While you might have had some cracking New Year's Eves – as well as ones you'd rather forget – this year is going to be a bit different. After all, you've just brought a baby into the world, who has turned your life upside down in so many wonderful ways.
I wouldn't blame you in the slightest if you didn't feel like popping on a pair of heels and heading to your friend's party. You might just want to stay at home, sleep as much as you can and nurse your newborn (instead of a hangover). If you do decide that you need a night off with your friends (which you completely deserve), it's a good idea to do a little planning. Here are a few simple tips to enjoying baby's first New Year's, whether you unwind at a party or bring the party to you.
have a quiet night in
Family-friendly New Year's Eve ideas all tend to have one thing in common: that cosy close-knit unit you now have around you. To keep things simple, just cuddle up on the sofa with baby and your partner to enjoy the evening together.
Once your little one's napping in their Moses basket, dim the lights, grab a blanket and pop some New Year's Eve films on the telly. Classics like Bridget Jones's Diary, When Harry Met Sally and About a Boy are all heart-warming and set around the countdown to a new year.
Don't worry about the #FOMO – you can catch up on the night's happenings from your friends tomorrow. For now, just concentrate on keeping it cosy. It's a special occasion, so cook – or order in – your favourite meal.
host a not-so-quiet night in
If your inner social butterfly refuses to go down without a fight, invite friends and family round to yours. You can still have a champagne reception with plenty of nibbles, but you have baby close by ready for those frequent feeds. Plus, if you fancy getting changed into your pyjamas at 11pm, no-one's going to judge.
go out if you want to
If your friends have some tempting baby-free New Year's Eve ideas planned, don't let parent-guilt hold you back. After all, being a parent shouldn't mean every part of your life changes, even if your wardrobe is focussed a little more on comfort these days. Going out for a few hours should be fine if baby's in a good sleep routine and you've expressed some milk or left formula in an easy-to-find spot in the kitchen.
Speaking from experience, it's a good idea to book your babysitter for New Year's Eve well in advance. Expect to pay a bit more than usual, and see if you can get someone recommended by a friend if you're feeling nervous about leaving baby. If it's a last-minute decision, try asking the grandparents for a little favour: they might not have big party plans themselves.
get together on january 1st
It's also worth thinking outside the box. Celebrating on New Year's Day instead is a great way to avoid either a hangover or that feeling of missing out. Head out for a family pub lunch, or gather everyone at yours for a roast dinner. You'll have plenty of family and friends around to take turns cuddling your little one in a warm and relaxed setting.
Plus, you can catch up on all the gossip from the night before without feeling too sore yourself. One might say that baby's doing you a few favours!