Taking Baby to See Santa Tips
Taking baby to see Santa for the first time can be a great – or a terrible – experience. If you aren’t prepared for the crowds, germs, or the possibility your baby will panic in the face of a big, bearded stranger, you will have a rough time. But if you do some research, prepare yourself and baby, and maintain your patience and a positive attitude, you could have a great time.
Taking baby to see Santa is a good way to build memories. It gives you a fun experience to look forward to during the holidays, and a cute picture to share with family and friends as well as keep with you throughout the years as baby grows up. While it can be a bit daunting to plan and execute the perfect trip, you shouldn’t let that deter you from taking baby to visit Santa. Just use these five tips to make your experience more likely to be a good one!
1. Be Prepared for Large Crowds
Seeing Santa Claus is a tradition for many families. Each year their children become very excited at the prospect of visiting with the big guy in person and letting him know what presents they hope to receive under the tree. So taking baby to see Santa will probably be a bigger and more chaotic experience than you assume. While there may be times and days with smaller crowds, because of the shortage of time to see Santa, usually you’ll be facing a large group of children, parents, and lookers-on. If you are taking baby to see Santa at a mall or other retailer, you’ll be competing with the holiday shopping crowds as well.
2. Plan for Sensory Overload
You need to be prepared for a lot of people, long lines, and loud noises. If baby becomes overexcited in such environments, you need to prepare for this. Get earmuffs to block out noise, a blanket or screen to cover them in the stroller or carrier, and have some of their favorite toys or stuffed animals on hand to distract them from what is going on around them. Taking baby to see Santa is a great way to work with them on crowd situations, but you don’t want to overwhelm them if possible.
3. Find out When It’s Least Busy
You can also do some research before taking baby to see Santa. Ask friends or family where they take their kids to see him, and what kind of experience they’ve had at that location. Was it busy? Quiet? Was there a certain time they found it easier to get in and out for their visit? Call the mall or retailer where Santa is stationed and ask for their busiest hours. Is there a time of day they might recommend for you to come in when the crowd won’t be so bad? You can use all of the information you gather to plan your trip.
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4. Watch Out for Germs
With lots of people come lots of chances to catch something that will make baby sick. Winter is a busy season for flu and colds to spread from child to child, or child to adult, or adult to adult. If you are taking baby to see Santa you need to be aware of the possibility of them contracting something from someone. Another child in line may sneeze around baby. Santa may be fighting a cold and then hold baby. A shopper in the area could cough and release germs into the air, possibly infecting everyone around them. Precautions need to be taken to cut down the risk of your baby getting sick from exposure to all of the other people they are around when taking baby to see Santa.
Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. If you come into contact with anyone else, be sure to clean your hands. Have baby in a carrier as much as possible so they aren’t out where the majority of people are. Cover their face with a blanket or screen as you can, to also cut down on their exposure to other people. Do not let anyone hold baby except for yourself. This means you should hold baby in the picture with Santa Claus. He may be a jolly old elf, but he could also be a germ carrier and a picture with him is not worth risking your baby’s health.
5. Santa Can Be Scary
Many infants experience a period where they find strangers frightening. They’ll go from being okay in anyone’s arms, to only being okay with parents or other family members they see on a regular basis. This means taking baby to see Santa would include introducing them to a complete stranger that they are not comfortable with. They may scream or cry or refuse to be close to him. They may make themselves so upset they spit up on you or him. It’s important to be ready for any of these possibilities.
Keep wet wipes with you to clean up any messes. Be ready to hold baby in the picture, instead of letting Santa hold them. If baby starts crying, ask if you can take them off to the side to calm them down and then try again. Because they are used to babies and children getting upset during the Santa picture process, many places will give you a couple of tries to get your images taken. You may also have to settle for a picture with Santa and a crying baby. Sometimes they just won’t settle down or be happy. You have to be willing to accept that when taking baby to see Santa.
6. Patience is Key
This goes closely with the previous item on the list. You are going to need to bring all of your patience with you when taking baby to see Santa. You will probably encounter a busy shopping center, a long line for pictures, a fussy baby, and even prices for pictures that you weren’t expecting. It is very important that you remain as patient as possible through the whole ordeal. You don’t want baby to remember their visit with Santa as uncomfortable because you were angry or annoyed the whole time. You want them to remember it as a fun family experience.
7. Be Prepared to Leave Early
Psych yourself up for taking baby to see Santa before leaving the house. Remind yourself that you are trying to make a memory for baby and yourself and the destination is more important then the journey in this case. Bring along everything you might need to make the experience a success – a change of clothing for baby, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, bottles, pacifiers, toys, and blankets. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, and this way if baby has an accident or gets fussy you can take care of them as quickly as possible. And keep in mind that baby might be afraid of Santa and crying or screaming may happen. If you stay patient you can work through their fear with them more easily than if you both start getting upset.
8. Make Sure You Are Camera Ready
There is a good possibility that you will have to be in the picture of Santa with baby. To cut down on transference of germs, or to stop baby from panicking over close proximity to a stranger, it is best that you hold baby for their picture. You will want to make sure you are okay with how you will look in the picture.
Don’t wear ratty pajamas or a shirt with a dirty joke or image on it. Take a shower, brush your hair, pretty much do whatever you would do if you were going to work or to take a picture of yourself. Many parents put the pictures of their kids with Santa up every year around the holidays. Or they mail them out with Christmas cards. You won’t want to share yours if you are in them looking terrible. Keep that in mind when you are getting dressed for the trip.
Taking baby to see Santa is just one of the firsts that you’ll experience when you become a parent. How you handle the trip will teach you a lot about what kind of parent you want to be. If you prepare yourself and baby for it, things will go a lot smoother and you’ll all have a great experience. So do your research, bring all the supplies you’ll need, and be ready for a lot of other families to be there. If you stay patient and positive, you’ll be able to make a great memory for you and baby to remember for a long time to come!