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4 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving with a New Baby

by Sheryl Cooksley

4 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving with a New Baby

Are you hosting Thanksgiving AND have a new baby or small child?

Well, holy cow! That’s a big undertaking!

I bet you thought, “No problem! My baby will sleep through everything and I’ll have plenty of time.” But now you’re faced with reality.

Do you wonder how you’re possibly going to cook ALL of that food and still look like you AND your family are all put together once it’s time to feast?

I’ve got 4 tips to make your Thanksgiving easy AND enjoyable!


No joke. There is some great pre-made food out there! Check out your local Costco or Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s or New Seasons. Even your local grocery chain has something ready-to-eat or easy to prepare on their shelves or in the refrigerator case.

Don’t want to roast a turkey? Buy Rotisserie chicken or deli ham. Think outside the box. Shake that traditional Thanksgiving feast up a bit. For your sides, pick up packaged salad mixes, deli salads or ready to heat items from the refrigerator or freezer section. I mean, Trader Joe’s has some killer pre-made stuffing and sides that you can’t go wrong with. Place them in YOUR pretty dishes and, VOILA, no one knows any different.

Is this more expensive? Maybe. But your time and sanity are worth every penny.


We all want to look like a million bucks when we host an event…especially when we have a new baby to show off, too. But the reality is we’re lucky to get a shower on any given day, let alone do our hair and makeup.

Keep it simple. Wear stretchy cute clothes. A swing dress and leggings, flats, simple hair and makeup is all you need to look fresh AND have plenty of stretch in your clothes for your post-Thanksgiving feast belly.

Throw grandma’s apron on over the top of it all to protect your outfit from food spatter and spit up. Functional AND a conversation starter.


Let’s face it, your new baby will look cute even if they are wearing pajamas from the night before, BUT we all know that new parents want their baby in the cutest outfit for each holiday. I get it! There are pictures involved and you want some pretty snappy looks for junior. After all, these pictures are going in a photo album for posterity and your baby is going to look cute by gosh!

Pick 3 cute ONE PIECE outfits. Or 3 cute stretchy outfits for your littles. Prep them, keep them handy and ready to use in a pinch. These are available for when junior dribbles gravy down his cute onesie or YOU dribble gravy on junior while attempting to eat AND hold your precious baby.

Old Navy makes easy, comfy, WASHABLE clothes for all of your little ones. Throw on a cute holiday themed bib and you’ve got photo worthy outfits for the win!


If no one needs emergency care during your holiday event and the food was edible, you have just achieved a major holiday SUCCESS!

Breathe! Not everything will be perfect or as snazzy as your pre-baby holiday gatherings, but REALLY you did remarkable!

You got this! And if you don’t think you can handle it, you can always check out meal prep services offered in your area. Wanna know a secret? There are even some postpartum doulas near you who will provide that for you! That’s a win win right there!

Do you feel ready for your first post-baby Thanksgiving dinner now?

Sheryl Cooksley is the mother of 4 and knows first hand how hard prepping a big holiday meal can be. She is the owner and founder of Family Tree Doula Services, loves providing postpartum doula support and really loves planning and prepping meals for her clients.