Babies and biology have a funny way of not caring about any of your plans when it comes to anticipated due dates. Most plans can be changed, but what do you do if you're having a baby on Christmas and you already have another kid? You may have a few extra considerations to make prior to your new baby's debut. With some preparation, being in the hospital doesn't have to stop you and the soon-to-be big brother or sister from still having a wonderful holiday.
You'll want to plan the basics as soon as you can, like securing a caregiver for your older child for the time you'll spend in the hospital and providing them with logistical information like emergency contacts, school information, and so on. Once these standard arrangements are made, you can start to focus more on Christmas day.
Since this isn't your first rodeo, you probably know that no matter how much planning you do, chances are good that it will all go out the window as soon as you feel that first contraction. Even so, it's better to plan for the worst (worst being not home with your older child on Christmas morning) and hope for the best. So, in case you do end up in labor, delivery, or recovery on Christmas, here are five small things you can plan or do to help ensure your older child will still enjoy the holiday.
1. Explain The Situation Ahead Of Time
You know how your little one will say or do something that makes you take a step back and realize they're so much smarter than you realize? Keep that in mind as you explain to them why you may not be with them on Christmas morning. If your older child is smart enough to understand that you're having a baby, they are probably also smart enough to at least somewhat understand that Santa may be visiting them at someone else's house this year. In all honesty, they're probably going to be more concerned about Santa being able to find them than you being there (sorry!).
2. Celebrate The Holiday Early
Pick a day to celebrate all aspects of the holiday prior to Christmas day. Snuggle up on the couch watching movies, bake some cookies, and give your little one any presents that are from you. You can also opt to have Santa bring your child's presents early, or keep them separate so there's still something to open on Christmas morning at the caregiver's house. Either way, spend the day exactly as you would if it really were Dec. 25.
3. Plan An Epic Slumber Party For Them
If your older child is staying with their cousins or best friend while you're in the hospital, stock up on things to make the sleepover as fun as possible. Get the kids some matching pajamas or slippers, send the adults a gift card for some take-out (just make sure it's open around the holiday), or gift your little one a really cool sleeping bag to use. If you have any special traditions your family does on Christmas Eve, let the adult know ahead of time so they can incorporate it into their night as well.
4. Make The Hospital Room Cozy & Have A Gift Waiting
Coordinate a time for your older child to come visit the hospital on Christmas day, then get the room ready for their arrival. Have a few presents there for them (bonus points if one of them is from the new baby) and try to make the visit as much about them as possible. Act surprised as they rattle off what Santa brought them and, if you can, try to do something small in the hospital room that your family typically does at home on Christmas.
5. Remember They'll Forgive You For Anything
Even if your due date isn't until mid January, you may still unexpectedly find yourself spending your holiday in labor and delivery. Whether your Christmas baby came as a surprise or as expected, remember that your older child will forgive you for just about anything, including a less-than-ideal Christmas. But, if all else fails, there's always candy to help you bribe them into forgiving you, so stock up on some prior to Christmas, just in case.