
- Try to keep your routines, especially naptime, as consistent as possible. Your tot needs the rest in order to function.
- When you’re going out to events, activities or holiday celebrations, pack a bag to keep in the car. Put in comfort items, an extra set of clothes and mitts, healthy snacks, storybooks and hygiene items so that your wee one will feel secure no matter how circumstances unfold.
- If you’re entertaining at home, designate an adult or older teen to manage the small fry. They need to be within view and reach at all times.
- Ensure purses and beverages are out of reach.
- Be aware that mistletoe and holly are poisonous when swallowed.
- Put the nuts, grapes, candies and other small snack items on high tables because they can cause choking.
- When you’ve got little helpers in the kitchen, put coffee mugs and teacups out of reach and supervise carefully around the stove.
- Always be sure the fire in the fireplace is completely out before you go to bed; and watch little ones particularly closely around the fireplace before Christmas. Since this is where Santa comes down the chimney, it is a major attraction.
- Give yourself extra time for coming and going, and pencil in double time for stories, snuggles and cuddles.
- Remember: while the ribbons and wrappings, trimmings and trappings will be here and gone in no time, the memories you make now, and each day, will last and be precious.