It’s never too early to start thinking about what traditions you want to share with your new family, but maybe you aren’t sure where to start! From holiday-inspired traditions to seasonal, bedtime, and even Biblical traditions, you’re sure to find some fun and special ideas! Here are my 41 traditions to start with baby during their first year!
21 Holiday Traditions to Start with Baby
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Let’s kick off this big list with holiday traditions! Holidays themselves tend to be very special, but sometimes even the smallest yearly traditions can hold the most meaning when looking back on these special times. Here are some ideas…
Of course, Christmas time brings all sorts of traditions like going Christmas tree shopping and looking at Christmas lights. But, in this category, I’m going to be sharing two things that my husband and I are going to be doing with our children that you may not have thought of…
1. Christmas Eve Pajamas + Book
Since both of our families wanted to spoil our little girl with toys on Christmas, we decided to start this tradition. Every Christmas Eve, we will give our children new pajamas and a book! They are useful things that also create excitement and anticipation for Santa’s arrival! Plus, what’s more special that huddling around a fireplace on Christmas Eve sipping hot chocolate and reading a book together?
2. Ornament Box
Each year, we are planning to get our kiddos a special ornament. Maybe it will be something that we accomplished that year or something they were into. For example, this year our daughter loves elephants, so we got her an ornament this year with an elephant and balloons!
To make it even more special, make sure to date each year! So, as the kids grow, you can talk about each year and why the ornament was picked!
We are also giving our kids a box to keep them in. This way each Christmas they can take out their box and decorate the tree, and once they are ready to move out (which I hope this never happens hahaha), they will have an ornament collection started for their own tree!
3. Start a 5 Year Line A Day Journal
If you haven’t already started, keeping a journal of memories can be something so special for your children one day! Starting one on New Years, like a five year line a day journal, will allow you to write one quick memory a day that your child can go through when they get older!
4. Family Photo
How fun would it be to look back at a family album filled with pictures from New Year’s? Starting the new year with your family and having an image to document the start of something fresh and new just seems so fun and special!
Have you seen those adorable height measuring rulers that hang on your wall? It’s like the new and cute version of when parents marked heights in door frames! Well, we’ve decided, as a family, that each New Years, we are going to measure the height of our children as another way to commemorate a new year! If you decide to do this, don’t forget to date each mark!
6. Make a Special Treat
This year since our baby girl is in the midst of starting solids, I want to let her try something special! Maybe I’ll make her a berry puree or something like that! As she gets older, however, I plan on making a sweet treat for her. Maybe we could even make it together as a special memory of making Valentine’s sweets together?
7. Card about How Much You Love Them
You could write your children a card each year talking about how much you love them and all the reasons you are proud of them! This will be such a sweet keepsake down the road, and what better occasion to do this than Valentine’s Day? By the time they’re 18 and getting ready for college, they’ll have a box full of cards with sweet reminders of how much you love them!
8. Wear Red/Pink
Especially when the kids are little, wearing red and pink to commemorate the holiday is a fun way to make it special (and even learn your colors)! It’s little things like this that make holidays so fun!
9. Watch Here Comes Peter Cottontail
This is actually a tradition that has been passed down from my mom’s childhood to mine and now my daughter’s! Each Easter, we watch Here Comes Peter Cottontail, the traditional claymation video. I just love that it is something from so long ago, and maybe your family could do something similar each Easter!
10. Color Easter Eggs
Is it really Easter if you don’t color Easter eggs? Well, I’m sure it is, but you get the point! You could make it even more fun by having a coloring competition!
11. Jelly Bean Garden
I am so excited about starting this new tradition with my daughter! A jelly bean garden is where you plant jelly beans in the ground and replace them with lollipops in the morning. How cute is that?!
Fourth Of July
This might seem obvious, but it’s such a fun one! Get some blankets, cuddle up, sit on the grass, and watch the magic unfold above you!
13. Red, White, and Blue Treats
Celebrate the Fourth of July with a signature red, white, and blue treat that you make each year! You could have cookie cake with red, white, and blue icing or you could go healthier with blueberries and strawberries in Cool Whip! No matter what you choose, it will be the treat that your child will always remember whenever the holiday rolls around!
14. You’ve Been “Booed”
This tradition is a great way to do something kind for others during the Halloween season! Essentially, you take a bag and fill it all sorts of goodies to leave on your neighbor’s or friend’s doorstep with a slip of paper that says, “You’ve been booed!”
Not only is it great because you are doing something for others, but it’s really fun! It reminds me of ding-dong-ditching, where you run up to someone’s door, ring the bell, and leave. But, this time, you leave a present of goodies!
15. DIY Halloween Costume
I never thought I would do this, but for my daughter’s first Halloween, I actually made her costume! It was so much fun, and I feel like it made it even more special! I would love to keep this tradition going, and it may be worth a try for you!
Carving or painting pumpkins is another MUST for Halloween! Painting is a great alternative to carving for kiddos when they are younger if you’re concerned about all of the sharp utensils! Either way, decorating pumpkins is a wonderful tradition for Halloween!
17. Turkey Handprint
Have you seen those adorable turkeys that are made out of a child’s handprint? Well, something I would love to start with my daughter is having her do one each year! Your child could make a turkey handprint and decorate it each year, putting them aside to see how much it grows each year!
18. Favorite Meal
Whether your child loves pancakes and bacon or a chicken sandwich, let them feel extra special on their big day by picking out what they want to eat for their birthday dinner! It sounds so simple to do, but this little tradition can really be something your child looks forward to each year!
19. Breakfast Treat
There’s just something so much fun about waking up, walking downstairs, and seeing a birthday treat waiting for you on your special day! It’s these little things that can make such a fun difference like a donut or some chocolate chip pancakes!
20. Birthday Plate
What’s more special than getting your favorite meal or a breakfast treat on your birthday? Well, having a very special birthday plate to eat it all on, of course!
21. Write a Letter
Each year, you could write all about what they’ve done that year. Keep each one in a keepsake box, so they can have them saved forever! There’s nothing more special than notes like these from your mom once you get older!
12 Seasonal Traditions for Babies
Maybe your family has some set traditions for different holidays or you’re looking for a broader time period for traditions? Well, we’ve still got you covered! Here are some of the traditions to start with baby that I am most looking forward to for each season of the year!
1. Donate Unused Toys/Clothes
We all know that in most places, winter means cold! But, it also means that Christmas is quickly approaching! While some children may get lost in all of the excitement revolving around Christmas presents, it may be good to do something service-oriented beforehand!
As it gets to be winter time, it may be a fun tradition to go through toys and clothes with your children and decide which ones to donate to others. Not only does it help clean out the house in preparation for new gifts, but it is also an opportunity to talk with your children about the importance of helping others while doing it together!
2. Apple Picking
When you think fall, you think beautiful leaves, cooler temperatures, and spending time outdoors. Apple picking is the perfect fall tradition! Spend some time frollicking through the orchard, finding the ripest, juiciest apples for a delicious apple pie!
3. Pumpkin Patch
This is a more traditional fall activity that many families do! Again, another great outdoor activity! It also lets you pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve in time for Halloween!
4. Go for a hike
I think you may begin to see themes with the fall traditions?! Well, being outside in the beautiful weather is just one of the best things about this season, so why not take advantage of it? Whether you go and rent a cabin in the woods or find a local state park, taking time to go for a hike with your family will definitely create some amazing memories that will last a lifetime!
While this could go in the fall category as well, having a fun camping trip in the summer with your family just sounds perfect! You could rent a camper, stay in a cabin, or go for the good ole tent! Either way, staying up late and roasting marshmallows in the dark will be such a fond memory for your family!
6. Family Vacation
Maybe camping isn’t your thing? Well, if it’s not, you could make it a tradition to go on a family vacation each summer. Some families prefer to go to the same place each time (like the beach) while others may prefer mixing it up!
7. Go on a picnic
Maybe you could take advantage of those beautiful summer sunshine rays by having family picnics? Take your lunch outside at a local park or lookout spot! It seems so simple, but that’s usually what makes the best traditions!
8. Strawberry/Blueberry Picking
While apple season is in the fall, strawberry and blueberry picking is in season during the summer! This is one of those traditions to start with baby that is perfect because you’re not only getting some yummy, fresh fruits, you’re spending quality time together! You could even
9. Drive in Movies
Drive-in movies may be a little old school, but they are still around today and just as fun! Just imagine a summer night sitting in the trunk of your car with your children huddled up and snacking on some popcorn! So fun, and something you can all do and enjoy together!
10. Plant a Garden
Spring is perfect for gardening! Let your children feel included by letting them pick the fruits or vegetables to plant! Not only is it a fun tradition to do each spring, it’s also a great way for kids to learn about sustainability and how to take care of something! Just imagine the look on your child’s face when they try their first ripe strawberry that they planted all by themselves!
11. Movie Night
Movie nights are always fun! This could even be a weekly tradition! If there is more than one child in your family, you could alternate each week who gets to choose the movie! If the weather is pretty, you could even think about getting one of those outdoor projectors!
12. Family Walk
As Spring approaches, the days will get longer. Because the sun is out longer, you may find yourself having more time to spend outside! Try going on some family walks to connect and get some exercise at the same time!
Bedtime Routine Ideas to Start with Baby
Did you know that having a consistent bedtime routine can actually make your baby sleep better? Starting a bedtime routine is something that you and your children will look forward to every night, and it is definitely one of the most important traditions, or rituals, to start with your baby from the first night they arrive home!
Before doing the following, set the mood by dimming the lights. Let the child know by their environment that it is time to start winding down for the evening!
Read a Book
Fun fact! Reading to babies, even newborns, can set them up for success in terms of language development and brain development! The more words a child is exposed to at an early age, the bigger vocabulary later in life!
So, it can be super helpful (and a great bonding experience) for the two of you to start your bedtime routine with a good book each night. They’ll look forward to their bedtime story and always cherish this special time with you!
Sing a Song
You may also want to incorporate a song with your nighttime routine. Some parents like singing the same song each night, like “You are My Sunshine”, while others may prefer changing it up! Either way, this is a great signifier to your child that it is almost bedtime!
3. Bedtime Prayers
Of course, another great habit to start early is incorporating prayers into your bedtime routine! By modeling and encouraging prayers before bed, you are helping establish their own relationship with God in the future!
6 Biblical Family Traditions
To round out our list of over 40 traditions to start with your baby, I wanted to end on the most important traditions: Biblical traditions. Instilling a love for Christ is one of the most important things for us to do as parents, and this should be incorporated in your child’s life from the get-go. Here are 6 easy Biblical family traditions that you could start today!
1. Pray Before Dinner
Eating as a family is important; praying as a family is even more important! Start the habit young by giving thanks before your meals!
2. Praying when you hear ambulance or sirens
Lots of little kids are absolutely fascinated by ambulances, policemen, and the like. Why not take this fascination and turn it into a lesson on empathy and the power of prayer?!
3. Reading a Bible Verse each day at a specific time
Every family is different. While some may be rushing out the door in the morning to get to work others may be in a mad dash to get to bed after soccer practice. Either way, try to find a time to devote to learning and/or reading a Bible verse each day. You could do it before bed, as soon as you wake, before a meal, or even in the car!
4. Practicing Advent
Focusing on Christ around Christmas time is so important! Many children can get wrapped up in all of the gift giving, but practicing Advent could help turn the focus!
5. Practicing Sabbath
Going to church on the Sabbath is also really important in helping your child establish their relationship with Christ. You may have other ways and traditions that your family may want to incorporate on the Sabbath, such as having a family lunch afterwards or preparing a special dinner each week!
Establishing traditions when your children are really young will get you into the habit when they become older and can remember! Not to mention, they will be precious memories that you will always hold near and dear to your heart! There’s no perfect tradition out there that everyone should do because each family is different. What’s most important is that you create a tradition out of love with the intent of spending time together and creating special memories!