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Creating family traditions with your baby

By Wendy Walz, Early Childhood Parent Educator


As the holidays roll around, it is time once again to celebrate family traditions. No matter what your heritage, spending time together and celebrating holidays gives babies many memories and gets them in the spirit of creating traditions.


Traditions are very important for babies. When you create your holiday celebration, keep in mind these important tips:

  • Tell your baby about the meaning of the holiday.  This is another way to share language in your baby’s life and help them understand what is important to your family.   

  • Babies and children will learn about their personal heritage with holiday celebrations.  

  • When you celebrate with your extended family and friends, babies realize they belong to a bigger network of love and support. 

By celebrating holidays together throughout the year on the same dates, babies begin to learn a sense of order and balance. As your child grows, they will realize that Valentine’s Day is in February, while Hanukkah and Christmas are in December. Babies will gain a sense of the seasons by celebrating in the specific time of year. 


Generosity and acceptance are also great lessons to teach during this time of year. Include your baby in volunteer activities in the community. If you sing carols at a nursing home, ring a bell for donations or help at a food bank, please bring your baby along. Explain to your baby how it is important to help others. Practice being grateful this season and let your baby see this.  Be a role model to your child. 


We also encourage you to document your family’s traditions though a book or video and share these with your baby. For instance, our family created a “Christmas Memories” movie. This highlights me as a little girl going on a sled ride; my brother and I took turns pulling each other. Now that I have grandchildren, it is especially fun to watch this with them and show them me when I was a little girl. It is important for babies to learn about the past and their family members. Sharing these memories is a Christmas treasures.


You can also consider swapping and sharing your traditions with someone from a different background to expose your baby to new cultures and ideas. 


Remember not to stress out during the holidays, your calmness helps keep your baby care-free, too.  Take deep breaths, hug and enjoy your time of being together. 


Celebrating family traditions creates lasting positive memories for you and your baby.


© 2023, BABY KNOW 

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