6 Unforgettable Toddler Holiday Milestones

toddler baking Christmas cookies

Sponsored by Dreft

Finally, your little one really “gets” how fun the holidays can be! Toddlers add an exciting mix of chaos and enthusiasm to everything they do, and the holidays are no exception, so get ready to celebrate to the max. Here are some memorable firsts to look forward to with your toddler this holiday season. 


1. The first time they help bake and decorate cookies. Get ready for a big mess, but also for big fun. Let them pour and mix to their heart’s content, and then remain calm as they try to fit all the frosting on a single cookie. (Important note: Make sure that they wash their hands often so your sugar cookies don’t turn into booger cookies!)

2. Their first easy festive crafts. Pinterest has a trajillion ideas, but don’t forget to think back to your own childhood and try the time-tested crafts you loved as a kid. Whether it’s handprint reindeer, painting plastic ornaments, coloring cards, or gluing popsicle-stick snowflakes, let your perfectionist tendencies fly out the window as you encourage your little one to be creative and independent.

3. Their first wish list for Santa. Let your toddler dictate his heart’s desire to you, and write it all down, no matter how outrageous or absurd the request. And if your child asks for a real, live dinosaur? Remind her that there’s nothing wrong with aiming high as long as she knows nothing on the list is guaranteed. Pro tip: If you’re mailing the letter off to the North Pole, don’t forget to take a photo first!

4. Their first awareness of the smells of the season. Toddlerhood is all about exploring with their senses, and when it comes to holiday nostalgia, there’s nothing quite like the sense of smell. Help them notice the sharp tang of the pine tree, the comforting aroma of fresh matzo ball soup, and the unmistakable scent of pumpkin-spice everything.

5. The first holiday songs they learn. From “The Dreidel Song” to “Here Comes Suzy Snowflake” to the silly lyrics you made up to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” your toddler will absolutely get most of the words wrong and it will be AWESOME. Take lots of video.

6. Their first real anticipation of waking up Christmas morning. Before the big night, wash their little pajamas with Dreft Blissfuls laundry scent booster. One whiff while you snuggle in the morning will send you right back to the sweet baby years so you won’t be distracted by thoughts of how quickly they’re growing up!

What firsts will you celebrate with your toddler this holiday season?


Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/JaniceRichard

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