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Baby's First Thanksgiving: Celebrating with Your Tiny Turkey

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

Grandma adoring her new grandchild in her mother's arms at Thanksgiving

Ah, Baby's First Thanksgiving!

It's the time of year when we gather with loved ones to express gratitude for all the blessings in our lives, especially your newest tiny turkey. If this is your baby's first Thanksgiving, you might be wondering how to navigate this holiday with your little one. While it may feel challenging, fear not! Thanksgiving can be an unforgettable and heartwarming experience. In this blog, we'll share some tips and ideas to make your baby's first Thanksgiving truly special.

Embrace the Simplicity

With a newborn in the house, your life is already filled with adorable chaos. Thanksgiving is a great time to embrace simplicity. Consider having a smaller, more intimate gathering this year to keep stress levels down. Opt for a cozy, family-only dinner or potluck with close friends, and let others handle the grand feasts. This allows for more intimate conversations like asking grandma or great-granddad about their babies and their first Thanksgiving together.

Dress Your Tiny Turkey

There's nothing cuter than dressing your little one in a Thanksgiving-themed outfit. Think tiny turkey onesies and pumpkin socks, or a fall dress. You'll create wonderful photo opportunities and warm memories for years to come.

Baby's First Thanksgiving Photo Shoot

Speaking of photos, this is the perfect time for a "Baby's First Thanksgiving" photo shoot. Capture those precious moments with your little one surrounded by fall foliage, colorful leaves, or seasonal decorations. Another cute tradition could be to take a photo of your baby with each family unit within your gathering. Then you could do a number of things with those photos including printing and writing a thank you note to send to each family for coming. Another idea is to print and let each family unit write a little note to tuck away in your baby's first Thanksgiving memory book. These photos and memories of the people you are thankful for will be cherished forever.

Create a Gratitude Tradition

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. Even with a wee one, you can start a gratitude tradition. Each family member can express what they're thankful for, including your little bundle of joy's gurgles and coos. It's a beautiful way to mark this special day and teach your child the importance of gratitude from the beginning.

Involve Your Baby in Thanksgiving Festivities

While your baby may be too young to help cook or set the table, they can still be involved in their own way. One super cute idea is to create a tablecloth with handprints or footprints for each year and keep the tradition going until the cloth is full of tiny handprints you can cherish for many years to come. Let them feel part of the festivities by watching the preparations, listening to the conversations, or simply being held close as you enjoy your meal.

Naptime Strategy

Babies need their sleep, so be prepared with a comfortable, quiet space for naps. If your little one is on a predictable schedule, plan Thanksgiving dinner and activities around their nap schedule, to maximize your baby's happiness. It's also important to understand that you and your little one may miss out on a few things this year while you celebrate quietly on your own around nap times.

Ask for Help

Don't be afraid to ask for help or accept offers of assistance from family and friends. Your loved ones are likely eager to lend a hand, whether it's watching the baby while you enjoy your meal or helping with the cleanup.

Savor the Moments

Most importantly, remember that your baby's first Thanksgiving is a time to savor the moments that you can never get back. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and focus on the joy and love that your little one brings to your family.

Boundaries Are Okay

Setting boundaries with well-meaning family and friends is an important aspect of navigating your baby's first Thanksgiving. While their enthusiasm and affection are appreciated, it's crucial to ensure your baby's comfort and safety. Babywearing is one fantastic way to keep your baby close to you and prevent unwanted hands or kips from touching theirs.

Don't hesitate to have an open and honest conversation with your loved ones about your preferences regarding touching, kissing, or holding your little one. Remember, it's perfectly acceptable to kindly but firmly communicate your boundaries. You can say something like, "We're being cautious about keeping our baby healthy, so we're limiting physical contact for now," or "We're following the pediatrician's advice to protect our baby's well-being." Most friends and family will understand and respect your wishes. After all, it's vital to prioritize your baby's health, even during the holiday season, especially when RSV and flu are dominating the hospitals.

We hope your baby's first Thanksgiving is magical!

It's an opportunity to create lasting memories, start new family traditions, and give thanks for the newest addition to your family. Embrace the simplicity, capture the moments, and cherish the love that surrounds you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your adorable tiny turkey!

Authored by Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth is the founder and CEO of The Jacksonville Baby Company. Elizabeth and her husband and best friend, Richard are parents to four children. With certifications in Postpartum and Infant Care Support, Childbirth and Newborn Care Education, Lactation Support, and Infant Sleep, she is a wealth of knowledge and has a heart that is passionate about helping parents live their best lives while also ensuring their children are safe, happy, and leading their healthiest lives possible! Contact us today to book support!

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