The very first Thanksgiving with your new baby is extra-special. Even if your little one is too young for turkey or pie, you can enjoy the best parts of the holiday with your pint-sized pumpkin: love, laughter, and lots and lots of downtime. When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving with a new baby, there are lots of ways to make the most out of your holiday. From crafting to photo shoots and cute outfits to keepsakes, that little turkey of yours will have lots of memories to look back on from their first Thanksgiving. Just be sure to take pictures! 

Plan a special Thanksgiving outfit for your baby.

Cute baby wearing a Thanksgiving outfit

Photo: Instagram/ourlifeinrosegold

Dress your little turkey in an outfit to remember this Thanksgiving Day. Not only will you want it for the moment, but this super-cute ensemble will mark your memories as well. Fall colors and motifs look adorable on babies, and a themed hair bow or hat won’t hurt, either!

Take a Thanksgiving family selfie.

It seems like a given, but family photos are hard when you’re in the thick of parenting! Make sure you take the time to do it! Start the tradition now, and carry it out each year so you can watch your family grow. You can pose for your selfie by the dinner table, on the front porch, or in the middle of the living room: the idea is to keep it simple and show your space as well as the people within it.

Baby’s first Thanksgiving photo shoot.

 First Thanksgiving baby photoshoot where a baby is eating pumpkin pie

Photo: Jennifer Mosher Photography

Whip out your camera or smartphone and prop that baby somewhere seasonal, because there is not a parent anywhere who isn’t going to want to look back on their little one’s first Thanksgiving with lots of photos. You can go all-out with props or keep it pretty basic—just don’t forget to zoom in on all those delicious little parts you never want to forget (like the best rolls anyone has ever seen at the Thanksgiving table!). 

Write Baby a Thanksgiving letter.

This is the perfect time of year to jot down your thoughts on that sweet baby boy or girl, and express how grateful you are for them. Place the letter in a jar, drawer, or box, or tuck it inside their baby book with a photo of them (and you!) today. This will be the start of a collection of sweet words for them to look back on in the years to come. (While you have the baby book or album out, today’s a great day to fill up a page or two with recent milestones and photographs as well). 

Do a baby hand- or footprint Thanksgiving craft.

 Turkeys made with foot and handprints for a baby's first Thanksgiving

Photo: My Organic Company

Any Thanksgiving craft you make with Baby will be fun, but using their little hands and feet in the art will help you remember how tiny they once were. If they have older siblings, this is a project they can help with and make themselves, too. Try a hand- and footprint turkey, or make a simple handprint and mark the date on it to add to their baby book.  

Do a Thanksgiving food taste test with Baby.

If your bub is old enough to eat solids, capture their first tastes of turkey, mashed potato, and all the other holiday favorites. If you have not yet introduced table foods, Thanksgiving dinner with your baby will still feel special– just snap some photos of them seated at the table in their high chair or your arms, and even make a little place setting for Baby. (Of course, it wouldn't be Baby’s First Thanksgiving without a themed bib!)

Start a new Thanksgiving tradition with Baby.

One of the coolest things about becoming a parent is that this is your family and your life. Even if you didn’t have any Thanksgiving traditions from childhood you want to continue with your own brood, now’s a great time to start some of your own. This list provides some cute ways to spend the holiday with your family. Pick your favorite(s) and make them habits each Thanksgiving Day.

Take a silly Thanksgiving picture of your tiny turkey.

Baby dressed as a turkey for their first Thanksgiving

Photo: Walmart

Fancy duds not your thing? Try this! A funny picture of your little turkey is a LOL-worthy way to commemorate their first Thanksgiving. After all the sleepless nights and endless, you deserve a good laugh!

Get moving with your baby.

Have a family dance party in the kitchen or take a post-dinner walk with the stroller. Maybe even do some parent-and-me yoga before the big meal. Whatever you decide, introduce the tradition of doing something active as a family this Thanksgiving Day, and watch the possibilities unfold in the years to come. 

Give your baby a first Thanksgiving heirloom.

 First Thanksgiving ornament for baby

Photo: Zazzle

If you celebrate Christmas, a tree ornament is a sweet object to give Baby on Thanksgiving Day to kick off the holiday season. Other ideas include a quality picture frame, wooden toy, or cozy knitted blanket. If you have an actual family heirloom to pass down, that’s even better!

Make a donation in Baby’s name.

One of the purest ways to express our gratitude this time of year is by giving back to those in need. As Baby grows, you might use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to volunteer together, like at a soup kitchen or making holiday care packages for troops overseas. This first year and in the next few, a lovely gesture is a donation in your little one’s name, starting a legacy of giving that will last their lifetime. (Here are some family-focused nonprofit organizations to consider!)

More Thanksgiving Ideas:

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.