5 Steps to Planning a Thanksgiving Day Schedule with a Baby


When it was your year to host a Thanksgiving dinner, waking up at six o’clock in the morning to prepare for it was no problem. Now that you have a hungry, little baby, who wakes every two hours, waking up at six o’clock in the morning to prepare anything besides a bottle just sounds exhausting. But, because your Thanksgiving duty has circled back to you, you’ll have to add your baby’s needs to your preparation.

You could always order a full-on Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods, and pick it up before your company arrives – that’d be easy (or starting a new tradition of ordering out for a few pizzas sounds easier, too). If that’s not your style, here are some tips to help you have more time snuggling with your darling baby, and less time fussing over turkey and stuffing.

Two Days before Thanksgiving
Simplify as much as you can by making a menu and separating it by things to make before the day, and things to make the day of.

The Morning before Thanksgiving
After your baby wakes up, gets fed, snuggled, and lays down for an early morning nap, take that opportunity to chop fruit and veggies for the relish trays and salads, potatoes for being mashed, and prepare apples and pumpkin for pies. Put the trays and salads together, and place them in the refrigerator. Make the crusts for your pie dishes and fill them, then bake them while you feed your baby later that day.

The Afternoon before Thanksgiving
Now that your baby is up and awake for the day, your hands need to be free to hold her. Because you’ve already prepped most of the food for the day, accomplishing tasks with one free hand is much simpler. Finish off your afternoon by putting together things to be baked in the morning, like yams in a casserole dish.

The Night before Thanksgiving
Considering you’ve spent the majority of the day making food, take-out might be a very appealing idea. It’ll save you time and dishes. After your baby settles down for the night, tidy up your house, and set the table. Double check all of the side dishes, making sure that they’re all prepared, and then go to sleep.

Thanksgiving Day
First thing first in the morning, feed the baby, stuff the turkey, and place it (the turkey) in the oven. Most of everything else should only have to be warmed up, or placed on the table before company arrives, leaving you plenty of time to get yourself and the rest of your family ready for the day.

Preparing as much as possible before the big day should allow you the energy you need to give your baby the care she needs, without extra stress. And when your family arrives, they’re sure to love on your little baby, help you with feedings, and rock him to sleep – and you can sit back, and enjoy their company. Happy Thanksgiving.

Image via Flickr/David D