Passover and Easter are great times to gather around the table, share delicious food, stories, and search for the matzo or Easter eggs. This is a time for families to celebrate their heritage and traditions while creating memories to last a lifetime. What could be a more perfect? But if you have a baby and toddler, a little planning will help make your bundles of joy rise to the occasion
- Passover Seders commence after sundown and Easter dinners may be later than your usual dinner hour, so make sure your little one has have a nap before you arrive. Staying up late is sometimes a recipe for tantrums and tears if they are overtired.
- If your toddler doesn’t nap anymore, let her rest in bed with some quiet books and music.
- Give your little ones a snack before you leave the house. Grumbling tummies make for grumbling children!
- Make sure your little ones are dressed in comfortable clothes. Those frilly dresses with matching headbands and little bow ties look adorable, but after awhile can get hot and itchy. There is nothing worse than a whining, uncomfortable baby or toddler.
- Bring along some coloring books, crayons or paint with water books for your toddler. Ask her to make special pictures for the other family members. These are quiet and fun activities. NO iphone apps please…much too noisy!
- If your toddler is too young to join the festivities, a favorite video is the perfect solution.
- Bring along your baby’s a bouncy seat, stroller or exersaucer so your hands will be free to enjoy your meal.
- If your baby starts to cry when Uncle Ben is bouncing her on his knee, stay calm, as your baby will pick up on your tension in seconds. Gently take the baby and say thank you for playing.
- If you don’t want your baby passed around, put her in the bouncy seat, exersaucer or stroller.
- If the older cousins are going to watch your little ones, make sure to lay the ground rules and check on them frequently.
- Little tummies can be sensitive; so don’t overdo the matzo or chocolate bunnies!
- Ask your toddler to pick out special jammies to bring just in case it gets late. It’s much easier to put a sleepy toddler to bed if she’s all set, especially if she falls asleep on the ride home.
- If you know you will be putting the baby to sleep during the celebration, bring along the white noise machine or music you play at home. There is nothing more comforting than those familiar sounds.
- If you will be leaving before the end of the celebration, make sure you alert the hostess ahead of time. Walking out in the middle of the festivities will only cause everyone to worry unnecessarily.
- If your baby or toddler is out-of-sorts or has a little cold, it’s okay to leave her home with a sitter. While the family may be disappointed, there is nothing more heart breaking than a cranky child. And you don’t want to spread those germs around either.
- If your baby starts to cry because there is just too much commotion, take her outside. The change in scenery is guaranteed to calm her down. Remember, well-meaning relatives can’t help getting excited over your bundles of joy!
- Cherish each and every minute. Time passes quickly and before you know it your little ones will be helping with the festivities.
Enjoy your wonderful family celebration with smiles, laughter and love.
©Blythe Lipman 2015