Autumn table setting with leaves. Dark toned photo

Your guide to baby's first Thanksgiving

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Sheesh. Cannot — cannot even! — believe it’s already November. Where did the first 10 months of the year go? Oh right. For me, I was starting up a few different maternity businesses, raising my daughter, and buying a new house. So I guess it has been pretty busy.

November can mean different things to different people — for many, every four years, it’s about the election. (This year would be another example of that.) I don’t really get into politics on here, so let’s move past that for a few moments. I’d like to talk about the other major aspect of November most people love: Thanksgiving, or the general notion of the holidays. (And no, “Black Friday” is not a holiday and should never have been considered one.)

If this is baby’s first Thanksgiving, that’s a big deal. There’s a chance the grandparent generation has already met the baby, but other family variations — aunts, uncles, cousins — may be meeting the little one for the first time. How can you make baby’s first Thanksgiving legitimately special, and social media world-worthy? (You know, provided you’re into that.) Here are a few ideas.

Dress them up in something cute. This goes without saying, hopefully. Here are a few options from Babble, with many of them in the “turkey” or “Pilgrim” variety, admittedly. I’ll be honest about something here: most human beings have what’s sometimes called “neo-centrism,” meaning we always want the newest thing possible. Think about iPhones or podcasts or Netflix shows or whatever else. This neo-centrism idea plays into baby’s first Thanksgiving. That baby will — will — be the star of Thanksgiving, because well, let’s be honest. The rest of you have been going to Thanksgiving and seeing the same people for years. Now there’s a new beautiful baby in the mix! The interest and attention will go that way — so he/she deserves a fun costume. (They won’t remember it anyway, right?)

Make a special menu for the newborn: Look, a baby should not be eating turkey legs right off the bone. I hope we all know that, yes? But things like sweet potatoes or roasted butternut squash could be in play, and here’s a list of some good Thanksgiving recipes. If you click that link and like the little child with the turkey headband, well — you are in luck. That’s available from Pottery Barn Kids.

Crafts: While some adults are milling around drinking, catching up, or watching football — and still others are cooking — some should be playing with the newborn (provided he/she is not sleeping). One great way to engage baby on their first or second Thanksgiving is through crafts, usually something along the lines of Pilgrim hats or turkey hand prints. Here are some ideas. This will require a run to the craft/arts store beforehand, as those places probably are not open on Thanksgiving Day — you tend to need stuff like Mod Podge, scissors, a foam brush, etc.

Motherlode: If you really have some time on your hands and want the first Thanksgiving to be the greatest thing ever, try this link from Pinterest. It’s somewhere north of 1,500 ideas related to baby’s first Thanksgiving. I probably just sent you down an Internet rabbit hole that you may not emerge from until Christmas, and for that I apologize.

What else would you add about baby’s first Thanksgiving?

Kristin Smith

Kristin is a wife, mom, doula and a kick ass swaddler. She spends her time helping families get top notch support throughout their parenting journey. When she isn't swaddling babies, she can be found sipping latte's and watching her daughter play softball. Read more...

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