Tips on Creating Family Traditions in Your Baby’s First Year

family traditions babys frist year tipsWhen you first bring home your newborn baby is when you start acting like a family instead of a couple. You are not given much of a choice, as your little one has demands. But try to keep your eyes on the big picture as you are diapering and feeding. Family is more than a group of people under the same roof. Each member needs a sense of belonging. One way your child will get this is through family traditions. How you act and what you do throughout your baby’s first year will set the nature of your family’s traditions. Here are some tips and ideas for you to think about during that time:

Choose a wall in your home to put up family pictures and create the center to be the most recent photo. Start with you and your spouse as a couple and then switch it out with a picture of the three of you as soon as can. Add pictures of events, holidays and special occasions in frames around the focal picture. You will find over the years that everyone in the family will have a special reverence for that wall.

Create special times during family vacation. A baby in their first year will not know the difference between being on vacation or not. But, they will know that they are not at home, in their own comfortable world. The feeling of lost security will be countered with all of the attention they get from you, however, because you will not be working or busy doing other things. And baby will be getting attention from extended family, which is fun too. So don’t pack your vacation with too much to do, take time to enjoy each other.

Be careful o holiday slip ups. Traditional holidays may be hard for new parents to figure out. Splitting up your time between your extended families will not be easy. Remember to be fair and give each family time with you and the baby.

Snap a picture. If you go somewhere special on a yearly basis, take a picture of your baby every year at the same spot. My father has planted one Blue Spruce tree at his lake house for each one of his grandchildren. Every August we take family pictures in this small forest he has grown – complete with pictures of the children next to their tree. My oldest daughter’s tree is as tall as the telephone pole, but I will still be taking her picture next to it this August.

Keep the little things that remind you of events your baby has been through to show them as they grow up – not just pictures. Even if you don’t scrapbook, you can keep things like their hospital name tags in a large envelop to share with them when they are older.

Take note of your child’s place in your family. Does your baby have a special place in your extended family? Besides being the special baby that they are… Is your baby a twin of a family that has had twins for many generations? Is your son the namesake of the family? Is your child the only grandchild with great Grandma’s blue eyes?

Sing a special song to your baby, maybe one you remember as a child. Do this every day and you will be able to use it to sooth your child as they grow older.

Start a yearly collection for your baby. Stamps, collectible toys, etc. are all nice things to own over time. Pick something that has special meaning to you and your family.

Journal about their day of birth and add a special not to it each year on their birthday. Get others to add what they were doing when they found out about the child’s birth, as well. This makes a beautiful keepsake.

Mark off their height. Once your little one is able to stand still for a minute, begin marking off a door jam with their height. Do this until the day they graduate college. (My brother grew 4-inches in college!)

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